A game between the Atlanta Falcons (4-10) and the Kansas City Chiefs (13-1) sounds like a mismatch, but with a projected total of 54 points, one of the highest over-unders on the board, this should at least be an exciting mismatch.
The Falcons totally Falcons’d in Week 15, blowing yet another three-score lead in a 31-27 loss to Tampa Bay. Matt Ryan was potent without Julio Jones for once, throwing for 356 yards and three touchdowns. Calvin Ridley schooled the Bucs’ secondary all afternoon long on his way to a monster 10-163-1 line on 14 targets. Russell Gage was solid as well, hauling in five of 10 targets for 68 yards and a TD. Ryan’s third touchdown went to tight end Hayden Hurst, who hit paydirt for the first time since Week 6. Running back Todd Gurley was active but barely. He rushed just once and lost one yard. He caught two passes for 15 yards. No Falcons running back — Gurley, Brian Hill or Ito Smith — played more than half of the team’s offensive snaps.
The Chiefs’ offense actually struggled at times against the Saints in New Orleans but still found a path to 32 points in a 32-29 victory. MVP front-runner Patrick Mahomes completed a little more than half of his 47 throws, but he still recorded 254 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 37 yards. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire gained 79 yards on 14 carries in his final regular-season this year. He suffered a high-ankle sprain in the fourth quarter, which allowed Le’Veon Bell to get some extra work. He accrued 62 rushing yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Tyreek Hill (6-53-1) and Travis Kelce (8-68-1) didn’t have their best fantasy days of the year, but each provided for those owners who were depending on them during their league semifinals.
Date: Sunday, Dec. 27
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Falcons: #20 Overall — #21 offense, #12 defense, #21 special teams
Chiefs: #3 Overall — #1 offense, #17 defense, #17 special teams
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Calvin Ridley, WR, $8,500
Ridley was ridiculous against the Bucs, getting open at will and with ease. He has totaled about 65 DraftKings points in his last two games and hasn’t scored fewer than 14 DK points in any of his past five games. The Falcons should probably be throwing on every down in this game, but the Chiefs have allowed the fewest receptions to wideouts and just 13 TDs to that position in 14 games. Ridley is obviously a top-end WR1 in season-long formats, but this matchup and a season-high price cut into his DFS appeal this week.
Ito Smith, RB, $4,000
The Falcons turned Smith into their lead back in Week 15. He paced their backfield in carries, touches and yards against Tampa Bay. He didn’t do much of note — 24 yards on six carries; nine yards on two catches — but he played as many offensive snaps as Gurley and Hill combined. He’s also the Falcons’ best pass-catching back, which is especially worthwhile for this game. Trot Smith out there if you’re looking for a bargain-bin GPP option.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, 5,800
With CE-H out, Bell should take the reins as the Chiefs’ lead back. He didn’t pop on tape against the Saints while handling a season-high 15 carries. But he did score and will likely be a larger part of KC’s passing game moving forward. The Falcons have allowed the second-fewest rushing yards and rushing TDs to running backs this season, but Leonard Fournette fell into the end zone twice against them last week; Bell could do the same thing. He’s not the elite player he used to be, but since he’s the No. 1 back in this juggernaut of an offense, Bell is an RB2 who is going to be popular at this price.
Tyreek Hill, WR, $9,000
He won’t come cheap, but Hill should be worth your DraftKings buck against Atlanta’s poor secondary. The Falcons have surrendered a league-high 55 receptions of 20 yards or more. Hill feels like a shoo-in for at least one long score here. He has taken it easy in practice this week because of a hamstring ailment, but he is expected to play his usual allotment of snaps.