Chargers vs. Chiefs: Picks, Lineup Tips for Daily Fantasy FanDuel, DraftKings

Joe TanseySeptember 15, 2022

Chargers vs. Chiefs: Picks, Lineup Tips for Daily Fantasy FanDuel, DraftKings

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    The Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs have high expectations to deliver another high-scoring game in the AFC West series on Thursday night.

    The Chargers and Chiefs combined for 116 points and 1,686 total yards in their two regular-season meetings a year ago. Both teams won inside their home stadiums.

    Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes started the 2022 season off on strong notes to add to the hype for the Week 2 opener. Herbert led the Chargers to 355 total yards and 24 points, while Mahomes guided the Chiefs to 488 total yards and 44 points.

    The two quarterbacks will be the starting points for many daily fantasy football lineups for Thursday's game.

    While those two have been constant fixtures in their offense, there are plenty of new faces to the divisional rivalry who could be crucial to placing your lineups in winning positions.

    Kansas City has a new set of wide receivers for Mahomes to work with, while Herbert will likely be without Keenan Allen, who suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1.

    The one thing that has not changed about the Chargers-Chiefs matchup is the depth of options to select for your FanDuel and DraftKings lineups.

Include JuJu Smith-Schuster In Kansas City Lineup Stack

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    Any Kansas City lineup stack begins with Patrick Mahomes, who will likely reside in the positions with point multipliers.

    Mahomes opened the 2022 season by going 30-for-39 for 360 passing yards and five touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals.

    JuJu Smith-Schuster emerged as Mahomes' No. 1 target in the reconfigured offense that needed a top wideout with Tyreek Hill now in Miami.

    Smith-Schuster caught six of his eight targets for 79 yards. No other Kansas City wide receiver had more than three catches.

    Of course, Smith-Schuster has to deal with Travis Kelce when it comes to target shares in the Kansas City passing game, but it is clear that the former Pittsburgh wideout is the top wide receiver for Mahomes to work with.

    Smith-Schuster's production compared to Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman was enough in Week 1 to give you confidence that he will put up high catch and yard totals as long as Mahomes goes off.

    Travis Kelce is the easy answer as to which player should be immediately stacked with Mahomes. Kelce had 121 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions in Week 1, and he has a strong track record against the Chargers.

    Kelce recorded two 100-yard performances against the Chargers last season, and he reached the 90-yard mark in four of his last five meetings with Los Angeles.

    You could choose to bypass Smith-Schuster for another Kansas City player to take advantage of a low roster percentage in DFS contests, but that may be too much of a risk given the Week 1 gap between Smith-Schuster and the rest of the wideouts.

Don't Overthink The Main Keenan Allen Replacement

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    The Chargers have a high-quality replacement for Keenan Allen staring us right in the face.

    There is no need to go deep down the Chargers depth chart to find Justin Herbert's new No. 1 target. Mike Williams is right in front of you.

    Williams is the most logical choice to replace Allen's production on Thursday night. Allen was ruled out of the contest with a hamstring injury.

    Williams produced seven catches on nine targets for 122 yards and two scores in Los Angeles' road game against the Chiefs last season. He followed that up with a 49-yard game at home in Week 15. Allen was on the field for both of those games.

    Williams may not receive enough fantasy buzz going into Week 2 because he had two receptions for 10 yards on Sunday.

    There was nothing wrong with Williams in Week 1. He was on the field for 93 percent of the Chargers' offensive snaps. He just did not earn many targets. That should change with Allen out of the lineup.

    DeAndre Carter, Jalen Guyton and Josh Palmer could get their share of targets from Herbert, but there is also a situation in which the Chargers quarterback relies heavily on Williams and Austin Ekeler in the passing game.

    With Williams, you at least know he will be on the field for most plays and is more than capable of being the No. 1 target. Carter, Guyton and Palmer come with too many question marks to be the first players paired with Herbert in a Chargers lineup stack.

Take Risk With Final Roster Spot

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    The Chargers and Chiefs clearly have a top three or four players to choose from for a DFS lineup stack.

    Herbert, Ekeler and Williams will be Los Angeles' main contributors, while Mahomes, Kelce, Smith-Schuster and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are expected to have high roster percentages from the Kansas City squad.

    You should take a risk with the final roster spot in your DFS lineup because there are some intriguing value plays on both rosters. That does not guarantee the success of those players, but they may separate you from other lineups because of low roster percentages.

    Gerald Everett may see more targets from the tight end spot for the Chargers. He had three catches on four targets, 54 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.

    One of Carter, Guyton or Palmer could go off, but if there is a lot of focus on them replacing Allen, the pivot may be to target Everett.

    Mecole Hardman may be the forgotten man in the Kansas City offense because of all the movement on the wide receiver depth chart. He found the end zone in Week 1, and he scored at home against Los Angeles last season.

    Isiah Pacheco and Joe Fortson are the true wild cards from the Kansas City offense. Each player scored in Week 1. Fortson scored on his lone catch of the game, while Pacheco had more carries than Edwards-Helaire.

    The other potential value play from Los Angeles' side would be tight end Tre' McKitty, who brought in three of his four targets in Week 1, but like Pacheco and Fortson, there is no guarantee that his production will transfer over to Week 2.

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