If you’re looking for Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars DFS picks in Saturday’s Divisional Round faceoff, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.
The following recommended fantasy football lineup (for tournaments, 50/50, or head-to-head competitions) aims to lock in a relatively high floor while maximizing upside.
It’s been 10 years since Kansas City has endured a losing season. The following year, the Alex Smith era began, giving way to the Patrick Mahomes reign beginning in 2018.
Admittedly, I thought they’d take a step back this season for two primary reasons: (1) no one would step up to fill Tyreek Hill’s shoes, and (2) the ascending Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, and Denver Broncos would be tougher outs than ever in the AFC West.
I was flat-out wrong. While no one adequately replaced Hill, the combination of newcomers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and rookie Isiah Pacheco — along with the brilliant midseason acquisition of Kadarius Toney — passed muster. And they won all six of their divisional games.
In fact, all three of their losses were by four points or less. This is a team that could have gone undefeated. And, in fairness, seven of their victories were by a touchdown or less — including five versus the AFC West. This is a team that could have gone 11-6.
When crafting DFS decisions, we must factor in the uniquely high upside of Patrick Mahomes, as well as Travis Kelce, who has risen to the occasion repeatedly in the postseason.
We also should weigh the impact of a two-headed backfield in what realistically could be a positive game script. And finally, with three capable and healthy wideouts, as well as a couple of cheap fliers, we need to determine whether to roll the dice on one or two, or stick with “safer” options.
Two years ago, the 1-15 Jaguars scored the second-fewest points and yielded the second-most. Last year, at 3-14, they scored the fewest points and yielded the fifth most.
Their 9-8 regular season record this year doesn’t do justice to how far this franchise has progressed. They’re 10th in scoring and 12th in scoring defense. They’ve won six straight, and three of their last seven wins have come against playoff teams. Two others came against the Tennessee Titans — both must-win games to reach the postseason.
Last weekend’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers showcased their ability to overcome adversity like few other teams can. Four Trevor Lawrence interceptions in the first quarter, and then falling behind 27-0 . . . and advancing.
A big question this weekend concerns Travis Etienne Jr. He already might be a top-five NFL running back. But the Chiefs are decent against the run, and only five teams have given up fewer RB touchdowns. He hasn’t earned more than three targets since Week 7. Can we afford to pay a lot for him?
And what about the Jags’ receivers? Like KC, Jacksonville has a nice collection of guys ranging from cheap (Marvin Jones Jr.) to expensive (Christian Kirk). Can we lean into one or two? Or are we better off investing in Lawrence, with the expectation that he’ll spread the ball around?
Top NFL DFS Picks for Chiefs vs. Jaguars
Today, we’re playing DraftKings “Showdown Captain Mode,” which includes one player who earns 1.5 times his scoring output, plus five Flex players.
The following NFL betting recommendations are based on proprietary PFN predictive analytics pulled from decades of NFL historical data. Using this data, I’ve built dozens of models showing actionable probabilities of better-than-expected and worse-than-expected outcomes.
Captain: QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs ($18,600)
Like Josh Allen in Buffalo, starting anyone other than Mahomes in our Captain slot requires some convincing. I cannot conceive of a reasonable argument against him in this contest. A “flop” would equate to 14-16 points. He should hit 20+, and 30+ is entirely realistic.
Flex: WR Christian Kirk, Jaguars ($8,600)
I was torn here between Kirk and Jerick McKinnon. In the end, I like Kirk for the ceiling, even if McKinnon has a seemingly safer DFS floor. As I’ve said all season, the Jags paid big money for Kirk to be their No. 1 WR. With their season on the line (again), they’re going to feed him.
Flex: WR Zay Jones, Jaguars ($6,400)
Pushed him hard last week, and he came through. Admittedly, I wasn’t always on board. But as the No. 2 WR in a favorable matchup, I like his price and TD potential.
Flex: TE Evan Engram, Jaguars ($5,800)
Evan Engram’s price seems too low. Regardless, he’s a key part of this slate, just as he’s integral to the Jags’ upset chances. He’s a mismatch nightmare and exceptional after the catch. Between him and Jones and Kirk, we have three guys who could comfortably combine for 43+ points.
Flex: WR Kadarius Toney ($5,400)
Normally I like going top-heavy, and then swooping in with a cheap bargain at the end. Not this time. Both squads have spread-the-ball offenses. I’m cautious about spending big on Lawrence, Etienne, or Kelce.
MORE: NFL Playoff Bracket Predictions
Kadarius Toney offers terrific upside for roughly half the cost of Kelce. He’s a co-No. 1 WR disguised as a No. 3 WR.
Flex: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,200)
This lineup is crafted to maximize the possibility of hitting 130+ points, which often equates to finishing in the money in DFS Showdown tournaments. Valdes-Scantling is a solid hedge alongside Toney. I expect Mahomes to throw for 3+ scores. The hope is that these two combine for at least one.
Whatever you decide, good luck tonight.