Monday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Kansas City vs. Philadelphia

Monday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Kansas City vs. Philadelphia

This article is part of our Showdown/Single Game DFS Breakdown series.

It's not often that we're treated to as good of a matchup as Monday Night Football's showdown between the Eagles and Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium – a game that could very well end up being the Super Bowl matchup for the 2023 season. Both teams are reasonably healthy, the main exception being the absence of the excellent Dallas Goedert for Philadelphia, but the Eagles offense should remain strong enough to still boast heavy firepower. They might need to call on all of it in this game, both because the Chiefs defense makes opponents work for their points and because the Chiefs offense tends to force opponents to play catch-up. Even if the Chiefs are the general Super Bowl favorite and even if Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the NFL (he is), the Eagles are nonetheless a uniquely threatening team. Despite having the home-field advantage the Chiefs are only favored by 2.5 points, and the over/under is at a surprisingly modest 45.5. It's possible the over/under is informed somewhat by weather concerns – they might be some sort of rain presence come game time, though that's a matter that won't be known until right before game time.

QUARTERBACK

Jalen Hurts ($11000 DK, $16500 FD) has struggled with interceptions in 2023 but overall has remained a clearly elite fantasy asset, producing 21.9 fantasy points or more in all but one of his nine games. Moreover, Hurts was red-hot going into the bye, throwing for 526 yards, six touchdowns and zero

It's not often that we're treated to as good of a matchup as Monday Night Football's showdown between the Eagles and Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium – a game that could very well end up being the Super Bowl matchup for the 2023 season. Both teams are reasonably healthy, the main exception being the absence of the excellent Dallas Goedert for Philadelphia, but the Eagles offense should remain strong enough to still boast heavy firepower. They might need to call on all of it in this game, both because the Chiefs defense makes opponents work for their points and because the Chiefs offense tends to force opponents to play catch-up. Even if the Chiefs are the general Super Bowl favorite and even if Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the NFL (he is), the Eagles are nonetheless a uniquely threatening team. Despite having the home-field advantage the Chiefs are only favored by 2.5 points, and the over/under is at a surprisingly modest 45.5. It's possible the over/under is informed somewhat by weather concerns – they might be some sort of rain presence come game time, though that's a matter that won't be known until right before game time.

QUARTERBACK

Jalen Hurts ($11000 DK, $16500 FD) has struggled with interceptions in 2023 but overall has remained a clearly elite fantasy asset, producing 21.9 fantasy points or more in all but one of his nine games. Moreover, Hurts was red-hot going into the bye, throwing for 526 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions against Washington and Dallas. The challenge in maintaining that momentum might be the absence of Dallas Goedert, who of course is not as important as A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith yet is a leading contributor to Philadelphia's dominance all the same. Going to Arrowhead is almost always difficult for opposing quarterbacks, but Hurts tends to travel well.

Patrick Mahomes ($11200 DK, $17000 FD) might not outpace Hurts in fantasy scoring, be it on the season or in this game, but he remains the best player in the NFL and is especially dangerous at Arrowhead. Visiting quarterbacks almost always get worse at Arrowhead, but Mahomes is not subject to the wrath of whatever gods make Arrowhead such a cursed place for most other quarterbacks. The Eagles defense poses a uniquely frightening pass rush, but their secondary personnel has struggled a bit in 2023, especially after the injury to slot corner Avonte Maddox. The slot has been a problem area for the Eagles since then, a detail strained further by the fact that Travis Kelce tends to run in that region of the field. Without denying the due credit to the Eagles defense, it would be surprising if Mahomes truly struggled in this game.

RUNNING BACK

D'Andre Swift ($8400 DK, $13000 FD) hasn't posted any eye-catching numbers since Week 3, but the Eagles have fed him all the while and might lean on him even more than usual with Goedert out. Swift has 15 or more carries in five of the last seven games, and 25 receptions in that span. His projection benefits further from the likely fact that it's easier to run against the Chiefs than it is to pass. Kenneth Gainwell ($4400 DK, $8500 FD) continues to get the rest of the reps otherwise for reasons no one can seem to pin down – he must be funny or something.

