Thursday Night Football 2022 Fantasy Football Preview: The Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Week 2 Thursday Night Football Preview KC vs. LAC

This may be one of the biggest games at this point of the season with two of the biggest offensive powerhouses and divisional rivals in the AFC West squaring off in just two weeks. The Kansas City Chiefs will take on fellow divisional opponent, the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2 of the NFL 2022 season. The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and even without former Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, Mahomes didn’t look like he lost a step as he cooked the Arizona Cardinals’ defense for 360 passing yards and five touchdowns. Mahomes had a 76.9% completion percentage while averaging 9.2 y/a. Mahomes finished as the QB1 for Week 1 in fantasy.

On the other side, Justin Herbert has been on the ascension since he’s come into the NFL. Herbert already has one win against a division rival this season after Herbert and the Chargers smacked up the Las Vegas Raiders 24-19. Herbert had a day himself, throwing for 279 yards and three touchdowns with a 76.5% completion percentage. Herbert finished as the QB5 in Week 1 as well. Now Herbert has to take on Mahomes and the Chiefs and take the lead inside the division. But there’s more to it for that to happen and fantasy managers will be looking to start some of these guys in this Thursday night showdown.

The Breakdown

Heading into the Thursday night matchup, the Chiefs come into the game with the highest-scoring team in football. Yes, I know it’s just one week of football in the books but just roll with it. With the first overall offense in tow, the Chiefs under Patrick Mahomes will be tough to beat. The Chargers managed to hold the Raiders offense to just 19 points in Week 1 but with Mahomes’ ability to now spread the ball around to his pass catchers, it will make it that much more difficult for the Chargers defense to key in on one playmaker to stop.

As for the Chargers, their offense ranks ninth overall according to Pro Football Reference. Unfortunately, they’ll be down one receiver as Keenan Allen has been ruled OUT for the game with a hamstring injury. Allen went down during Week 1’s game against the Raiders and he would not return. So with Allen unavailable, that will put more pressure on the Chargers’ offense to keep up with the Chiefs on the other side.

For fantasy managers, your locks should be obvious. Patrick Mahomes, Justin Hebert, Austin Ekeler, and Travis Kelce should all be in your lineups. No discussion really there as to why they shouldn’t be.

For the Chiefs, next up to be in your lineup to consider is Clyde Edwards-Helaire. CEH does have some appeal as he was able to produce on just receiving 10 total touches (7/42/ and 3/32/2). The con, however, is that the Chargers were able to play tough against the run giving up the fourth fewest rushing yards. Another con is that fellow running back Jerick McKinnon received the same amount of snaps the CEH did. Both backs finished Week 1 with 27 snaps (38.6% snap share). If this trend continues, as well as factoring in Isiah Pacheco making his case even in garbage time, could begin to eat away at CEH’s production.

For now, Clyde Edwards-Helaire looks like a low-end RB2 in PPR formats. At wide receiver, Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling look to be the Chiefs’ top two wide receivers based off of snaps. Marquez Valdez-Scantling led the Chiefs’ wide receivers in snaps with 51 with Juju Smith-Schuster coming in second with 46 snaps. Mecole Hardman came in third with 39 snaps. If you’re looking at who to start, both Juju and MVS hold more value. Both are WR2’s with Juju being a bit higher than MVS. If you are in a deeper league or can start three wide receivers in your lineup, MVS would get that WR3 spot.

For the Chargers, no Keenan Allen should mean that the other Chargers pass catchers should see more work starting with Mike Williams. Williams (as well as the rest of the Chargers’ wide receivers) saw just four targets in Week 1. That’s not likely to happen this time around as the Chargers will need all hands on deck. I wager that Mike Williams should be the number one target in this game. I have him in my lineups too so I’m riding this one.

Josh Palmer and Deandre Carter have been popular names on the waiver wire to add this week. Both should be more involved this time around as well but I’m leaning towards Josh Palmer to be more active. It was Palmer who was second among the Chiefs wide receivers in snaps last week so hopefully, that will lend to more targets and production. Another player that should see added looks is Gerald Everett. Everett had a solid game last week, posting a 3/54/1 line and 14.4 fantasy points.

The Wrap-Up

I’m hoping for a high-scoring game between the two teams. Both are great passing offenses and can put up a ton of points nearly at will. While I do think the Chargers will put up a good fight, I think the Chiefs will end up getting the win. As far as fantasy goes, it should be bountiful for quite a few fantasy players in the passing game. Mike Williams is my favorite player to play in this game as I wanted him to ball all last week to kick the season off but for whatever reason, the Chargers and Justin Herbert forgot that he was even on the field.

For the Chiefs, I’ll be watching that backfield to see how much work Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the rest of that backfield shakes out. It would be interesting to see if Pacheco can fight his way on the field without it being garbage time.

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