Matchup Analysis: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Broncos 18, Chiefs 28

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Denver Broncos Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Broncos Offense18.2 (-4.5) (27)107 (-4) (18)196 (-39) (29)
Chiefs Defense21.6 (-1.0) (14)138 (+26) (28)227 (-8) (12)

Kansas City Chiefs Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Chiefs Offense28.5 (+5.9) (4)93 (-18) (27)288 (+52) (4)
Broncos Defense20.1 (-2.6) (10)115 (+3) (21)216 (-19) (6)

Broncos Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Chiefs defense.

The Broncos backfield has underwhelmed for most of this season as this rushing offense ranks slightly below average with 106.9 rushing yards per game and 4.2 yards per attempt. The tandem of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman have not combined for over 100 rushing yards since Week 9, and neither running back has rushed for more than 92 yards in a game this season. Lindsay has been the clear leader from a workload perspective, out-rushing Freeman 62-23 since their Week 10 bye. However, Lindsay has averaged a mediocre 3.8 yards per carry with just one touchdown (last week) over those last four games. He is getting the majority of the goal-line work and even had five red-zone looks last week though, which is encouraging. However, it is clear by now that the floor for Lindsay seems to be capped based on what should continue to be a low-upside offense unless Drew Lock manages to have a repeat performance from the flashes he showed against Houston last week.

The Chiefs saw improved play from their otherwise bottom-of-the-barrel run defense last week as they limited the Patriots to just 94 rushing yards, of which running backs accounted for only 66 yards. Having a relatively healthy front seven certainly made this group look better in that game, but the game script also helped them as the Chiefs jumped out to a lead and had the Patriots into a pass-heavy script. Play from this defense throughout the season has been truly abysmal, as even with that nice game last week, they are still giving up the fifth-most rushing yards per game (137.7) and sixth-most fantasy points per game to running backs in their last four outings. Linebacker Reggie Ragland has been decent when given snaps against the run, but the rest of this linebacker group has struggled all season. The line has also been relatively porous beyond Chris Jones on the interior. This is a matchup in which even the lowly Broncos offensive line should contend enough to allow Phillip Lindsay to have a decent day.

Broncos Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Chiefs defense.

While Drew Lock got off to a relatively shaky start in his first career NFL game, he put up a gem of a performance last week against Houston--finishing with 309 passing yards and three touchdowns while completing 81.5 percent of his pass attempts. He completed seven pass attempts of 20 or more yards and was not afraid to push the ball downfield. However, Fant did focus heavily on his tight ends as both Noah Fant and Jeff Heuerman scored touchdowns while the top receiving option for Denver, Courtland Sutton, finished with just 34 yards despite a team-leading five receptions from seven targets. Sutton rightfully received a ton of attention in coverage last week, and more of the same can be expected in this one as no Chiefs cornerback has the ability to cover him effectively without some help. With the added defensive focus on Sutton, more opportunities may open up for Tim Patrick and the Broncos tight ends. Noah Fant did leave last week’s game in the second half with a foot injury, so keep an eye on his status coming into this week as the upside for Jeff Heuerman would increase should Fant be sidelined.

The Chiefs pass defense continues to play well as they have held opposing quarterback to fewer than 230 yards in four of their last five games, including games against Kirk Cousins and Tom Brady. The past three weeks have been even more impressive for this secondary, as they have given up just three passing touchdowns while notching seven interceptions. Charvarious Ward has been their top individual cornerback, and he should draw most snaps against Tim Patrick this week--making for a more difficult matchup for Patrick. Bashaud Breeland has played better in recent weeks, but he has been susceptible in man coverage and, if not offered help from these Denver safeties, Breeland will create an opportunity for Courtland Sutton--who had six receptions for 87 yards in their last matchup. Chiefs linebackers have struggled to contain running backs though, as this team has allowed the most passing yards per game (61) to opposing running backs on the season. The Chiefs pass rush has been more consistent in recent weeks now that Chris Jones is back on the field, and they racked up a season-high nine sacks last time against the Broncos struggling offensive line. Putting pressure on a rookie quarterback is always a great game plan, and the Chiefs will likely do just that--especially if they can hop out to an early lead.

Chiefs Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Broncos defense.

