This is a breakdown of one-game DFS contests for the Monday Night Football matchup featuring the Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. Be sure to check our Models up until kickoff for up-to-date projections that reflect the latest breaking news.
Cash Game Strategy
It goes without saying that Patrick Mahomes projects for the highest median, floor, and ceiling on the slate in our DraftKings Showdown Models. Historically, Mahomes’s best fantasy performances have come on the road: According to our NFL Trends tool, Mahomes averages 28.72 DraftKings points, a +9.1 Plus/Minus, and 76% Consistency Rating in away games compared to 23.88/+4.0/57% at Arrowhead. There’s probably some artificial inflation behind the spread in this game ballooning from Kansas City -4.5 to Kansas City -7, but this slate still sets up best for a Chiefs onslaught in cash games. With Mahomes in the Captain spot, you can also fit in Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Harrison Butker, and Chiefs DST if you punt the last spot with Bears rookie wide receiver Riley Ridley. The fourth-round pick out of Georgia has set new career-highs in snap count in back-to-back weeks with 29 and 41, respectively, and he’s a good bet to continue seeing the field with the Bears eliminated from playoff contention.
On FanDuel, it makes more sense to use Mitchell Trubisky in place of Kelce, as the 0.5 PPR scoring system gives even QBs with middling projections the edge over most skill players. With Mahomes in the MVP spot and Trubisky and Hill, you can also fit Butker and Bears starting tight end Jesper Horsted, the top projected value under $8,000 in our new FanDuel ANYFLEX Models. Horsted is playing right around half of the snaps and could see extra targets funneled his way, as coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense has funneled the most schedule-adjusted targets in the league to opposing tight ends, per Football Outsiders.
Core GPP Plays
Note: These are in addition to the players already mentioned in the cash write-up and generally has a focus on pass-catchers, though sometimes players from the cash section will be re-highlighted as appropriate. On FanDuel, QBs generally make for the top plays in the 1.5x slot because the half PPR format creates a wider gap in scoring between QB and RB/WR/TE; on DraftKings, a RB/WR/TE who hits the 100-yard bonus is the ideal play.
WR Tyreek Hill, Chiefs: He has the highest ceiling projection on the slate after Mahomes.
WR Travis Kelce, Chiefs: Second-highest ceiling projection after all among non-QBs.
RB David Montgomery, Bears: From a tournament perspective, Montgomery has to be the go-to play on the Bears over Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller. With monster outputs in their recent game logs, A-Rob and Miller will almost certainly attract higher ownership than Montgomery, who has negative correlations to both of them. Montgomery also has the better matchup, as the Chiefs rank sixth in schedule-adjusted efficiency against the pass but 30th versus the run, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
Note: Individual player correlations can be found in the player cards in our NFL Player Models. Team positional correlations can be found in our NFL Correlations Dashboard. Unless otherwise noted, all player correlation data is from the past 12 months and team correlation data is from the start of 2019.
- Mahomes-Robinson +0.52
- Mahomes-Watkins +0.40
- Mahomes-Williams +0.32
- Mahomes-Kelce +0.30
- Mahomes-Hardman +0.25
- Mahomes-Hill +0.14
- Mahomes-Butker +0.13
- Hill-Kelce +0.10
- Mahomes-McCoy +0.03
- Kelce-Watkins -0.24
- Hill-Watkins -0.25
- Mahomes-Chiefs DST -0.57
It’s hard to know how the usage will break down between Damien Williams, LeSean McCoy, Spencer Ware, and Darwin Thompson, but Williams has been featured as a pass-catcher the most of the bunch and is stackable with Mahomes. Sammy Watkins is the player most likely to eat into the production of Hill and/or Kelce.
- Trubisky-Horsted +0.83
- QB-Opposing QB +0.69
- Trubisky-Robinson +0.60
- Trubisky-Miller +0.58
- Montgomery-Piñeiro +0.25
- Trubisky-Cohen +0.10
- Montgomery-Miller -0.11
- Trubisky-Piñeiro -0.19
- Trubisky-Bears DST -0.28
- Trubisky-Montgomery -0.31
- Montgomery-Robinson -0.49
- Montgomery-Cohen -0.67
Again, here we see why Montgomery works so well in a GPP setting: Negative correlations to not only Robinson and Miller, but also Trubisky and Tarik Cohen — essentially the entire passing game. In multi-entry, you can then use a barbell approach and also go with Bears onslaight stacks fading Montgomery, which leverages Chicago’s strong positive QB-Opposing QB correlation.
Players whose production would benefit owners more than expensive or highly-owned players. Kickers and D/STs generally make for strong leverage plays, but those who stand out will be highlighted below.
Chiefs DST: They’re never a sexy play on a slate with so much offensive firepower, but they’ve reeled off a couple of 20-point games over the past eight. Also working in their favor is the explosive Mecole Hardman returning kicks and the mercurial Trubisky behind center for the Bears.
RBs Spencer Ware/LeSean McCoy/Darwin Thompson, Chiefs: I’m pretty sure Andy Reid purposely uses his running backs in unpredictable fashion, which is a headache for our purposes but a smart way to confuse opposing coaches. If I had to guess, I’d say Ware is here to serve in the old Darrel Williams role, meaning he’d be the best bet for goal-line carries. Be sure to monitor inactives, as it’s also possible one of these three could be a scratch, which would provide some much-needed clarity, at least.
Dart Throw Rankings
Ranking the low-cost, complementary players not already discussed in the leverage section by likelihood of having a worthwhile fantasy stat line.
- TE Jesper Horsted, Bears: The Chiefs are allowing the most schedule-adjusted targets in the league to opposing tight ends (8.8).
- WR Riley Ridley, Bears: Played 41 snaps last week to Cordarrelle Patterson‘s 37 and Javon Wims‘ 8. The Chiefs rank 25th in DVOA vs. non-No. 1/2 wide receivers.
- TE Blake Bell, Chiefs: 2-42 on 30 snaps last week but likely see lower ownership than any of the other main dart throws.
- WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Bears: Played 37 snaps last week and gets added upside on returns.
- WR Mecole Hardman, Chiefs: Explosive but will likely be more highly-owned than Chicago players with higher usage upside.
- WR Demarcus Robinson, Chiefs: Only positive thing I can say about Robinson at this point is that he’s due for regression: Has played 46.8 snaps per game over the past 11 but has only posted 20 catches for 197 scoreless yards over that span. Then again, “due for regression” is not a thing, so where exactly does that leave us?
- TE J.P. Holtz, Bears: Has played 38 snaps each of the past two weeks, posting 3-56-0 and 1-(-1)-0.
- WR Byron Pringle, Chiefs: Hasn’t played double-digit snaps in four weeks.
- WR Javon Wims, Bears: Took a backseat to Ridley and Patterson last game.
- FB Anthony Sherman, Chiefs: Four carries and three targets in 14 games.
- RB Ryan Nall, Bears: No touches yet on offense.
Pictured above: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15)
Photo credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports