Monday Night Football Preview: Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers
Monday September 28, 2015
Kansas City Chiefs @ Green Bay Packers
This is a really tough matchup for the Chiefs. It’s very difficult to beat Aaron Rodgers at home. The Chiefs have been top ten in the league against the run but bottom ten against the pass. That does not bode well for their chances to win. There are two things they must do to have a chance in this game. The pass rush led by Justin Houston and Tamba Hali is going to have to get a ton of pressure against a subpar Packers offensive line. Then, Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs rushing attack are going to have to control the ball and the clock against a less than stellar Packers defense. The only way to beat Rodgers is to keep him off the field, especially at Lambeau.
Kansas City Chiefs: Key Players
QB Alex Smith
Smith is the prime example of an NFL game manager. He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes because he takes very few risks. That’s in part due to his weak arm. His lack of upside makes him a lackluster fantasy option. However, he’ll probably have to throw the ball more than usual this week to keep up with the high-scoring Packers offense.
Verdict: Sit Smith. He’s your classic QB2 in fantasy. With no bye weeks this week there is no reason to start Smith unless you drafted Tony Romo and Jay Cutler.
RB Jamaal Charles
Charles is one of the top fantasy running back options this week. The Chiefs are going to need him to have a monster game if they have any chance of upsetting the Packers.
Verdict: Start Charles. He’s an elite RB1 with duel-threat abilities. He’s a supremely talented runner and pass-catcher. He’s a great start in all formats. Odds are you’re starting him every single week when he’s healthy.
WR Jeremy Maclin
There was some question about Maclin’s availability this week due to a knee injury, but he’s been upgraded to probable. He’s fully expected to be out there and a full go on Monday night. While having Smith as his quarterback is less than ideal, Maclin still has elite talent. He should emerge as a viable starter this season.
Verdict: Start Maclin. Talent usually wins out. Sure, Smith isn’t great but Maclin is. It may take some time but the numbers will be there in the end. He’ll emerge as a high-end WR3. This is a very good matchup in a game the Chiefs will probably have to throw more than they’d like to.
TE Travis Kelce
He is a top-five TE in the NFL now. No matter who he’s matched up against he’s a very good start. The Packers don’t have a particularly good LB corps and their top safety Morgan Burnett doesn’t look like he’ll be suiting up this week.
Verdict: Start Kelce. At this point you’re starting him every week, regardless of matchup.
Green Bay Packers
QB Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL with Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger the closest contenders. He’s also one of the top two fantasy QBs along with Andrew Luck. The loss of Jordy Nelson was tough but Rodgers makes his WRs, they don’t make him.
Verdict: Start Rodgers. He’s a must-start every week.
RB Eddie Lacy
Lacy is a game-time decision this week with an ankle injury. He’s very questionable to play. The fact that this is a Monday night game makes this a major issue. The bottom line is, if you don’t have him handcuffed with James Starks, you can’t start him. The only other option is to plug him in your flex and handcuff him with another lesser player.
Verdict: Sit Lacy. Even if Lacy plays he’ll probably be very limited and split touches with Starks. The Chiefs also have a very good run defense. The best case scenario is if Lacy is ruled out and you have him handcuffed with Starks.
WR Randall Cobb
Cobb has been dealing with a shoulder injury to open the season, but he should be nearing 100 percent now. He is projected to put up elite WR1 numbers with Nelson out for the season. With Rodgers as his quarterback, he should have a monster year. Even if defenses key in on him, Rodgers is good enough to beat them.
Verdict: Start Cobb. He’s an elite option and should be considered a WR1 moving forward. Cobb is going to have a monster year. His AC joint is healing up and he is going to be great.
WR Davante Adams
Adams is dealing with an ankle injury but does not seemed overly concerned about the injury. I could have gone with Adams or James Jones here but wanted to touch on the injury. Jones is actually the better option of the two. He has really taken the wind out of Adams’ sails. Now with the ankle, Adams is really difficult to trust.
Verdict: Sit Adams. He could have a huge day any given week, but he’s nothing more than a risky flex option, especially with an ankle injury that has him listed as questionable. Leave him out of your lineup this week unless you’re forced to rely on him.
Kansas City: 27
Green Bay: 34