Matchup Analysis: Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Chiefs 26, Jaguars 23

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Chiefs Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Jaguars defense.

The Chiefs will again look to have one of the top offenses in the league this season, but their ground game will certainly look different from 2018. Andy Reid has been quoted mentioning he would like to take a committee approach at running back, and until last week it had appeared that committee would consist of Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson, and Carlos Hyde. Now, Hyde has since been traded and LeSean McCoy has been introduced into the fold. It remains to be seen how both Williams and McCoy will be used from a time split perspective, but it does appear Darwin Thompson’s opportunities to shine early will be limited. Williams should still be the starter, but if McCoy plays well, this very much could become a true committee situation. Regardless of who the back is, they should be set up for success by a dynamic quarterback and top-tier offensive line led by a pair of elite tackles.

The Jaguars defense remains loaded with talent this season, including a few new faces they added through the draft. Defensive end Josh Allen is living up to his first-round pedigree based on what he has displayed during the preseason, and he should be a nice boost for this already elite defensive line. Calais Campbell and Marcel Dareus represent an elite pair of defensive tackles that will make it tough on any opposing offensive lineman--especially this week since the guards are a relative weakness for this Chiefs offensive line. The Jaguars lost linebacker Telvin Smith to retirement this year, and they were expecting another rookie, Quincy Williams, to start in his place until Williams suffered a torn meniscus in training camp that will sideline him for the first few weeks of the season. Najee Goode will start in his place and has never been known for his effectiveness against the run. Both Myles Jack and Leon Jacobs are talented and effective players to round out this linebacker group though, so they should remain an effective unit that will get even better once Williams can make his debut. The Chiefs will have all they can handle against this unit in their season-opener.

Chiefs Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Jaguars defense.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs passing offense took the league by storm with their record-breaking year last season. The 2018 MVP who passed for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns is the consensus top-ranked fantasy quarterback coming into 2019. Week 1 brings a lot to be excited about, as Mahomes put up those numbers in 2018 despite missing Sammy Watkins for six games and Kareem Hunt for five games. While he will be without Hunt this season, Mahomes does return all of his primary pass-catchers from 2018. Travis Kelce has had a quiet preseason, but he is healthy and primed for another great season. Tyreek Hill had his share of offseason drama, but he too should be poised to be a top option in this Chiefs offense. This week, however, could be a challenge for Hill as he squares off against one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. Sammy Watkins will also have his hands full this week in a tough cornerback matchup, but he expects to be intimately involved in the Chiefs offense if he can remain healthy throughout the season. Demarcus Robinson is shaping up to be the third wide receiver for the Chiefs, but rookie Mecole Hardman is giving him a run for his money this preseason and could easily see some valuable routes on which to display his elite playmaking ability.

The Jaguars passing defense is solidified by a pair of top-10 cornerbacks and what looks to be a scary group of pass rushers. Cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye were a big part of how dominant the Jaguars were against the pass in 2018, holding opposing wide receivers to the fewest fantasy points per game (27.2 in PPR scoring) and opposing quarterbacks to the second-fewest passing yards per game (210 yards). Ramsey is expected to shadow Tyreek Hill while Bouye should cover Sammy Watkins as neither receiver can be expected to have easy success this Sunday. This elite coverage on the outside should only lead to an increased opportunity for Travis Kelce in the middle of the field. Kelce should draw coverage from second-year safety Ronnie Harrison in a very winnable matchup. The Jaguars will be coming at Patrick Mahomes with high levels of pressure from top draft pick Josh Allen and veteran Calais Campbell, but the Chiefs roll out a pair of solid tackles to help protect their elite quarterback. Mahomes worked his magic all throughout 2018, and despite the tough matchup, he is basically matchup proof until he proves otherwise.

Jaguars Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Chiefs defense.

Leonard Fournette will hope for a bounceback this season after a disappointing 2018 campaign riddled with injuries and not a single 100+ rushing yard performance. He remains the unquestioned starter in a Jaguars backfield lacking much depth behind him with only rookie Ryquell Armstead competing for playing time. Fournette has looked good in preseason and, by all accounts, is at 100% health to start the year. The Jaguars offensive line looks improved from 2018 after all five starters ended the season on injured reserve. This unit excels at run-blocking with every player on this line grading out higher against the run than the pass. The left side is their strong side led by Cam Robinson, and the right side has improved this offseason with the second-round draft selection of right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Taylor will immediately start and looked good in limited time during Week 3 of the preseason, although he could use a few games to get up to speed--so they have room to improve as he gains some experience.

