Welcome into our 2021 coverage of the DraftKings showdown slates- continuing with Kansas City @Los Angeles. It feels like only yesterday that the season was getting underway, and already we’re at Week 15. As we head down the stretch towards the playoffs, every game seems to get more and more important – especially divisional matchups like we’re being treated to tonight. Kansas City heads to LA as field-goal favorites on the road, with the O/U sitting at a tasty 52.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- Kansas City @Los Angeles Captain Picks
Justin Herbert ($16,200)
Herbert has been phenomenal in his first two years in the league. He currently sits 4th in the league with 3,822 passing yards on the year, to go with a 30:11 TD:INT record, and a league-high 5 game-winning drives. LA currently sit one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West, adding to the importance of tonight’s matchup, as it could go a long way to deciding potential home-advantage in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs. This Kansas City defense were ripped apart by opposition QBs in the first few weeks of the season. With Baker Mayfield, Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, and Herbert himself having 250+ yard passing games. Whilst they seemed to have steadied the ship defensively in recent weeks on paper, it’s important to note they’ve faced Daniel Jones, Jordan Love, and Teddy Bridgewater in that stretch. Herbert provides a huge test tonight, especially on his home turf.
Travis Kelce ($12,900)
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that I think this could be the cheapest Kelce has been on a showdown slate in years. Whilst he’s evidently been off the mark this year compared to performances in recent years, he’s still on-course for a sixth (!) consecutive 1,000-yard season, an incredible feat for a TE. He’s only managed 5 TDs this year, but still boasts a 24.68% team-target share. Only Philadelphia has surrendered more than LA’s 10 TDs to opposition TEs this year. So there’s certainly a possibility that Kelce hits paydirt tonight. He’s had two very below-par performances in recent weeks, but at this price it’s difficult to fade him, especially in cash formats.
Darrel Williams ($4,800)
With so many high-priced studs on tonight’s slate, finding a value piece at the captain spot is certainly a viable strategy. Even with the return of CEH, Williams still looks to have solidified himself as the third-down back on this Chiefs’ offense. Seeming to have the bulk of the passing work out of the backfield. Last week they played an identical 23 snaps, although that was probably more due to the blowout victory that saw Derrick Gore feature heavily in the final quarter. However, in Week 13 CEH only played 3 more snaps than Williams’ 26. As we’ve seen (and heard from many NFL/fantasy analysts), LA appear more than happy to let their opponents run the ball on them. Only Houston have surrendered more yards on the ground than the Charger’s 1829 this year (140.7 YPG). In a tight game, I imagine Kansas City will probably throw more than they have in recent weeks, and I think Williams should see plenty of looks through the air, as well as the occasional bit of groundwork. At his price he’s an incredibly attractive option tonight.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- Kansas City @Los Angeles Flex Picks
Patrick Mahomes ($12,000)
It’s no secret that Mahomes seems to have stalled slightly this year, and he’s definitely burned me on several showdown slates so far this season. Nonetheless, he’s always a near-lock due to his ceiling. He’s only managed nine TDs in his last seven games, although did throw three in this matchup in Week 3. LA have only allowed two 300+ yard performances this year, but Mahomes’ pure volume means he’s difficult to fade. He also sits 6th in the league with 280.2 passing yards per game.
Tyreek Hill ($11,400)
Another piece of the Kansas City offense that seems to have slowed down slightly this year is Hill. That being said, he still sits second in the NFL with just over 10 targets per game and has 8 TD catches on the year. He leads the team with a 30.3% target share, which rises to 33.33% on passes inside the 20-yard line. No one on this slate has a ceiling remotely close Hill’s, but his price tag is tough to get to. Kelce is probably my preferred Chiefs receiver – but Hill is certainly a close second.
Austin Ekeler ($10,200)
Ekeler is currently questionable, but it’s looking likely that he suits up. As we saw with Dalvin Cook last week, players can come into the game off the back of limited practices and still absolute tear apart the opposition. Ekeler has so much upside in PPR formats with his work in the passing game and boasts a 14.81% target share – trailing only Allen’s 25.54% and Williams’ 20.86%. Despite trailing the two wideouts in targets, he currently leads the team with 7 receiving TDs, alongside his 9 on the ground. If he does end up sitting, Joshua Kelly and Justin Jackson look the likely RB pairing for LA tonight.
Keenan Allen ($9,400)
My final high-priced favourite tonight is Keenan Allen, an absolute PPR monster. He’s seen double-digit targets in 8 of his 12 games and despite only finding the end-zone on four occasions so far, is still averaging an absurd 18.1 DKPTS per game. In what looks likely to be a high-scoring affair, Allen should see plenty of opportunities in this pass-heavy offense.
Byron Pringle ($2,600)
The mid-range is a very murky area tonight, with plenty of touchdown-dependent plays like Jared Cook, Mecole Hardman and Jalen Guyton. All the way down at $2,600 is Byron Pringle, who actually sits third on this Chiefs side with a target share of 8.23%. He’s hit paydirt 3 times so far this year and has seen his snap count rise steadily throughout the season. Since Week 10, Pringle has seen more snaps in every game apart from Hill. Josh Gordon missing this one due to COVID-protocols should only increase his role.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- Kansas City @Los Angeles Defenses and Kickers
It should be a fairly high-scoring affair tonight, leading me to probably fade both DSTs. This LA team don’t turn it over too frequently and whilst Kansas City’s defense is certainly improving, I think both kickers should outscore them, with both being cheaper than their $4,400 price tag. LA DST are cheap at $3,000 with homefield advantage, and Mahomes has been prone to throwing a handful of interceptions in recent weeks. Despite this, I’d rather play Pringle or one of the cheaper options than a defense versus Kansas City. Both kickers should have plenty of opportunities to score with two high-powered offenses taking the field tonight.
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Image Credit: Robert Hanashiro – USA TODAY Sports