Fantasy football advice for Chiefs vs. Raiders, Week 18

Most fantasy football leagues don’t play into Week 18, but some do. If your league has wrapped up, there’s always DFS fantasy football. There are plenty of good plays this week for Saturday’s Kansas City Chiefs/Las Vegas Raiders matchup. Let’s take a look.

*Projections from our colleagues at The Huddle

QB Patrick Mahomes

KAP Photo-Rick Scuteri

Even if Mahomes has a poor performance on Saturday he will finish as the top fantasy quarterback of 2022. It’s not likely that he’ll have a poor performance, especially since he has a great matchup against the No. 29 ranked Raiders’ passing defense.

Mahomes has plenty of incentives to play for in this game, most notably for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. He also needs 430 passing yards to set the all-time record for most passing yards in a single season. Mahomes can also set the record for the most total offensive yards in a single season with 186.

RBs Isiah Pacheco/Jerick McKinnon

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Pacheco’s rushing yardage totals have been mild over his last two games, but he did get into the endzone last week. He has scored double-digit fantasy totals in each of his last seven games and has led the team in carries since Week 10. Pacheco remains a solid RB2.

McKinnon is one of the hottest players in the NFL, hitting paydirt eight times in his last five games. He has been lethal as a receiver and although he doesn’t get a ton of carries, he’s more than capable when called upon. McKinnon is a must-start.

WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster/Mecole Hardman/Marquez Valdes-Scantling/Kadarius Toney

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The Chiefs’ receiving corps could finally be back to full strength if Hardman is active for this game. He was lifted off injured reserve this week, but the Chiefs may hold him out of game action until the playoffs. Even if he plays, he’ll likely only get a few snaps to knock some rust off.

It’s been a disappointing last two weeks for Smith-Schuster, who has just five catches for 48 yards during that span. Even more puzzling is that he was only targeted seven times. The emergence of McKinnon has probably played a little bit of a role in Smith-Schuster’s dip in production, but it shouldn’t be to this extent. He’s a decent flex play this week given the matchup.

Mahomes and Valdes-Scantling haven’t been able to get into much of a groove all season. Whether it’s been Mahomes missing him by a yard or two or Valdes-Scantling dropping the ball, it just hasn’t worked out. Outside of a couple of plays Valdes-Scantling’s first season in K.C. has been a disappointment and he should not be considered for any lineups.

Toney got more involved in the action last week, catching four balls for 71 yards. He’s still not logging very many snaps, but he makes the most of his opportunities when the ball comes his way. The big play potential is there, but it would be very risky to put Toney in your lineup.

TE Travis Kelce

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Like Mahomes, Kelce will comfortably finish first at his position in fantasy. Back in Week 5 Kelce destroyed the Raiders in the redzone, catching four touchdown passes. He should finish the season strong against a weak Raiders’ secondary. He needs 117 yards to set a new personal best for receiving yards in a season.

Chiefs' defense/special teams

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The Chiefs’ defense has steadily been a middle-of-the-pack unit in fantasy this season. It has rarely strayed away from its 22.3 points per game allowed average and has been fairly consistent in getting sacks week-to-week. The lowest point total fantasy-wise the Chiefs’ defense has had this season came against the Raiders.

Even with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, the Raider offense can be explosive. While also factoring in the unpredictability of an AFC West rivalry game, the Chiefs’ defense shouldn’t be in any lineups.

K Harrison Butker

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Butker still having woes this late in the season is very concerning. He has not been on the same page with the placeholder Tommy Townsend and is now dealing with back spasms.

It’s strange to say after all the years of success he’s had and the fact that he’s paired with the explosive Chiefs’ offense, but Butker just can’t be trusted anymore. I would recommend looking elsewhere for kicking options.

QB Jarrett Stidham

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Stidham was one of the surprises of Week 17, throwing for 365 yards and three touchdowns against a good San Fransisco 49ers’ defense. That performance could be attributed to Stidham being in coach Josh McDaniels’ system for four years, going back to their days with the New England Patriots.

Stidham could be auditioning to at least be in the mix for the Raiders’ starting QB job next season. The Chiefs’ passing defense has been a mixed bag this season and doesn’t for a lot of turnovers, making Stidham a sneakily solid play this week. He will be a good value in DFS.

RBs Josh Jacobs/Zamir White/Brandon Bolden

AP Photo-David Becker

Jacobs is obviously a must-start as he leads the NFL in rushing, but he is questionable to play in this game with a hip injury.

If he doesn’t suit up for this game backups Zamir White and Brandon Bolden could rotate as his replacement. Neither has seen much work this season, both with 66 yards on 16 and 17 carries respectively. Neither should be considered for a fantasy lineup.

WRs Davante Adams/Mack Hollins

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The QB change didn’t have an impact on Adams last week as he caught seven passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Adams is having yet another dominant season, leading the NFL in touchdown receptions with 14. He’s obviously a must-start.

Way back in Week 3, Hollins had a huge game with eight receptions for 158 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had more than 65 receiving yards in a game since. He would be a solid option if Adams ever had to miss time, but with Adams and tight end Darren Waller on the field Hollins doesn’t produce much.

TE Darren Waller

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It’s been an injury-plagued season for Waller, but he has looked like his old self since returning to action. He has a touchdown in two of his last three games and is averaging 17.8 yards per reception during that span. Waller is a good start this week against a weak K.C. linebacker and safety unit.

Raiders' defense/special teams

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The Raiders’ defense is ranked 29th against the pass and has the third-fewest sacks in the NFL. It also has the second-fewest takeaways in the league. Simply put, there’s not much to praise about this defense and it definitely shouldn’t be considered for any lineups against the Chiefs’ top-ranked offense.

K Daniel Carlson

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Carlson has quietly had a great season, tied for second in the league with 32 field goals made. He has missed just three kicks on the season and has hit 34-or-35 extra point opportunities. This game could very well turn into a shootout, making Carlson one of the better starts at kicker this week.

Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire