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Fantasy advice for Chiefs vs Texans Week 15

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The fantasy playoffs start this week for many leagues. If you were fortunate enough to make it, congratulations are in order.

The Kansas City Chiefs will have the usual suspects to put in your lineup and could also have a couple of sleepers. Although the Houston Texans have just one win on the season, they could have a couple of sleepers as well. Let’s see who the best plays from this matchup are.

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*Projections from our colleagues at The Huddle

QB Patrick Mahomes

Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Mahomes got back to his usual stat line last week with 352 yards and three touchdowns last week, but also uncharacteristically threw three interceptions. No matter how many interceptions he throws he’ll typically have enough yardage and TDs to make up for it, but I wouldn’t expect it to continue to be a problem.

This week Mahomes faces a Texans’ secondary that is actually pretty solid, but it may be missing both starting cornerbacks in Steven Nelson and Derek Stingley Jr., which could cause some problems. Regardless, Mahomes is matchup-proof and should still be a top-five QB this week.

RBs Isiah Pacheco/Jerick McKinnon

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Owners of Pacheco and McKinnon should be salivating at their matchup with the last ranked run defense of the Texans this week. Houston is giving up 165.8 rushing yards per game and nearly five yards per carry. Pacheco is averaging 16 carries per game over the past five weeks and should get a nice workload if the Chiefs jump out to an early lead.

McKinnon has had a steady role in the Chiefs’ passing game this season, ranking fourth on the team in receptions and tied for second in touchdown receptions. He’s a bit hit-or-miss as a rusher but is averaging 4.9 yards per carry over his last four games. Given his matchup this week and his consistency in the passing game, McKinnon is a solid RB2 this week.

WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster/Mecole Hardman/Marquez Valdes-Scantling/Kadarius Toney

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Smith-Schuster got back into a groove with Mahomes last week, catching nine passes and finding the endzone for the first time since Week 7. The Chiefs could be run-heavy in this game, but this is an Andy Reid offense. I’d say Smith-Schuster is a WR3 with WR2 upside.

Despite Mahomes airing it out 42 times last week, Valdes-Scantling caught just one pass. Even though he’s a deep threat, Valdes-Scantling struggles with drops and is a non-factor when it comes to getting into the endzone. He shouldn’t be in any lineups this week.

Toney has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury and is questionable for this game. It seems pretty iffy that he’ll play considering he didn’t log a full practice this week. If he does play, he’ll likely be on a pitch count, making him too risky to be in your lineup.

Hardman is expected to be out this for this game, but the good news is that he practiced all week and seems to be on track to play next week against the Seattle Seahawks. He’s worth a roster stash for the final few weeks of the season.

TE Travis Kelce

Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It’s slightly eyebrow-raising that Kelce has only logged four receptions in each of his last three games. In his defense, he has faced some really good secondaries during that stretch. The middle of the Texans’ defense is soft and Kelce is still the best tight end in the league. He could get back to putting up big numbers this week.

Chiefs’ defense/special teams

Photo by David Eulitt-Getty Images

The Chiefs’ defense looked like it was in for a huge day early on in last week’s game against Denver, but the Broncos made a furious and surprising comeback. The K.C. defense still managed six sacks, two turnovers, and a touchdown and has forced six turnovers in its last four games.

The Texans have one of the worst offenses in the NFL and will be down a couple of their best players, making the Chiefs’ defense one of the better starts of the week.

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