Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs offense looked unstoppable against the Patriots in week 1. While the four touchdown passes are certainly an outlier performance for Smith, how do you see him faring against the Eagles in week 2? Would you consider stacking him alongside Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill?
Phil Alexander: Has Alex Smith suddenly morphed into an aggressive downfield passer in his 13th season? I'll defer to Predictive Football's Kevin Cole, who did an excellent breakdown of Smith's huge Week 1 performance. The takeaway from Cole's study is what we saw from Smith last week was more a product of circumstance than a sudden change in his tendencies as a passer. We shouldn't expect Smith to approach his Week 1 numbers again this season.
That being said, Tyreek Hill playing full time does raise Smith's weekly upside higher than his previous career levels. Hill looked every bit the part of a superstar on a full complement of snaps last week and Smith will be the beneficiary of his yards-after-catch ability. I'll have plenty of Hill with Philadelphia's corners banged up, but you should be able to do better at quarterback this week than Smith, even if Hill has a big game.
As for Hunt, the Eagles allowed only one 100-yard rusher in 2016 and limited Rob Kelley to 3.0 yards per attempt last week. I'm lukewarm on the idea of chasing his points from the season opener. Travis Kelce doesn't excite me either. He'll be more involved than he was against New England, but Philadelphia had the top rated pass defense vs. opposing tight ends last season (DVOA). The Eagles picked up where they left off in 2016, limiting Jordan Reed to 5 catches for 36 yards in Week 1.
Jason Wood: As I noted in the Over/Under discussion, I see the potential for an offensive shoot out between the Eagles and Chiefs. With Ron Darby lost for four to six weeks, the Chiefs should have success passing the ball if Alex Smith can maintain the same aggressiveness he showed in Week One. As to DFS strategy, I'm fading Kareem Hunt this week against a stout Eagles front seven and given an expectation Hunt will be over owned after last week's debut. I'll probably have some Smith/Kelce stacks.
Dan Hindery: Andy Reid has always been masterful with an extended amount of time to prepare for his opponent (bye weeks and season openers). Alex Smith started the 2016 season hot, with 363 passing yards and 3 total touchdown in Week 1. The next week he had 186 yards and no touchdowns. We could see a similar performance in Week 2 this season. The Eagles have one of the most talented and athletic front sevens in football, while the Patriots are completely on the other end of the spectrum. It’s hard to see another huge day from this offense facing the Eagles top pass rush and athletic coverage linebackers who will be able to run with Hunt out of the backfield. Plus, ownership is going to be artificially inflated because everyone watched the Chiefs carve up the Patriots and recency bias will lead to too many Kansas City stacks.
John Mamula: This feels like a let down spot for the Chiefs after they shocked the world and conquered the Patriots in Foxborough last week. Andy Reid had an aggressive game plan and Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, and Tyreek Hill delivered standout performances. Expect ownership to flock to these players and for them to run into a stout Eagles front seven. I will likely be underweight with Chiefs exposure in Week 2.
Justin Howe: I'll definitely have some Kansas City exposure in my GPPs. It won't be a ton, but I'll make some effort to capitalize on what could be a market overcorrection. I figure many DFSers will assume that this offense overachieved mightily in Week 1, and while that's probably the case to a degree, there's still lots of dynamism at play. Hill, simply put, looks like a force to be reckoned with. Kansas City makes use of him out wide, in the slot, in motion, and from the backfield - he'll be fed touches, and he'll be put into space plenty. You can call that kind of production volatile, but in Hill's case, I don't think it necessarily is. He's not merely a spark plug - he's the league's second-fastest player by 40 time and has been groomed from his rookie year to run an impressive route tree. Until his salary gets out of hand, he's weekly GPP dynamite while a hefty chunk of players are frightened away by ghosts that don't exist. And Kelce is always a strong play if you're looking to move down from Rob Gronkowski but retain a solid floor - even against an Eagles defense that's strong against tight ends.
I'm not particularly interested in Smith, though. His Week 1 was one for the ages, but let's not lose sight of the fact that 44% of his yardage came on those 2 massive throws. Take 1.5 of them away - a fair projection for a given week - and he's a hair less attractive. Now pit him against an aggressive Eagles defense, one with a fiery pass rush and playmakers throughout the secondary, and I don't expect the same level of success. Something around 260 yards and 2 touchdowns looks like a fair ceiling to project, but the matchup dings his chances at it. I'm probably looking elsewhere for discounted stacks.
Hunt looks good, too, but I don't think he'll be any type of GPP cheat code. Had his ownership skyrocketed beyond where it did, I'd expect relatively low ownership and pounce on the opportunity to chase another explosion against the world. But he comes in priced affordably for an upper-level RB1, so he'll be a cash-game and GPP fixture. That's great in cash, but dings your upside in deeper tournaments.