Thursday Night Fantasy Starters: Jamaal Charles, Chiefs Defense And Andre Holmes

By Steve Silverman

The Kansas City Chiefs are making their run right now.

They are coming off a huge win over the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, and they are looking at a confrontation with the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning in Week 13.

But before they get to that showdown game, the Chiefs must take care of business against the winless Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are certainly hungry and have shown the ability to play competitively on defense this season, but they don’t appear to have the offensive firepower to contend with the Chiefs.

Head coach Andy Reid won’t let his team let up against the Raiders and blow an opportunity for a victory, and quarterback Alex Smith is too smart to take any opponent lightly.

Chiefs players

QB Alex Smith – The Chiefs and Smith are an excellent match because he is a sharp leader who can read defenses and make the right call at the last minute. However, that does not translate into fantasy points. The Chiefs have perhaps the least impressive crew of wide receivers in the league – stay away from Dwayne Bowe at all costs – and that does not give Smith many scoring opportunities. BENCH HIM

RB Jamaal Charles – The Chiefs have one of the most explosive running attacks in the league and Charles is a driven man. Not only does he want to make a run at Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, he also has to hold off back-up running back Knile Davis. The Chiefs give Davis quite a few opportunities, and whenever he breaks into the open, you can be confident that Charles will come back with a long run of his own. Look for 125 yards and two touchdowns from Charles in this game. PLAY HIM

Chiefs defense – Kansas City has the top-ranked pass defense in the league, and pass rushers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali will be going full-speed after rookie quarterback Derek Carr all night. Look for this to produce five sacks and four turnovers, and the Chiefs will return one of them for a touchdown. PLAY THE KANSAS CITY DEFENSE

Raiders players

QB Derek Carr – While he appears to be in over his head against the Chiefs’ pass rush, Carr has played hard throughout the season and he has not become discouraged. That’s a tribute to his confidence and talent, and he will not back down here. However, Carr is not going to improve on his 13-9 TD-interception ratio. He may throw two TD passes, but he will throw at least two picks. BENCH HIM

WR Andre Holmes – Holmes is not the most consistent receiver, but when he does catch the ball he can make good things happen. Holmes has caught 27-419-4, and he has five receptions of 20 yards or more. The Chiefs are not going to double-cover him, and he just may break free in the fourth quarter after Kansas City has put this game away. Garbage-time touchdowns count. PLAY HIM

WR James Jones – Jones is the Raiders’ leading receiver with 49-498-3, but he does not have explosive speed. The Chiefs should have him blanketed tonight, and they will hold him to five catches or less for fewer than 50 yards, and he won’t get a sniff of the endzone. BENCH HIM

***

Steve Silverman has been writing, talking about and playing fantasy football since the early 1990s. He co-hosted Fantasy Football Weekly, the first Fantasy Football television program, in 1994 and ’95. Follow Steve on Twitter @profootballboy.

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