The Chiefs rushing offense continues to struggle amidst what is a volatile situation with starter Damien Williams sidelined from a rib injury and Darrell Williams recently placed on IR. Even before the recent injury woes, this rushing offense had struggled with consistency as they rank 27th in the league with just 93 rushing yards per game. It is tough to blame this lack of success on the offensive line, as while they have had some injury issues throughout the season, this is an overall solid group that firmly ranks in the top tier according to Matt Bitonti of Footballguys. The inconsistencies in who is running the ball combined with a sheer lack of rushing attempts (298, 27th in the league) can help explain the lack of numbers put up by this group. The status of Damien Williams will be worth monitoring coming into this week, as his return would add clarity to an otherwise murky backfield situation. LeSean Mccoy led the way last week and would be expected to do the same in this one, but new addition Spencer Ware also saw five carries while actually playing more snaps (40%) than any other running back in Week 14. Darwin Thompson also saw four carries and just over a quarter of the snaps. McCoy did have some success against Denver earlier this season (12/64) while Williams managed just seven yards on nine rushing attempts in one of his worst performances of the season. Given the rotation in this backfield, it will be tough to trust whoever is back there on Sunday.

The Broncos defense has put together an impressive body of work against the run throughout the middle of the season, but their play has been dialed back slightly in recent weeks. This group had a rough outing in Week 12 against the Bills and never fully recovered as they have given up an average of 121 rushing yards per game and 4.5 yards per rush attempt to running backs over the past three weeks. On a positive note, they have given up zero rushing touchdowns to running backs over that span--however, they did allow Deshaun Watson to run for two touchdowns and 44 yards last week--the second time in three weeks that a quarterback has run for more than 40 yards against them. They have talent up front in Mike Purcell and Shelby Harris, but the recent loss of Derek Wolfe and Week 14 injury to Dre’Mont Jones certainly hurts the depth of this defensive line. Linebacker A.J. Johnson continues to play well though, and safeties Justin Simmons plus Kareen Jackson pose stout challenges for any running back making it to the second level--playing huge parts in why this defense has given up over 100 rushing yards to just two running backs and allowed just six runs of 20 or more yards (T-8th fewest).

Chiefs Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Broncos defense.

Patrick Mahomes suffered an injury to his throwing hand in last week’s game that adversely impacted his play throughout the second half, but he is on track to start this week against the Broncos. The Chiefs passing offense has looked off in recent weeks as Mahomes failed to exceed 200 passing yards in back-to-back games leading into last week before suffering the hand injury that limited him to just 58 passing yards in the second half. It will remain to be seen as to how much this hand injury may impact his play this week, but Mahomes does have all of his weapons healthy and ready to go. Travis Kelce has led the team in targets for three straight weeks and has exceeded 60 receiving yards in each of his last six games while scoring three receiving touchdowns over that span. Tyreek Hill also remains fresh and capable of delivering a big play at any moment, while Sammy Watkins is a volatile WR2 in this offense who has been tough to rely upon with fewer than 40 receiving yards in three of his last four games, including a goose egg in Week 13 despite playing 91 percent of the snaps.

Denver’s defense has been a solid group against the pass this season, with teams passing for an average of just 215.9 yards per game (sixth-fewest) against them. While they do have some holes in their defense--notably at cornerback and on a lack of consistency rushing the passer--this group has come together and leaned on their strength to keep most opposing passers in check. Contrary to their reputation from 2018, the Broncos have done a decent job at limiting production from opposing tight ends--including holding Hunter Henry to just two catches for 10 yards a couple of weeks ago. Travis Kelce had little success against the Broncos in Week 7, but the Patrick Mahomes injury certainly threw a wrench in things that week. Tyreek Hill, on the other hand, had a nice game as he racked up 74 yards and a touchdown in his last outing against Denver. Hill should again have to contend with the tight coverage of Chris Harris Jr though, making for a difficult matchup for the speedster. Breaking big plays against these top-notch Broncos safeties could also be a challenge this week, as they have contributed to giving up the sixth-fewest passing plays of 20 or more yards (35).

Chiefs vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (+0.1)18 (+0.1)21 (+0.5)19 (+0.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-5.9)3 (-5.9)4 (-4.9)6 (-4.9)
11Philip Rivers8028523531400017.717.716.119.1
13Derek Carr6020302221237013.813.811.611.6
14Tom Brady67193616911220013.513.511.811.8

Drew Lock (FanDuel: $7400, DraftKings: $5700)

13vs LAC57182813421315015.215.213.913.9
14@ HOU592227309313150282824.927.9
15PROJ-Dodds22342411.21.1280. (H=37)17.2 (H=48)
15PROJ-Tremblay22352381.21.1280.1171717.0 (H=36)17.0 (H=47)
15PROJ-Bloom18312041.513150.117.317.317.3 (H=37)17.3 (H=48)

Chiefs vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+5.8)32 (+6.4)31 (+5.9)32 (+7.5)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20 (+0.9)25 (+3.0)24 (+2.0)26 (+4.3)
11Austin Ekeler465240128108013.
11Melvin Gordon4214690532109.012.010.512.0
13Josh Jacobs34171040000010.410.410.413.4
13DeAndre Washington15250334404.
14James White416330752707.812.89.912.4
14Brandon Bolden2110100007.

