Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs has the making of another massive shootout like everyone saw during their week 7 match-up on Thursday Night Football. Those with many Kansas City and Oakland Raider players in their fantasy lineups must be salivating in anticipation for this one.
Oakland possesses the No. 22 ranked defense allowing 346 yards per game and the Chiefs possess the No. 30 ranked defense surrendering 382.2 yards per contest.
Here are my players of the week to sit and to start with not enough spots in this article for every player that should be starting.
Start: QB Derek Carr
In 2017, Kansas City has been getting gashed for over 250 passing yards per game and there is no reason to believe it won’t be more of the same on Sunday.
The Chiefs made Josh McCown look like an All-Pro allowing him to throw for 331 yards and score three touchdowns.
With Marcus Peters out, Kansas City’s defense will be starting three cornerbacks that have a PFF player grade lower than 49.8 and this includes the newly signed Darrelle Revis who might be slower than Reggie Nelson and has a horrific player grade of just 35.1.
Carr has also thrown for 540 yards the last two games despite being without Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper for the majority of the last two weeks. With Carr’s improved play and the struggling Chiefs’ secondary, there is no way he doesn’t have a huge day.
Start: QB Alex Smith
Surprisingly, Alex Smith has been the bright spot of his team in 2017. While Kansas City has been near the bottom in defense, Smith has kept them in games by throwing for 264 yards per game over the last seven weeks.
Smith’s production has been steady this year and should not trail off against the No. 23 ranked passing defense in the NFL. Especially if the Chiefs fall behind and have to chase Carr and the offense.
Start: WR Michael Crabtree
Normally, I wouldn’t love Crabtree in this matchup knowing that Cooper probably won’t be able to go forcing Andy Reid to turn his entire focus towards Crabtree.
History has also not been in Crabtree’s favor against his division rival. He has caught just 21 receptions for 187 yards and three touchdowns in seven career games against Kansas City.
However, the possible loss of Cooper will be neutralized by the suspension of Peters. Whoever Crabtree is lined up against, Carr should go his way often since it is a monstrous mismatch.
Crabtree should also have extra motivation after basically not being able to play in the last two Raider victories. In addition, Crabtree will be fresh while those he will be facing will be feeling the pains of Week 14 in an NFL season.
Start: WR Tyreek Hill
Tyreek Hill has feasted upon Oakland throughout his short career. In just three games, he has accrued 211 yards receiving, 217 return yards and three touchdowns.
With Reggie Nelson only older and many steps slower, it would be hard to believe Hill won’t get loose deep down the field at least once on Sunday.
Recently, the Raiders’ special teams has been suspect considering Marquette King got lit up on a punt and Jalen Richard’s issues returning punts. If the special teams is not 100 percent focused, Hill will easily exploit them.
Sit: RB Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt has not had over 100 yards rushing in seven games and is facing an improved Oakland rush defense that has only given up 100 yards rushing once in that same time frame (NaVorro Bowman arrived six weeks ago).
Under John Pagano, there seems to be an added emphasis to stop the run. And like I have mentioned before, they have the talent to stop the run but not to shutdown opposing team’s passing attacks. So expect a heavy emphasis on stopping Hunt this Sunday.
Sit: TE Jared Cook
Even with Cooper and Crabtree out the last two weeks, Jared Cook has not stepped up in their absence and has caught just two balls for 11 yards against Denver and New York combined.
For whatever reason, Cook is trending downwards and is too risky of a play even against a poor Chiefs’ defense. He also had a huge day back in Week 7 against Kansas City, so he will still be a major focus for Reid and company.
Overall, Cook might very well have a nice game and score a touchdown, as there will probably be three or four Oakland scores, but it just seems unlikely when one takes into account his recent lack of production.
As long as the weather stays reasonable at Arrowhead, it will be a high scoring game on the scoreboard and for people’s fantasy teams.
Honestly, Hunt isn’t a true sit, but he seems to be the most likely to have an off game out of the quality fantasy players in this week’s matchup.
As for the others, including Travis Kelce, Marshawn Lynch and Cooper, if he plays, they are all sure-fire starts this week as well.