Both the Chiefs and Buccaneers are coming off losses and looking to stay above .500. Both teams are dealing with injuries to their skill position players. They are likely to have some of them miss creating a massive opportunity for this showdown contest. The Buccaneers defense has held each opponent under 20 points to begin the season. They have also forced a turnover in each game. On the other side, the Chiefs have not allowed under 20 points.
Vegas Line: Buccaneers -1
Over / Under: 46
Chiefs: K Harrison Butker (Questionable), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Questionable).
Buccaneers: WR Russell Gage (Questionable), WR Julio Jones (Questionable), WR Breshad Perriman (Doubtful), OT Donovan Smith (Questionable), DT Akiem Hicks (Out).
Data to Know Provided by TruMedia
Chiefs Offense vs. Buccaneers Defense
- Patrick Mahomes has averaged 7.9 yards per attempt, 7.8 air yards per attempt, and a 7.3% TD rate to begin the year.
- Only the Arizona Cardinals have blitzed Mahomes on over 30% of dropbacks this year. The Buccaneers have blitzed at a 30% rate this year.
- Against the blitz, Mahomes averages 6.6 yards per attempt, 8.9 air yards per attempt, and a 19.4% TD rate.
- The Buccaneers blitzed Aaron Rodgers on 44% of dropbacks last weekend. If that happens again, Mahomes will have plenty of chances to make big plays.
- The Buccaneers have utilized zone coverage on over 80% of plays the first two weeks of the season, but only 68% of plays against Rodgers.
- Travis Kelce leads the team with over a 20% target share vs. man and the blitz.
- Against Man coverage, he is averaging 2.54 yards per route run.
- Juju Smith-Schuster leads the team in target share vs. Zone Coverage with a 22.6% target share and 2.04 yards per route run.
- Without Marquez Valdes-Scantling, it will be between Justin Watson and Skyy Moore who will be the player that steps up.
- Watson has run double the routes Moore has this season. If Valdes-Scantling cannot play, I expect Watson to be the full-time player.
- The backfield is a committee, and nobody stands out in this matchup.
- Jerick McKinnon has run the same or more routes in every game and has had similar red zone and goal line touches to Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been able to find the end zone, and that correlates to his production.
- The Buccaneers are the best team in the NFL against RBs, and I expect that to stay the case in this matchup.
Buccaneers Offense vs. Chiefs Defense
- Tom Brady needs the return of his top weapons to start producing at a high level again.
- Without Mike Evans and Chris Godwin on the field, Brady averages 6.4 yards per attempt, 8.5 air yards per attempt, and a 3.5% touchdown rate.
- With at least one on the field, Brady averages the same air yards per attempt but 7.6 yards per attempt and a 6.4% touchdown rate.
- Factor in Julio Jones and Russell Gage, and Brady will have the complement of weapons to deliver the ball downfield.
- The Chiefs have played zone on over 70% of plays in two of the three games they won, and in the game they lost, they played 60% zone.
- Evans will be the lead player in the offense coming off suspension, and in the two games he has played this year, he has averaged 3.1 and 2.7 yards per route run.
- Godwin coming off the hamstring injury is not the player I will get to,
- Jones returning would intrigue me more than Godwin because Jones received rush attempts and was the first read on multiple plays.
- If Godwin and Jones miss this game, I like Gage as the WR opposite Evans, as he led the team in target share and yards per route run last weekend.
- Cameron Brate is the only tight end that has run over 60% of the routes this year. Nobody has been a threat to his role in the offense.
- In his first week with the team, Cole Beasley ran a route on 13% of dropbacks, and Scotty Miller handled 84% of the routes.
- Leonard Fournette is the only RB of interest, as he is the clear workhorse back in the offense.
- The Chiefs are coming off a week holding Jonathan Taylor to only 3.4 yards per carry, as well as Austin Ekeler to 2.8. They are not the same run defense they have been in recent years.
- This Chiefs’ front will test the interior offensive line for the Buccaneers, and if they can hold, they will get the ball down the field and through the air.
Chiefs vs. Buccaneers Multiplier Pool
- Patrick Mahomes
- There aren’t many spots when Mahomes is under $12,000 on a showdown slate. He is in a spot where I believe he gets blitzed and can throw for multiple touchdowns.
- Travis Kelce
- Kelce isn’t in the most favorable matchup but can beat anybody in coverage and is Mahomes’ favorite target.
- Leonard Fournette
- Fournette gets a ton of the work, and the receivers will help them move the ball and give him more opportunities to get his first rushing touchdown of the year.
- Mike Evans
- Coming off the week of rest from the suspension, I expect Evans to get right back to being the favorite target of Tom Brady.
- Mike Williams dominated this Chiefs secondary with his size, and Evans will look to do the same.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster
- Smith-Schuster is averaging 1.89 yards per route run with a 20% target per route run to begin the year. The problem is he only has a 3% target share vs. the Blitz.
- If you don’t believe the Buccaneers bring pressure, Smith-Schuster is a play in your lineups.
- Justin Watson
- At $800, if Valdes-Scantling is out, that opens up a big role in the offense, and Watson knows what to expect from the Buccaneers’ defense as he initially played for the team. This play allows you to get a lot of the top-end options.
Chiefs vs. Buccaneers FLEX Pool
- Tom Brady
- I will put at least two pass-catchers in every Brady build, and Fournette is included in that thought process.
- Julio Jones
- Jones looked fantastic in this offense in Week 1. But with his injury, it is interesting to see if he plays and how much he plays. Jones is only a flex play for me because of that.
- Russell Gage
- Gage has taken on a bigger role without Godwin. If Godwin goes, I will not be playing Gage.
- Mecole Hardman
- Hardman has been the deep target averaging 12 air yards per attempt and has been a target for Mahomes when blitzed at a 19% target share.
- Chiefs DST
- This is a different Chiefs’ defense, and with how talented their interior defensive line is, I expect them to get pressure through the middle and not allow Brady to have a comfortable pocket.
- Harrison Butker
- Injury news is essential to pay attention to; if he plays, he’s a good showdown option.
- Ryan Succop
- The Buccaneers don’t have the healthiest group at WR and could struggle in the red zone, resulting in Succop field goals.
- Cameron Brate
- A full-time role in the offense and is Brady’s tight end. Brate is touchdown-dependent, but the returning weapons could have him overlooked near the goal-line.
- Buccaneers DST
- The Buccaneers are at home and favorites, and their defense is the cheapest.
- They have also been a top-scoring fantasy defense thanks to Jameis Winston with his turnovers for touchdowns. But overall, they have played exceptionally well and can potentially continue that against Mahomes.