Isiah Pacheco ($7200 DK, $11000 FD) has really cooled off in the five games following his dominant showing against the Jets in Week 4, but he remains the clear lead runner for the Chiefs and has been more active as a pass catcher this year than he was as a rookie. Jerick McKinnon ($5600 DK, $6500 FD) is still probably the better bet of the two to post receiving production specifically, though McKinnon is almost completely absent as a ballcarrier. Basically, the more the Chiefs run the better for Pacheco, and the more they throw the better for McKinnon. Of course, the two can coexist if the pie is big enough. Clyde Edwards-Helaire appears unlikely to play more than a few snaps, but he at least should be active for the game after sitting out last week with an illness.

WIDE RECEIVER + TIGHT END

To fade Travis Kelce ($10000 DK, $14000 FD) in this contest might be to bet on a loss for the Chiefs, because other than a low-scoring game the only way the Chiefs can match the combined firepower of the Eagles pass catchers is for Kelce to put up a strong box score. The Chiefs have receivers who pop up from time to time, of course – Rashee Rice ($7400 DK, $10000 FD) being the latest, greatest hope at the position – but Rice's playing time and usage has been sapped by the rotation-heavy approach the Chiefs use at receiver, cycling in players like Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($3000 DK, $8500 FD) and Justin Watson ($2400 DK, $8000 FD) at Rice's expense, while to a lesser extent Skyy Moore ($3400 DK, $7500 FD), Kadarius Toney ($4200 DK, $8000 FD) and Mecole Hardman ($2800 DK, $7000 FD) do the same. It's not clear whether Richie James will have any offensive role, but he's poised to return from injury. It's also worth keeping in mind the presence of TE2 Noah Gray ($1800 DK, $5500 FD), who mostly does chore work but occasionally pops up as a pass catcher, a task in which he's capable despite the infrequent opportunities he sees.

A.J. Brown ($10200 DK, $15000 FD) has been so dominant in 2023 that he's making an MVP case as a receiver. Obviously Hurts is doing a great job at quarterback, but there's reason to believe Brown is the engine that makes this offense roar the particular way that it does. DeVonta Smith ($9000 DK, $12000 FD) is an excellent receiver in his own right and will likely have a good game here with Goedert out, yet Brown boasts nearly twice the receiving yardage of his esteemed teammate Smith. If Brown or Smith falter here then it seems unlikely that any of the depth receivers would step up to fill the void anywhere near as capably, but Julio Jones ($2600 DK, $7000 FD) and Olamide Zaccheaus ($1200 DK, $7500 FD) are next up at receiver. Jack Stoll ($3200 DK, $5500 FD) is the expected starter at tight end, but he is mostly a blocking specialist and might see fewer route/target opportunities than Grant Calcaterra, who makes for an interesting sleeper given that he's a far superior receiver to Stoll.

KICKER

Assuming the weather isn't too obnoxious, one or both of the kickers in this game might have fantasy viability.

Harrison Butker ($5000 DK, $9500 FD) has been perfect on all of his PATs and 18 field goal attempts this year, emphatically correcting his numbers after an injury-riddled struggle in the 2022 season. Butker has been a top-five kicker in the NFL for seven years now and at the moment he might be playing as well as ever.

Jake Elliott ($5200 DK, $9500 FD) isn't held as in quite as high of a regard as Butker, but Elliott has gained ground in recent years to establish himself as one of the league's very best kickers, too. He has the same number of field goals made (18) as Butker in 2023, but Elliott has two additional attempts and notably has twice as many attempts (six) from 50 or more yards as Butker. With that said, most of Elliott's production occurred in the first five weeks, as since then he has attempted just three field goals in four games.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

As harrowing as it might feel to pick a fantasy defense against either of these two elite squads, there is a chance that either offense struggles somewhat. Two good offenses often means a shootout, but two good defenses can bring forth a grinding struggle at other times.

Conventional reasoning would prefer the Chiefs ($3800 DK, $9000 FD) since they are the home favorite, though that the spread is less than 3.0 highlights how it is a perilous matchup all the same. Arrowhead is a uniquely difficult place for visiting offenses to function, and Hurts already has eight interceptions this year.

Mahomes having a truly bad game feels like it only happens once every two years or so, and at home isn't the most likely place for whatever bad games he might have in the future. With that said, the Eagles ($4000 DK, $9000 FD) catch the Chiefs with what might be their worst offense to this point in Mahomes' reign, with wide receiver in particular a weak spot relative to previous seasons. The Eagles' front four is potentially the best in the league, so Mahomes will need his standout offensive line to neutralize that rush.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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