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Chiefs-Lions DFS Picks: Will Detroit live up to the offseason hype?

Welcome to another season of Fantasyholics DFS Picks! We're excited to kick off the NFL season with a thrilling matchup between the Detroit Lions and the defending Super Bowl champions, Patrick Mahomes, and the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead. In this article, we'll look in-depth at how these teams have changed during the off-season, how those changes can affect the game, and, of course, provide you with our ranked plays for DraftKings and Fanduel.

NFL DFS: Week One Thursday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs: 28.5 Point Implied Total

The reigning Super Bowl champs have taken a few licks this offseason. The most noteworthy are the departures of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. Chris Jones, who is amid a contract dispute with the team, will not play in Week One. This is unpleasant news for a completely revamped defensive line. The Chiefs dumped all their veteran DL outside of Jones (Dunlap, Clark, Saunders) and have added Charles Omenihu (OUT), first-rounder Felix Anudike-Uzomah, fifth-round edge BJ Thompson and sixth-round defensive tackle Keondre Coburn through the draft. George Karlaftis should be able to hold his own on the left edge, but I believe the Chief's defensive line will struggle against a Lions offensive line that allowed a paltry 3.92% sack rate in 2022 (3rd in the NFL). Chiefs operate out of a 4-2-5 defense on most plays, so getting pressure to the QB is a concern. Travis Kelce is questionable with a bone bruise, and if he is out, then Noah Gray would be in line for increased work share. Outside of him, the offense is a scattershot at best. Skyy Moore, MVS, and Kadarius Toney round out the starting WR group, with Justin Watson, Rashee Rice, and Richie James Jr. in backup roles. The running back room consists of a three-way workshare between Isiah Pacheco, Jerick McKinnon, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. McKinnon will handle pass-catching duties, while Isiah Pacecho solidified himself as the lead back after an impressive postseason. Given Andy Reid's offensive scheme, Edwards-Helaire, Blake Bell, Skyy Moore, and Kadariurs Toney are always lively to vulture a TD with a red zone trick play.

Detroit Lions: 24 Point Implied Total

There's been a lot of optimism about the Lions this offseason. After going 5-1 in the NFC North last season (9-8 overall), the Lions are poised to compete with the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC North crown. Detroit made several improvements during the break, which included the addition of DB C.J. Gardner, WR Marvin Jones, and RB David Montgomery through free agency, while adding Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs and coveted Iowa State pass-catching TE Sam LaPorta through the draft. EDGE Charles Harris has returned from a severe groin injury that sidelined him for most of the 2022 season. Amon-Ra St. Brown is essentially a lock in the utility slot after posting a 32% target share last season (good for 1100 yards and six TDs). Even if he doesn't score, his sheer upside in full PPR formats and YAC ability make him an easy play on both sites. Marvin Jones is always a candidate to catch a long ball or two, so he makes sense in large-field tournaments. Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond are on the same wavelength as Marvin Jones, seeing a 12% target share. Lions have hinted at utilizing Gibbs in the slot and out of the backfield, but I question his level of involvement with a proven pass-catching RB like David Montgomery in the lead spot. Sam LaPorta should have some opportunity (maybe six targets per game), but he does lack as a pass blocker. I would classify Brock Wright and Shane Zylstra as lottery ticket punts that may snag a TD in goal-line scenarios. Antoine Greene showed some upside during the preseason, but Dan Campbell did voice some "inconsistencies" that rookies often have.

MVP/Captain Picks Rankings

  1. Patrick Mahomes: Things become a bit murky if Travis Kelce is out, but Mahomes is always liable to put up 300 yards/3 TDs.

  2. David Montgomery: Most of the field will flock to stack up pass-catchers on both sides (including Jahmyr Gibbs). Look for the Lions to lean on experienced veterans in a tough road matchup.

  3. Amon-Ra St. Brown: Tons of YAC and PPR upside.

  4. Jared Goff: 270+ yards and two scores is a reasonable expectation in this spot.

  5. Travis Kelce*: If he plays (which I think he will), he has to be in consideration.

Flex/Utility Rankings

(Any player listed above not used in MVP/CPT spot)

  1. Jerick McKinnon: Pass-catching RB in a shootout environment.

  2. Skyy Moore: Has been utilized in practice in trick play situations and should be an every-down receiver.

  3. Jahmyr Gibbs: Incredible athleticism, but Dan Campbell has mentioned he will not run him into the ground the first couple of weeks.

  4. Harrison Butker: Kickers are always extra valuable on single-game slates.

  5. Isiah Pacecho: 15-touch baseline, prefer McKinnon if you're buying into a shootout scenario.

  6. Sam LaPorta: Wouldn't expect much in terms of target share, maybe 5-6 looks and hopefully he can convert one for a score. I personally would rather get exposure to Wright or Zylstra and hope for a fluke score.

  7. Noah Gray: If Kelce is out, he will be very popular. Makes for a solid cheap play in cash games.

  8. Richie James Jr.: One of my top pay-down options if Kelce sits.

  9. Kadarius Toney: Health is always a concern, but he is utilized quite a bit in trick plays.

  10. Riley Patterson: Kickers, kickers, kickers!

Core Plays

Patrick Mahomes, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Harrison Butker.

Best of luck to all of you! #dwehrj08

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