The Chiefs finished 2018 with one of the league’s worst rushing defenses, giving up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and a total of 114 rushing yards per game to the position (fourth-worst). Then now enter 2018 with a very different defense under new leadership from coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The biggest addition for this run defense was defensive end Frank Clark, a talented veteran from Seattle who excels in rushing the passer but is also proficient against the run. Chris Jones is still here on the interior and represents a strong force against the run, but again was much more known for his pass-rushing abilities in 2018. Linebacker remains a weak spot for the Chiefs. They return Anthony Hitchens and Reggie Ragland but also brought in Darron Lee and Damien Wilson to compete at the position. Nobody in this group is particularly known as a top run-defender, but one new addition who is particularly effective against the run is safety Tyrann Mathieu. While Mathieu is small, he can make a big contribution in the middle of the field to help support that weak linebacker group. All in all, it looks like the Chiefs may be slightly improved from 2018--but this is still shaping up to be an average, at best, run defense squaring off against a Jaguars team that will be more than happy to give them a challenge with their run-heavy offense.

Jaguars Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Chiefs defense.

The Jaguars made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason with their signing of quarterback Nick Foles to the richest guaranteed contract in franchise history. While Foles is known more so as a game manager at the position, he certainly certainly represents an upgrade over Blake Bortles and should introduce some much-needed consistency into this offense. The Jaguars are not necessarily loaded with proven talent at the wide receiver position, but they do have some young guys with potential. Dede Westbrook figures to start as the top target for Foles based on impressive chemistry they have shown together throughout the preseason. Westbrook had an impressive 2018 season considering the circumstances, and he has the route-running ability to easily lead this team in targets. There is plenty of debate around who will fall behind Westbrook in targets for the Jaguars. D.J. Chark has looked impressive throughout the preseason and has great size to become a threat in the red zone for Foles. Chark did suffer a concussion in Week 3 of the preseason, but he should be through the protocol in time for Sunday. Chris Conley comes to the Jaguars from being buried amongst the high-powered Chiefs offensive weapons last season. Conley has also had a decent this preseason and will bring more of a veteran presence to this young receiving group.

The Chiefs finished 2018 with one of the worst passing defenses in football as they were plagued by pass-heavy game scripts and an underperforming group of cornerbacks. They did virtually nothing to address the weakness at cornerback this offseason from adding Morris Claiborne, who will not help them this week as he serves a four-game suspension to start the season. The loss of Steven Nelson to the Steelers is also a blow as he played very well for the Chiefs down the stretch. They do return Kendall Fuller as a solid slot cornerback, but he is the top talent they have at cornerback and should be a relatively even matchup with Dede Westbrook this week. The addition of safety Tyrann Mathieu will help, but this still a bottom tier secondary until they prove otherwise. Up front, the Chiefs lost top edge rusher Justin Houston in free agency but replaced him with Frank Clark from Seattle, who finished with 14 sacks last season and will be a fine replacement for Houston. Chris Jones also remains a key piece of this defensive line as a strong pass rusher. All in all, however, this defense still does not seem to be improved from last season and should afford the Jaguars passing offense with an attractive opportunity to succeed in Week 1.

Patrick Mahomes (FanDuel: $8700, DraftKings: $7200)

1PROJ-Dodds243628920.93160.224.424.424.4 (H=58)24.4 (H=70)
1PROJ-Tremblay24372872.214180.124.624.624.6 (H=58)24.6 (H=71)
1PROJ-Bloom223229720.93150.224.724.724.7 (H=59)24.7 (H=71)

Damien Williams (FanDuel: $6900, DraftKings: $6300)

1PROJ-Dodds10510.53.1250.211.814.913.4 (H=25)14.9 (H=34)
1PROJ-Tremblay7310.32.9200.17.510.49 (H=13)10.4 (H=18)
1PROJ-Bloom11510.53.0310.3131614.5 (H=29)16 (H=38)

DeAndre Washington (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3200)

1PROJ-Dodds31100.7501.62.32 (H=1)2.3 (H=2)
1PROJ-Tremblay4150.10.1102.22.32.3 (H=1)2.3 (H=2)
1PROJ-Bloom0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Darwin Thompson (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1PROJ-Dodds1700.8501.221.6 (H=1)2 (H=2)
1PROJ-Tremblay5200.10.4302.93.33.1 (H=3)3.3 (H=5)
1PROJ-Bloom0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Elijah McGuire (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3100)

1PROJ-Dodds0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Tremblay0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Bloom0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Darrel Williams (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3400)

1PROJ-Dodds0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Tremblay1500.3200.710.8 (H=0)1 (H=0)
1PROJ-Bloom0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Tyreek Hill (FanDuel: $7600, DraftKings: $7600)

1PROJ-Dodds5.0730.515010.815.813.4 (H=23)15.9 (H=31)
1PROJ-Tremblay5.4830.613012.217.615 (H=28)17.7 (H=38)
1PROJ-Bloom4.0610.51509.613.611.7 (H=18)13.7 (H=24)

Sammy Watkins (FanDuel: $6300, DraftKings: $5000)

1PROJ-Dodds3.7460.30006.410.18.3 (H=12)10.1 (H=21)
1PROJ-Tremblay3.1400.30105.997.5 (H=10)9 (H=17)
1PROJ-Bloom4.0500.500081210 (H=17)12 (H=29)

Mecole Hardman (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $4100)

