Sorry for the late publication of this article. I am guessing if you are reading this with about 1 hour before kickoff of the early games, you already have your mind made up. However, NFL DFS can be a very fickle thing and usually questionable tags of star players can change our feelings about the slate quite drastically once you learn of their active/inactive status right before kickoff.
After running my numbers yesterday, I am convinced that we don't over think the slate today or get too cute. With that said, stick with the best and highest paid QB in all of the universe: Patrick Mahomes. Let me list the reasons why Mahomes should be your "MaHomie" today.
- No other team has such a wide disparity in rank between offense and defense. This is great for NFL DFS since it means every game they play is a track meet. Right now the Chiefs offense rank 5th in points scored and 4th in yards gained while the Chiefs defense ranks 32nd in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed. On Football Outsiders, the Chiefs' offensive in DVOA is 1st but their defensive DVOA is dead last. Let that sink in a little bit. I don't believe in the history of DVOA that we have ever seen such a wide disparity in quality between a team's offense and defense.
- The Chiefs have turned over the ball 16 times so far this season. That is the 2nd highest total in the NFL. This means they are always giving the opposition to chance to score on short fields which ultimately means the Chiefs are constantly playing with a sense of urgency.
- The Chiefs still have great offensive weapons. There is nothing wrong with Mahomes arm nor is there anything wrong with WR Tyreek Hill or TE Travis Kelce. All of them have put up strong numbers this season.
- Where the Chiefs offensive line is still doing its job of protecting Mahomes even though the game last week against Buffalo may indicate otherwise. According to Football Outsiders, the Chiefs offensive line is 2nd best at adjusted sack rate allowed. They are also top 10 in most run blocking metrics.
- The Chiefs are 2-3. No way can they go 2-3 and expect to get back to the playoffs. Remember, this is a team that has won the AFC title 2 years in a row and could have won it 3 years in a row. Of course they have had a tough schedule as they should being one of the top teams in the league for quite some time.
- The Chiefs' opponent, Washington Football Team, has a decent offense ranked in the top 15 but a defense just as disappointing as the Chiefs'.
With all of that said, Mahomes will serve as the foundation of our DFS build. Who do we pair with Mahomes? Take your pick between Hill and Kelce. I wouldn't do both since you will need enough salary for other positions but you will need one of them. Keep this in mind: when the Chiefs win this season, Hill blows up. If you expect the Chiefs to win today, then Hill is your guy. Otherwise, go with Kelce. On the way back, go with WFT WR Terry McLaurin. Again, don't get cute here.
There should be plenty of value elsewhere such Khalil Herbert, Devontae Booker, Jonathan Taylor, Joe Mixon, Kareem Hunt, and Darrell Henderson. You can also go with a trio of Chiefs with Mahomes, Hill/Kelce, and new starting Chiefs RB Darrel Williams. You can also find some cheap plays at WR. Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon are enticing but we should not have too many Chiefs players. Amon-Ra St. Brown is another cheap flyer who has received 8 targets for each of the last two weeks for Detroit.
While I like Mark Andrews as TE, you could go cheaper with Donald Parham of the Chargers. All he does is catch TDs and should be targeted often in the red zone with WR Mike Williams banged up. He is below $3K on DraftKings which is awesome value. Jared Cook is also viable and cheap and might see an increase in targets.
For DST, avoid the Rams. While I think they should win convincingly against an injury depleted NY Giants team, the cross country travel can be brutal. I would much prefer the Broncos who are facing the Raiders, a team dealing with so much turmoil right now. I also like Dallas given that the Patriots offensive line still dealing with injuries.
Here are some sample lineups with your boy Mahomes and the QB on the other side, Taylor Heinicke. Good luck!