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Whether to play Chiefs or Texans D/ST in Week 1 fantasy football

We go over whether you should start the Chiefs or Texans on defense ahead of Thursday’s Week 1 matchup.

Strong safety Tyrann Mathieu and defensive end Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs, wait to enter the field, prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Arrowhead Stadium on November 3, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans are set to kick off the 2020 NFL season on Thursday, and both teams have boasted strong offenses in recent years. However, both sides also have noticeable flaws on the defensive end. Most expect this game to be a shootout, and we’ll go over which defense/special teams play is best for this matchup below.

Fantasy Football Analysis: Chiefs D/ST

Kansas City was much improved on the defensive end in 2019. Former Texan Tyrann Mathieu helped transform the Chiefs’ secondary into a top 10 pass defense. His versatility let him play all over the field, and he ranked 11th in in the NFL in defensive snaps (1,096) after his first season with Kansas City. Then there’s Chris Jones on the defensive line. He’s double teams consistently on passing downs and makes it that much easier for the players around him to get after the quarterback. Even though Football Outsiders ranked the Chiefs 26th against the run last year, Houston isn’t sure about how much it can get from David Johnson. Deshaun Watson might be the Texans’ best rushing threat.

Fantasy Football Analysis: Texans D/ST

Houston didn’t excel in any area defensively last season. ranked 25th against the pass and 19th against the run according to Football Outsiders. The Texans lost a key part of their defensive line in D.J. Reeder and are pretty much the same in the secondary. J.J. Watt will be the most important member of a Texans defense that didn’t send a single player to the Pro Bowl last year, but he combined for two tackles the last two times he faced the Chiefs and didn’t record a single sack.

Start/Sit Recommendation

Start the Chiefs and bench the Texans. Houston struggled to get consistency from defensive backs last year and is up against an offensive juggernaut. Kansas City’s Mecole Hardman also stands out as a dynamic special teams threat.