Phillip Lindsay (FanDuel: $6400, DraftKings: $5600)

12@ BUF271357031.01106.
13vs LAC251758033.0406.
14@ HOU311651122.04011.513.512.513.5
15PROJ-Dodds15720.42.818011.414.212.8 (H=25)14.2 (H=35)
15PROJ-Tremblay15700.42.41601113.412.2 (H=23)13.4 (H=31)
15PROJ-Bloom16700. (H=21)12.6 (H=28)

Royce Freeman (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $4000)

12@ BUF28220022.0902.
13vs LAC32511044.01302.
14@ HOU27824022.0819.
15PROJ-Dodds7310.12.8180. (H=12)8.9 (H=22)
15PROJ-Tremblay6260.12.5170.15.586.8 (H=10)8.0 (H=18)
15PROJ-Bloom6190. (H=5)5.9 (H=10)

Devontae Booker (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

12@ BUF300000.000000.00.0
13vs LAC000000.000000.00.0
14@ HOU200022.02402.
15PROJ-Dodds0001.0700.71.71.2 (H=0)1.7 (H=1)
15PROJ-Tremblay0201.51101.32.82.0 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
15PROJ-Bloom0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Chiefs vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4 (-4.8)2 (-7.5)2 (-6.1)2 (-8.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-6.2)3 (-9.4)3 (-8.6)3 (-10.8)
11Keenan Allen7112871100013.
11Mike Williams74527600007.
13Zay Jones42321400001.
13Keelan Doss33111100001.
14Julian Edelman6612895118016.324.320.324.3
14Jakobi Meyers38313500003.

Courtland Sutton (FanDuel: $7000, DraftKings: $5900)

12@ BUF5081.02700002.
13vs LAC5654.074200019.423.421.423.4
14@ HOU5775.03400003.
15PROJ-Dodds5.4800.400010.415.813.1 (H=24)15.8 (H=40)
15PROJ-Tremblay5.9860.402011.217.114.2 (H=28)17.1 (H=46)
15PROJ-Bloom5.0760.600011.216.213.7 (H=26)16.2 (H=42)

Tim Patrick (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $3500)

12@ BUF3231.0300000.
13vs LAC3220.000000000.00.0
14@ HOU3732.0500000576.07.0
15PROJ-Dodds2.1280.10003.45.54.5 (H=5)5.5 (H=10)
15PROJ-Tremblay2.1280.10003.45.54.5 (H=5)5.5 (H=10)
15PROJ-Bloom2.0310.20004.36.35.3 (H=6)6.3 (H=13)

DaeSean Hamilton (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3300)

12@ BUF3310.000000000.00.0
13vs LAC3732.01200001.
14@ HOU4442.03600003.
15PROJ-Dodds1.4160.10002.23.62.9 (H=2)3.6 (H=5)
15PROJ-Tremblay1.2140.100023.22.6 (H=2)3.2 (H=4)
15PROJ-Bloom2.0220.10002.84.83.8 (H=4)4.8 (H=9)

Diontae Spencer (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3000)

12@ BUF511.000000010.51.0
13vs LAC200.000000000.00.0
14@ HOU200.000000000.00.0
15PROJ-Dodds0.6700000.71.31.1 (H=0)1.4 (H=1)
15PROJ-Tremblay0.8100.10101.72.52.2 (H=1)2.6 (H=3)

Chiefs vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+0.6)28 (+2.5)27 (+1.7)28 (+2.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+1.7)26 (+3.6)26 (+3.3)27 (+5.1)
11Hunter Henry61966906.912.911.914.9
13Darren Waller5597100010.017.013.520.0
14Matt LaCosse54421401.

