Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 15 Fantasy Football Recap: Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Houston, Texas, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon (1) runs with the ball and scores a touchdown during overtime as Houston Texans cornerback Tremon Smith (1) defends at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jerick McKinnon: 10 carries, 52 yards, 1 touchdown, 8 receptions, 70 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Travis Kelce: 10 receptions, 105 yards

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Start Jerick McKinnon: McKinnon continued to lead the Chiefs in offensive snaps en route to another dominant fantasy performance.

  • McKinnon played most of the third downs this week, as he has all season.
  • He also played on the majority of goal-line and short-yardage plays. He’s been the primary back in these situations all season.
  • Isiah Pacheco played every first- and second-down snap in the first quarter. McKinnon started to rotate in those situations at the start of the second quarter.
  • Pacheco lost a fumble early in the second quarter, which quickly led to a Texans touchdown.
  • Pacheco was benched for the rest of the quarter, which led to Ronald Jones seeing his few snaps. McKinnon was the primary early-down back in the second half with Pacheco still seeing plenty of playing time.
  • Kansas City faces the Seahawks and Broncos over the next two weeks. Those are games where Pacheco will likely lead the backfield in carries, but McKinnon should still see double-digit touches and will have touchdown potential from both big plays and goal-line carries.

Kadarius Toney’s return: Toney returned to the Chiefs’ lineup after last playing in Week 11.

  • Toney was limited in practice all week with a hamstring injury and was questionable coming into the game.
  • All five of his snaps came in 13 personnel, which is typically a role Justin Watson plays.
  • Kansas City didn’t use this grouping much late in the game, as the score was closer than anticipated.
  • Chances are Toney will see more snaps going forward in more personnel groupings, assuming he gets healthier. He will likely cut into the playing time of both Skyy Moore and Watson.

The Texans without Dameon Pierce: Pierce suffered an ankle injury last week that landed him on injured reserve. He won’t return this season.

  • Dare Ogunbowale started the game for Houston. He and Royce Freeman shared snaps on early down while Rex Burkhead served as the third-down back.
  • Ogunbowale dominated early-down snaps in the first quarter but gained just nine yards on six carries.
  • Freeman was the Texans' top back for the rest of the quarters, leading snaps 22-to-12 on first and second downs the rest of the way.
  • Freeman also had 11 carries over the last three quarters compared to two for Ogunbowale.
  • Freeman will likely start next week if this game is any indication. That could mean Ogunbowale overtakes Burkhead on third downs.
  • This is likely a situation to avoid, as it’s a fluid three-back committee.

Add Jordan Akins: Akins caught his second touchdown in four weeks for the Texans.

  • Akins has been a rotational tight end on early downs but has very consistently been on the field for third downs.
  • The fact that Houston has stayed competitive in recent weeks has hurt Akins’ playing time. He would be seeing more snaps if the Texans were down by a score or two.
  • Typically, a tight end in this role isn’t worth starting most weeks, but Houston plays Tennessee next week.
  • The Titans have allowed the fifth-most receiving yards to tight ends this season, giving Houston one of the best matchups next week.

Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.


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