1PROJ-Dodds1.4220.10102.94.33.6 (H=3)4.3 (H=6)
1PROJ-Tremblay1.5200.10002.64.13.4 (H=3)4.1 (H=5)
1PROJ-Bloom2.0410.11805.57.56.5 (H=10)7.5 (H=15)

Demarcus Robinson (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3200)

1PROJ-Dodds1.2170.10002.33.52.9 (H=2)3.5 (H=5)
1PROJ-Tremblay1.8200.20003.254.1 (H=4)5 (H=10)
1PROJ-Bloom1.0130.10001.92.92.4 (H=1)2.9 (H=3)

Travis Kelce (FanDuel: $7800, DraftKings: $7100)

1PROJ-Dodds5.9770.510.716.613.6 (H=23)16.6 (H=36)
1PROJ-Tremblay5.9720.610.816.713.8 (H=24)16.7 (H=36)
1PROJ-Bloom6.0840.511.417.414.4 (H=26)17.4 (H=39)

Ricky Seals-Jones (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $2700)

1PROJ-Dodds0.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Tremblay0.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Bloom0.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Harrison Butker (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)


Kansas City Chiefs (FanDuel: $3900, DraftKings: $2800)

1PROJ-Dodds24.43592.30.90.700. (H=17)7.6 (H=23)
1PROJ-Tremblay24.253502.210.700. (H=20)8.3 (H=27)

Leonard Fournette (FanDuel: $7200, DraftKings: $6100)

1PROJ-Dodds18720.63.7310.215.118.817 (H=37)18.8 (H=52)
1PROJ-Tremblay12500.43.8310.111.114.913 (H=23)14.9 (H=35)
1PROJ-Bloom19680.54.0250.112.916.914.9 (H=29)16.9 (H=43)

Chris Thompson (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3500)

1PROJ-Dodds5200.13.9300. (H=15)10.1 (H=31)
1PROJ-Tremblay5190.12.7190.157.76.4 (H=9)7.7 (H=19)
1PROJ-Bloom31104.0350. (H=13)9.8 (H=29)

Ryquell Armstead (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1PROJ-Dodds4190. (H=6)5.1 (H=11)
1PROJ-Tremblay5240.21.31004.65.95.3 (H=7)5.9 (H=14)
1PROJ-Bloom3130.10.0001.91.91.9 (H=1)1.9 (H=2)

Paul Perkins (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $3300)

1PROJ-Dodds0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Tremblay0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Bloom1300.0000.30.30.3 (H=0)0.3 (H=0)

Devine Ozigbo (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1PROJ-Dodds0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Tremblay0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Bloom0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Dede Westbrook (FanDuel: $5900, DraftKings: $4800)

1PROJ-Dodds4.2510.31307.211.49.4 (H=16)11.5 (H=28)
1PROJ-Tremblay3.5430.31406.5108.3 (H=13)10.1 (H=22)
1PROJ-Bloom6.0620.40008.614.611.7 (H=24)14.7 (H=43)

D.J. Chark (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3300)

1PROJ-Dodds2.8340.20004.67.46 (H=9)7.4 (H=19)
1PROJ-Tremblay2.0270.20003.95.94.9 (H=6)5.9 (H=13)
1PROJ-Bloom3.0440.40006.89.88.3 (H=15)9.8 (H=31)

Chris Conley (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3100)

1PROJ-Dodds2.4290.20004.16.55.3 (H=7)6.5 (H=16)
1PROJ-Tremblay2.1260.20003.85.94.9 (H=6)5.9 (H=13)
1PROJ-Bloom3.0450.40006.99.98.4 (H=17)9.9 (H=34)

Keelan Cole (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $3400)

1PROJ-Dodds1.3170.10002.33.63 (H=2)3.6 (H=5)
1PROJ-Tremblay2.1290.20004.16.25.2 (H=7)6.2 (H=13)
1PROJ-Bloom1.0140.1000232.5 (H=2)3 (H=3)

Tyler Eifert (FanDuel: $5200, DraftKings: $3100)

1PROJ-Dodds2.7320. (H=8)7.1 (H=19)
1PROJ-Tremblay2.0220. (H=3)4.8 (H=9)
1PROJ-Bloom4.0510.26.310.38.3 (H=15)10.3 (H=36)

James OShaughnessy (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

1PROJ-Dodds0.9900.91.81.4 (H=0)1.8 (H=2)
1PROJ-Tremblay1.0100. (H=1)2.6 (H=4)
1PROJ-Bloom1.01201.22.21.7 (H=1)2.2 (H=3)

Josh Oliver (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2700)

1PROJ-Dodds0.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Tremblay0.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Bloom0.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Josh Lambo (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)


Jacksonville Jaguars (FanDuel: $3900, DraftKings: $2300)

1PROJ-Dodds26.63672.30.90.600. (H=13)6.7 (H=23)
1PROJ-Tremblay28.253852.410.500. (H=13)6.6 (H=22)