Noah Fant (FanDuel: $5700, DraftKings: $4100)

12@ BUF3753.01401.
13vs LAC4131.0500.
14@ HOU2944.0113117.321.319.324.3
15PROJ-Dodds2.8360. (H=8)7.6 (H=16)
15PROJ-Tremblay2.7320. (H=7)7.1 (H=14)
15PROJ-Bloom3.0410. (H=11)8.9 (H=21)

Jeff Heuerman (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2600)

12@ BUF1600.000000.00.0
13vs LAC2853.01501.
14@ HOU3011.0816.
15PROJ-Dodds1.6150. (H=2)3.7 (H=7)
15PROJ-Tremblay1.4120. (H=2)3.2 (H=5)
15PROJ-Bloom1. (H=1)2.3 (H=3)

Andrew Beck (FanDuel: $4200, DraftKings: $2500)

12@ BUF911.01801.
13vs LAC1611.01101.
14@ HOU2011.02902.
15PROJ-Dodds0.7700.71.41.0 (H=0)1.4 (H=1)
15PROJ-Tremblay0.7700.71.41.0 (H=0)1.4 (H=1)
15PROJ-Bloom1.01301.32.31.8 (H=1)2.3 (H=3)

Chiefs vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8T (-0.8)8T (-0.8)7 (-1.1) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-1.3)9 (-1.3)7T (-1.7) (+0.0)
11Mike Badgley34009910.010.0
13Daniel Carlson1201333.03.0
14Nick Folk1211444.04.0

Brandon McManus (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

12@ BUF1100334.04.0
13vs LAC3322111115.015.0
14@ HOU1155888.08.0

Chiefs vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)6 (-2.2)6 (-2.2)5 (-3.2)5 (-3.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-3.5)3 (-3.5)5 (-3.8)5 (-3.8)
11Los Angeles Chargers2431011000333.03.0
13Oakland Raiders4025910000110.00.0
14New England Patriots2334611100557.07.0

Denver Broncos (FanDuel: $3800, DraftKings: $2000)

12@ BUF20.0042411000334.04.0
13vs LAC20.0035931100778.08.0
14@ HOU24.0041432101212117.017.0
15PROJ-Dodds28.103912.20.80.500.3666.0 (H=11)6.0 (H=22)
15PROJ-Tremblay29.253882.40.90.500. (H=12)6.2 (H=23)

Broncos vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-3.1)6 (-3.1)9 (-2.8)6 (-3.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+5.0)23 (+4.9)25 (+4.5)23 (+4.5)
11Kirk Cousins6329353193021028.128.122.926.9
12Josh Allen80152518521956021.921.920.020.0
13Philip Rivers6620292652100020.320.317.617.6
14Deshaun Watson80285029212644233.

Patrick Mahomes (FanDuel: $8300, DraftKings: $7100)

13vs OAK66152917510325121.321.319.519.5
14@ NE7826402831166017.817.814.914.9
15PROJ-Dodds23372912.10.83150. (H=60)24.2 (H=70)
15PROJ-Tremblay23372842.10.93140.123.723.723.7 (H=57)23.7 (H=67)
15PROJ-Bloom24332932.10.73120. (H=59)24.1 (H=69)

Broncos vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-0.9)14 (-0.6)12 (-1.0)12 (-0.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (-1.1)17 (-0.9)15 (-1.9)16 (-1.2)
11Dalvin Cook51112616531011.716.714.216.7
11Ameer Abdullah8150221101.
12Devin Singletary57211060218011.412.411.915.4
12Frank Gore231565000006.
13Austin Ekeler3591605451112.716.714.716.7
13Melvin Gordon43209903211011.
14Carlos Hyde411473032507.
14Duke Johnson42150864004.510.57.510.5

LeSean McCoy (FanDuel: $6100, DraftKings: $4400)

13vs OAK24510133.020091210.512.0
14@ NE241139031.0404.
15PROJ-Dodds10400.32.0140. (H=14)9.8 (H=23)
15PROJ-Tremblay7300.31.41005.87.26.5 (H=8)7.2 (H=13)
15PROJ-Bloom11410.42.0100. (H=15)10.1 (H=24)

Damien Williams (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $4800)

13vs OAK000000.000000.00.0
14@ NE000000.000000.00.0
15PROJ-Dodds6240.31.31105.36.66.0 (H=7)6.6 (H=10)
15PROJ-Tremblay8300.30.9705.56.46.0 (H=7)6.4 (H=10)
15PROJ-Bloom0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Darwin Thompson (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $4100)

13vs OAK241144100.00010.410.410.410.4
14@ NE2147054.03604.
15PROJ-Dodds6210.12.0140. (H=7)6.7 (H=13)
15PROJ-Tremblay3100.12.3170. (H=6)6.2 (H=11)
15PROJ-Bloom4110.13.0250. (H=8)7.8 (H=17)

