Thursday Night Football is transitioning to Amazon Prime, and they’re starting off with a banger. We have a matchup between two MVP favorites, which will give early bragging rights in one of the NFL’s best divisions. The Kansas City Chiefs currently sit as 4-point favorites over the Los Angeles Chargers. With the total sitting at 54, we’re expecting a lot of fireworks.
Of course, we have some player props for this exciting matchup. The props currently sit at 6-0 on the year, so make sure to tag along in our quest for an undefeated season!
With Daily Fantasy Sports continuing to increase in popularity, different platforms are designing new and innovative ways for users to get in on the action. Enter Thrive Fantasy, a new way to enjoy DFS that blends large peer-to-peer GPP tournaments with the excitement of player props.
You can also just head straight to their prop lobby to pick your favorite player props, or you can leverage our Player Props Tool from Sean Koerner and our analytics team to identify where the biggest edges are.
You can read more about Thrive Fantasy and get a $250 bonus when you sign up.
NFL Player Props: Chargers-Chiefs
Mecole Hardman Over 36.5 Receiving Yards
With Tyreek Hill out of town, the Chiefs need guys to step up at the wide receiver position. Despite having a lackluster Week 1 stat line of three catches for 16 yards, Mecole Hardman is going to be utilized heavily by the Chiefs’ offense.
Hardman played on 56% of snaps in the Chiefs’ Week 1 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. This number would’ve probably been closer to 70%+ if the game stayed within reach. Hardman went over 36.5 receiving yards in 9-of-20 games last season with Tyreek Hill on the team. Hardman only played on 52% of the snaps last year, appearing in less than 49% in 10 games and less than 35% in 5 games. It’s hard to hit yardage totals when appearing on so few snaps.
With Hill out of town, Hardman has a far more secure role. He was also heavily featured by the Chiefs’ offense in Week 1. He saw six total targets, including four on the first three drives. Two of Hardman’s targets were deep balls in which Hardman burnt his coverage, and Mahomes simply missed him. Mahomes missing his target is unlikely to continue.
The Chiefs also put him in motion to get him in space with the ball in his hands for another two targets, and again on a third play, although he didn’t get the ball since the Cardinals covered it well.
Hardman was being used all over the field against Arizona. Short throws just to get the ball into his hands and deep down the field in order to get a big play. It seems like Andy Reid simply plans on using Mecole Hardman just as they used Tyreek Hill (although Tyreek is a more talented player)
At 36.5 yards, we love Hardman to smash his over.
Travis Kelce Under 75.5 Receiving Yards
Some may say that life is too short to bet the under. Others want to make money. Which side do you want to be on?
Yes, it is scary to take an under on Travis Kelce in primetime. Just look back to last year, where Kelce went for 191 yards and two touchdowns against the Chargers on a Thursday night in Week 15. However, there is more to consider than just the box score.
Derwin James, safety for the Chargers, is a tremendous player, but he has battled injuries throughout his career. In Kelce’s five career games against the Chargers with Mahomes at quarterback in which James has played, he has posted receiving yard totals of 6, 61, 24, 104, and 191, the last two both coming this past season.
Last season when Kelce went for 191 yards, James played the first 26 defensive snaps, limiting Kelce to 14 yards on one catch. James then left with an injury and didn’t return. On the 41 snaps with James off the field, Kelce had nine catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
With James healthy, the entire Chargers defense is different. Just look at last week, for example. On a crucial 2-point conversion, the Chargers double-covered Davante Adams and Hunter Renfroe. The Raiders then wanted to get the ball to Darren Waller since he was in single coverage.
Who was he being single-covered by, you may ask? Derwin James. James locked up Waller, and the 2-pt conversion was unsuccessful. With James healthy and Tyreek Hill out of the picture, the Chargers will definitely gameplan to limit Kelce and make other receivers beat them.
Despite how elite Kelce’s been, he only exceeded 75.5 yards in 9 of 19 total games last year. These were all with Tyreek Hill on the team, who opposing defenses don’t have to gameplan for anymore. Kelce did put up 121 yards last week, but this was against a lowly Cardinals defense who doesn’t have many playmakers on the back end.
Our Pro Prop Tool has Kelce’s number at 70.9 receiving yards, showing an edge in the under as well. Hold your nose, and root for the Chargers to shut down Travis Kelce on Thursday.