OAK vs. KC Thursday Matchup Edge

Oakland vs. Kansas City

Open: 47.5 O/U, KC -2.5
Press time: 46.5 O/U, KC -3

We all know about Marcus Peters, but the two other Chiefs corners who play prominently, Terrance Mitchell and Phillip Gaines, are easy targets in a Kansas City scheme that refuses to move Peters based on matchup. So long as the offensive coordinator in question isn’t hopelessly inept, the best receivers who play against the Chiefs will usually run routes against their worst corners. That’s why the Chiefs are allowing 8.2 yards per target to receivers, and a league-leading nine touchdowns in five games. That’s not a great return when you have a corner as talented as Peters, but this is the choice the Chiefs have stood by to this point.

With that being the case, I like the chances of Derek Carr bouncing back from last week’s disappointing effort against the Chargers. The Chiefs are allowing an average of 22.9 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and the tandem of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree gives Carr more ammo than most of the quarterbacks the Chiefs have seen so far. The chance of rain for this game is a slight concern, but Cooper and Crabtree should be open. Jared Cook is somewhat interesting as he takes on a Chiefs defense that allowed 391 yards to tight ends on 41 targets, but he’s always liable to play like a goofball. While some may take concern with Carr over his poor numbers against the Chargers, I think he looked healthy enough to project a return to his standard level of production.

The Chiefs are also beatable on the ground, so Marshawn Lynch projects for good efficiency with the Chiefs allowing over four yards per carry to opposing backs. Lynch has run very well this year, including last week, but his weekly over/under on carries is probably around just 12.5 with the Raiders frequently rotating in Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Tyreek Hill (concussion) will be active, and he has an interesting matchup against a big group of Oakland corners. He lines up all over, but I’d like to see Hill against the 6-foot-2 David Amerson as much as possible – I think that’s your best bet for a big play. But whether Hill gets such a shot is unknowable. If Albert Wilson (knee) is out, I believe in De’Anthony Thomas more than Demarcus Robinson. But I don’t believe in either. This could be a blowup spot for Travis Kelce, who’s the only skilled Chiefs pass catcher over 5-foot-10 now that Chris Conley is out.

Kareem Hunt is a strong bet to post big numbers in this one. The Raiders have allowed 4.0 yards per carry to opposing running backs, and 32 catches for 335 yards and two touchdowns to running backs on 41 targets. I expect him to go over 130 yards from scrimmage here.

If the weather isn’t a problem, I’m generally feeling the over in this one.

(all line data from covers.com)

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