Spencer Ware (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $3100)

14@ NE31511021.0-900.
15PROJ-Dodds3120.10.9602. (H=5)
15PROJ-Tremblay3130.10.9702. (H=5)
15PROJ-Bloom5170. (H=10)

Broncos vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-3.0)6 (-4.5)7 (-3.8)7 (-4.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+4.0)23 (+4.5)23 (+3.6)23 (+5.4)
11Stefon Diggs6255121100018.123.120.626.1
11Olabisi Johnson51963500003.
12Cole Beasley659676100013.619.616.619.6
12John Brown74423910009.911.910.911.9
13Keenan Allen636668100012.818.815.818.8
13Mike Williams5875117000011.716.714.219.7
14DeAndre Hopkins801371201112019.226.222.729.2
14Keke Coutee57856800006.811.87.310.8

Tyreek Hill (FanDuel: $7900, DraftKings: $7500)

13vs OAK5485.05501-405.110.17.610.1
14@ NE7186.062028071310.013.0
15PROJ-Dodds5.3800.615012.117.414.8 (H=26)17.4 (H=37)
15PROJ-Tremblay5.4790.614011.917.314.6 (H=26)17.3 (H=37)
15PROJ-Bloom6.0810.500011.117.114.1 (H=24)17.1 (H=36)

Sammy Watkins (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $4900)

13vs OAK4130.000000000.00.0
14@ NE7184.0500000597.09.0
15PROJ-Dodds3.9510.40007.511.49.5 (H=18)11.4 (H=27)
15PROJ-Tremblay4.0530.40107.811.89.8 (H=19)11.8 (H=29)
15PROJ-Bloom3.0370.20004.97.96.4 (H=9)7.9 (H=14)

Demarcus Robinson (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3200)

13vs OAK3800.000000000.00.0
14@ NE6221.01200001.
15PROJ-Dodds1.6210.10002.74.33.5 (H=3)4.3 (H=7)
15PROJ-Tremblay1.2160.10002.23.42.8 (H=2)3.4 (H=5)
15PROJ-Bloom1.0130.10001.92.92.4 (H=2)2.9 (H=3)

Mecole Hardman (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $4000)

13vs OAK2600.0001900.
14@ NE1411.048100010.811.811.311.8
15PROJ-Dodds1.3200.10002.63.93.4 (H=2)4.0 (H=5)
15PROJ-Tremblay0.8130.101022.82.5 (H=1)2.9 (H=3)
15PROJ-Bloom2.0440.5150.18.510.59.6 (H=17)10.6 (H=29)

Broncos vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-1.1)13 (-0.6)11 (-0.8)12 (-0.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (+0.2)19 (+0.7)19 (+0.5)18 (+0.6)
11Kyle Rudolph555567112.717.715.217.7
12Tyler Kroft25111401.
13Hunter Henry50321001.
14Jordan Akins51944904.

Travis Kelce (FanDuel: $7300, DraftKings: $6500)

13vs OAK6195.090091411.514.0
14@ NE7797.0660132014.519.0
15PROJ-Dodds5.9760.510.616.513.6 (H=25)16.5 (H=39)
15PROJ-Tremblay5.8740.510.416.213.3 (H=24)16.2 (H=38)
15PROJ-Bloom6.0790.510.916.913.9 (H=26)16.9 (H=41)

Broncos vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+0.8)24 (+0.8)26 (+1.3) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13T (-0.3)13T (-0.3)14T (-0.4) (+0.0)
11Dan Bailey0033333.03.0
12Steve Hauschka2222888.08.0
13Mike Badgley2322889.09.0
14Kaimi Fairbairn1133668.08.0

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

13vs OAK11558810.010.0
14@ NE3322111113.013.0

Broncos vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-0.8)11 (-0.8)9T (+0.2)9T (+0.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)6T (-2.7)6T (-2.7)9 (-1.9)9 (-1.9)
11Minnesota Vikings2339421000444.04.0
12Buffalo Bills3134410006613.013.0
13Los Angeles Chargers2321801000222.02.0
14Houston Texans3839111000332.02.0

Kansas City Chiefs (FanDuel: $3900, DraftKings: $3500)

13vs OAK9.0033222101141420.020.0
14@ NE16.0027831000558.08.0
15PROJ-Dodds18.103392.41.10.700.510.710.710.7 (H=31)10.7 (H=34)
15PROJ-Tremblay17.753462.31.10.800.510.810.810.8 (H=31)10.8 (H=35)