The Denver Broncos will be able to start a real-life quarterback under center this week. That’s an improvement. And on the other sideline? Patrick Mahomes.
The Kansas City Chiefs (10-1) edged the Buccaneers last week, 27-24. But that score is misleading; this was domination for most of the day. KC led 17-0 after the first quarter and 27-10 heading into the fourth. The Bucs chose to begin the game by defending Tyreek Hill one-on-one with no safety help. They chose poorly. Hill exploded for the biggest fantasy stat line by a wide receiver since 2000, catching 13 of 15 targets for 269 yards and three touchdowns. That obviously helped Mahomes put up another fat box score, complete with a season-high 462 passing yards and those three TDs. With the Mahomes-to-Hill connection proving to be unstoppable, there wasn’t much meat on the bone for the Chiefs’ other skill players. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for just 37 yards on 11 carries. Travis Kelce’s 8-82-0 line looks nice, but it was actually his second-worst fantasy output since Week 4.
The Broncos (4-7) weren’t quite as successful on offense in Week 12. Of course, since they were starting a “quarterback” who had zero practice reps and had not played quarterback full time since 2017 at Wake Forest, that was to be expected. Hinton threw nine passes. Two of them were picked off. Two more should have been picked off. Denver totaled 112 yards of offense, three turnovers and one pass completion. Royce Freeman amassed nearly half of the Broncos’ yards as he gained 50 yards on eight carries while often lining up as the QB on Wildcat plays. Melvin Gordon III paced the team in touches with 12 carries for 31 yards. Phillip Lindsay picked up 20 yards on nine carries.
Date: Sunday, Dec. 6
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Broncos: #30 Overall — #32 offense, #10 defense, #24 special teams
Chiefs: #4 Overall — #1 offense, #17 defense, #23 special teams
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Tim Patrick, WR, $4,200
You can forget anything and everything that happened with the Broncos’ offense last week. When they’ve had a real QB under center, Patrick has been pretty productive. He reached double-digit fantasy points in six of seven games from Weeks 3-11. The Chiefs’ defense presents a difficult matchup, but in what should be a pass-heavy game script, Patrick will have plenty of chances to return value. His DraftKings price has fallen $700 from last week.
Noah Fant, TE, $4,000
The last two lead tight ends to face KC, Darren Waller and Rob Gronkowski, came away with 21.8 and 16.6 DraftKings points, respectively. Fant has plenty of big-game potential with his size and athleticism; he just needs the targets. Again, in a pass-first game for Denver, he should get a bunch of them.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, $6,100
CE-H hasn’t been the RB1-type player we saw during the first half of the year. His carries and yards have fallen to alarmingly low levels in recent games. Likewise, he has caught a single pass in each of the past two weeks. However, he has still scored three times in three weeks and is facing a Broncos team that was pounded into submission by the Raiders’ and Saints’ ground games in Weeks 11 and 12, respectively. Stick with the rookie.
Tyreek Hill, WR, $9,100
Hill’s ridiculous performance last week shouldn’t overshadow that he has been on quite a run over his last four games. During that time, he caught 37 passes for 582 yards and scored eight touchdowns. That’s a good season for some; that’s a month for Tyreek. Hill had a rather modest line against the Broncos in Week 7 — 6-55-1. The only question for DraftKings players with Hill this week is: Do you want to roster him at this price? It’s the highest for any WR on the slate and a $1,300 jump for Hill. Considering his recent performances and any defense’s inability to slow him down, the answer should still be “Yes.”