The Philadelphia Eagles preview is focused on DeVonta Smith’s fantasy football value this week and moving forward, while the Kansas City Chiefs outlook is again forecasting a breakout performance for Rashee Rice.
Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs
- Spread: Chiefs -2.5
- Total: 45.5
- Eagles implied points: 21.5
- Chiefs implied points: 24
Jalen Hurts: The most reliable quarterback in fantasy has rattled off five straight top-five finishes and eight straight top-10s. Those streaks are likely to end at some point, but not this week.
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The Eagles may have lost the Super Bowl matchup with the Chiefs, but they executed their game plan (nearly 36 minutes of possession per the Week 11 Cheat Sheet), and that proved as friendly to Hurts’ production as you could hope (304 pass yards, 70 rush yards, four total TDs).
I have my eyebrow raised at the fact that Hurts has a 15-yard carry in just two of nine games this season, but with his elite role near the goal line, that is the most minor of nits to pick.
Patrick Mahomes: It’s way too early to say that teams are using a blueprint to defend Mahomes, but with under 7.0 yards per attempt in four of his past six games and just 425 yards through the air over his past two games (both seemingly good spots against Denver and Miami), Mahomes’ upside needs to be watched.
Philadelphia limited his per-pass yardage upside in the Super Bowl (21 for 27 and 182 yards), though the Chiefs were able to scheme open Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney for touchdowns inside the 10-yard line.
As was the case with Hurts, this is minor. Could it make a difference in the fantasy playoffs if your advantage gained at the position isn’t as great? Maybe, and we will address that when the time comes, but there’s no actionable concern here — you’re starting him and enjoying the show. Mahomes has run for 20+ yards in eight of nine games this season, accessing his fantasy ceiling differently.
D’Andre Swift: That Week 1 game where he was an afterthought feels like a lifetime ago. Since then, he hasn’t finished worse than RB25, thanks in large part to him posting over 4.0 fantasy points as a pass catcher in five of his past six games.
The Brotherly Shove can be a bummer (unless they fake it like they did in Week 8), but there’s nothing to complain about there, given that Swift has 18+ touches in each of his past six games. The Chiefs cough up 4.5 yards per carry — you’ll have to navigate endless “Swift/Kelce” corny jokes and wordplay this week, but if that’s your biggest problem, you’re in fine shape.
Isiah Pacheco: Kansas City’s balance in the Super Bowl last season (27 pass attempts and 26 rush attempts) was impressive, considering that they didn’t lead for a single second of the first three quarters. If they do something similar in this spot, Pacheco’s role (88.9% of the RB carries in Week 9) makes him a top-15 RB, even in a tough matchup.
Given the opponent and the time of possession concerns, Pacheco’s ceiling is lower this week than most (-3 receiving yards over the past two weeks doesn’t help), but don’t take that to mean that he should be on your bench. You’re playing him and chasing a touchdown.
A.J. Brown: He has been a top-10 receiver in four straight games and a top-15 receiver for seven in a row, looking unstoppable in the process.
- Week 2: WR71
- Weeks 3-10: The sum of his finishes at the position – 45
He had a weird game in the Super Bowl, but it all worked out from a statistical point of view. He found paydirt from 45 yards out, and that’s great, but his other five catches resulted in “just” 51 yards. The Chiefs haven’t played many alpha WRs this season, but in the recent instances that they have, they’ve limited efficiency in a significant way:
Tyreek Hill (Week 9): 62 yards on 10 targets (down 46.8% from all other games)
Keenan Allen (Week 7): 55 yards on nine targets (down 32%)
That’s a small sample, but I thought it was interesting. You’re playing Brown, and I have some concerns about DeVonta Smith — the volume floor for Brown’s role makes failing simply tough to do.
DeVonta Smith: Finally! Smith entered the bye week with a pair of WR1 finishes after having just one through the first seven weeks (including three straight finishes outside of the top 40 before this streak). He has flashed efficiency over his past three games (14 catches on 15 targets), but the number of looks is still all over the place on a week-to-week basis.
This season, the Chiefs are blitzing 33.7% of the time, up from 24.3% last season. That worries me for Smith’s ability to repeat anything close to what he did in the Super Bowl (seven catches for 100 yards on nine targets).
This season, Smith’s aDOT is up 26.4% from last. In theory, that helps his upside, but if Hurts is feeling the pressure in a hurry with his knee at less than full strength, those deep targets figure to be few and far between. I have him ranked as a WR2, so I’m not forecasting a dud to the level that we saw earlier this season (under 50 yards in five different games this season), but I’m putting the risk on your radar.
Rashee Rice: It feels like we are dangerously close to a full breakout. He scored on the first drive in Germany against the Dolphins, and I was ready. I had tweets drafted, I alerted my family members, I was looking at Rice jersey prices and continuing to workshop nickname options — it was all systems go to celebrate the moment that we’d been waiting a month for.
He caught one pass the rest of the day. Sad Kyle.
The floor has been strong (top 35 in four of his past five games), but can we PLEASE get a breakout on national TV in a Super Bowl rematch? Pretty please?
Speaking of that matchup to end last season, JuJu Smith-Schuster earned 36% of the targets. We’ve seen what he is this season, so the fact that he was able to find space in the short passing game against a version of this pass defense that was better than what the Eagles currently own is noteworthy.
I’m Flexing Rice. Again. Let’s end Week 11 with a bang!
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: The profile of a deep threat who is constantly on the field in a Mahomes-led offense makes all the sense in the world from a process standpoint. I’m generally a process analyst who will die on hills like that, but I’m done with rostering MVS, and you should be, too.
You’ve been rostering him in hopes that you can plug him in as an upside option during a tough week. Well, give or take, only a half-dozen fantasy regulars at the WR position have yet to go on bye, and injuries don’t rack up the way there as they do at running back.
Valdes-Scantling has finished better than WR55 just once this season, and with most of the impactful byes in the rearview, you’re unlikely to be desperate at the position.
Dallas Goedert: We are awaiting further news when it comes to a return timetable for Goedert following his forearm fracture. At the moment, I’m holding. There aren’t enough options at the TE position, so the idea that you have an advantage on half of your league holds value.
Managers without an IR slot in a shallow bench situation may have to decide on Goedert sooner rather than later, but I’d sit tight for now and burn a roster spot on him.
Travis Kelce: After a top-five tight end finish in five of six games, Kelce has been TE15 and TE29 over his past two. Relax. You got two months of glory at the position; you can suffer like the rest of us with spotty TE play.
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Kelce will be elite for the remainder of the season, and that should start on Monday night against a team that he burned for 81 yards and a score in Super Bowl LVII. Zero concerns over him stubbing his toe recently — Kelce is a cheat code at the toughest position to fill.
Should You Start DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle?
I have Smith one spot higher in my Week 11 rankings, with the thought being that the Eagles need more for four quarters from their high-powered offense against the Chiefs than the Dolphins do against the Raiders.
I’m tracking the play-calling in Miami this weekend. With De’Von Achane back in the mix, does this team go balance and thus lower the floor of all involved in the passing game?
Should You Start Amari Cooper or Rashee Rice?
Give me Rice in this spot. I would have said it was close if Deshaun Watson was active, but with him out for the season, I’ll happily back Patrick Mahomes’ top receiver who has seen a red-zone target in seven of nine games this season.
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