This is it.
We get 1 more game for the NFL season. One more time to get our NFL fantasy fix before September (or August, if you dabble in the preseason stuff).
Of course, the fact that we only have 1 game and 2 teams means that all we have left is 1 more showdown.
It’s tough to imagine the winning lineups in that format not including Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, and there are several other fairly obvious candidates. But we’ll need to find some way(s) to differentiate. Let’s start with the value charts ...
Blake Bell, Mecole Hardman and Kyle Juszczyk look like the most interesting cheap bets. Bell pops to the top of the list because of his sub-$1,000 salary on DK and his recent target increase. The TE had seen 2+ looks in 4 straight games before going without a target in the win over Tennessee. But his playing time remained solid: 30 snaps, 44% of the team total; right in line with the previous 4 games. The Niners figure to key on Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in coverage, and they tied for the league’s fewest pass plays of 20+ yards allowed this season. So it wouldn’t be shocking to see a bit more work for a shorter-range target such as Bell.
Hardman could help on that front as well. He looks like a long-range target (20.7 yards per catch for the season) and certainly has that ability, but his average depth of target has actually been the shortest among Chiefs wideouts. According to Pro Football Focus, only Hardman (9.80) falls short of 10 yards in that category among Kansas City WRs. Of course, that speed obviously boosts the chances of a big run after the catch.
Hardman drew just 1 target in the win over Tennessee, but his playing time leaped to 40% of the team’s offensive snaps. He played his largest share and most snaps in that game since Week 11 (which Hill left early). It’s also worth noting that Hardman drew a 41-yard PI call in the 4th quarter.
On the other side, FB Kyle Juszczyk could be a secret weapon. The Chiefs allowed the 4th-most receptions and most receiving yards to RBs on the year. They also allowed the 3rd-most receptions to TEs. Juszczyk is a bit of both. And although he’s not a safe bet for targets, he has caught 3+ passes in 3 of 14 games this year. He also caught 30 and 33 passes in his previous 2 Niners seasons. So they’re not afraid to use him at times.
As usual, the FanDuel side looks far less interesting because of the lack of salary separation and no salary multiplier in the “MVP” spot. Beyond the players mentioned in the DK section, the matchup looks good for WR Kendrick Bourne as a cheap consideration. Keep in mind, though, that Bourne’s playing time has dipped over the past 3 games, including his 2 smallest snap totals of the year. Bourne sandwiched his 3-40-1 receiving line against the Vikings between 2 games of 1 target or fewer. So he’s no safer a bet for work than the guys we discussed above.
Samuel pops here and also gets a positive individual matchup in coverage, according to PFF’s grading chart.