Lions at Chiefs Contrarian Digest

Football season is officially upon us! The season kicks off tonight as Dan Campbell and his Detroit Lions travel to Kansas City to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs. It’s expected to be a shoot out offensively and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick things off here at Run Pure Sports. 

Now, a little about me and this article. I’m a single entry DFS player who enjoys building and rooting for my one team that I spent hours to construct. The difference between myself and other single entry players, is that I prefer to build in a very contrarian way. You’ll never see a Patrick Mahomes captain when you see Tabor5 at the top of a showdown leaderboard and that’s what this article will do for you. I try to focus on the not so popular builds and players that give us the edge we need to take down some big time cash! Let’s take a look at todays game. 


Notes: Following Vegas and these lines can be important to your builds. Game flow, outcomes, and the line changes make a difference. In this game we notice that it opened at KC -6.5, then the line actually moved in the Chiefs favor to -7 after the money started pouring in. Now the Chiefs are still favored, but the current line has shifted dramatically to KC -4.5. This is certainly because of the injury to Travis Kelce in practice this week and it seems unlikely that he will play tonight. The over/ under of 53.5 is actually the highest total of any game this week, so it’s pretty safe to assume we will see a close game with a ton of offense here.



My Projected Game Flow

It’s important to have your own opinions of how you see the game playing out and building around it. My prediction here is that we get a very close game, but I think it’s a little slower paced than these Vegas lines suggest. The Chiefs could struggle here without their clear #1 passing option and a bunch of youngsters taking these snaps. The Super Bowl hangover narrative also looms large. I think Dan Campbell is much like Mike Vrabel and they are two of the best coaches in all of football. Because of that, I think the Lions can execute a gameplan where they keep the oh so dangerous Patrick Mahomes off the field and I think the Lions win this game.



Captain Plays 


Skyy Moore- My favorite play on this entire board. Priced at $4,800 on DK, significantly lower than Toney and Kelce who are projected to be the 3 main receiving options for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in 2023. Assuming that Kelce is out, this should open up a significant amount of targets for the remaining wide outs. I expect Kadarius Toney to see limited snaps in this game after having knee surgery in July, meaning that Sky Moore, who played only 27% of snaps last year and averaged 2.1 targets per game, is likely to see upwards of 100% of todays offensive snaps. If we do simple math and we figure that he’s seeing 4x the amount of snaps today, then we can assume that he would see roughly 4x the targets as well. That has us on pace for over 8 targets just based on last years numbers. We factor in that Kelce who averaged 9 targets per game is out, and JuJu Smith Schuster who averaged 6.5 is no longer in Kansas City and I’d say it’s very likely that my boy Sky Moore exceeds 10 targets today and we finally see what kind of talent this Western Michigan kid is.


David Montgomery- All off season the fantasy world has been analyzing and drafting Jahmyr Gibbs as the Lions RB. I get it, and the kid really does fit this Lions attack, but this isn’t season long fantasy and I think most people click on Gibbs name tonight. On the other side, I think Dan Snyder is an old school type of football coach, pound the ball, keep it out of Mahomes hands, and slug in the trenches to get this win. It has me loving the under in this game for bets and it has me loving David Montgomery as my go to running back from both sides in this game. Many assume that Montgomery will be taking over the Jamal Williams role, short yardage and an insane amount of touchdowns. I think that’s true, but I also think Montgomery is too experienced of a pass catching back to just be forgotten outside of short yardage situations, especially when it’s the rookies first game of his career! I have no doubt that Montgomery gets at least one touchdown here and I think he’s the featured back with Gibbs coming in as more of a change of pace and long yardage guy. This price tag and the Chiefs not having a great run defense makes this a homerun selection for your lineups at contrarian ownership.


Amon-Ra St. Brown- Not much of a contrarian play here, but he has to be considered with PPR scoring. Brown is a target monster, he’s a reception monster, and surprisingly he was 6th among all WRs in red zone target share with 30.3%! He has the safest floor on this slate by a mile and he needs to be in your lineups today.



Flex Plays


I’m not going to mention quarterbacks here, but obviously in this game you likely want at least one of Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff.


Harrison Butker- Another favorite of mine today and yes it’s a kicker. I was even tempted to write him up as a captain play! I love kickers on teams that prefer to throw the football. You get 2 incompletions in a row near the red zone and you’re looking at big opportunity. Running teams tend to be in shorter distances that make for easier conversions and they are more tempted to go for it in those short yardage scenarios as well. The Chiefs are as pass happy as anyone in the league and the game script I see taking place here fits really well with Butker being one of the tops plays on the board.


Jerick McKinnon- The Chiefs lean on McKinnon when games are close and this line of -4.5 means that the conditions are right for one of these McKinnon nuke jobs. Pacheco is fresh off of shoulder surgery so this rotation could be heavier McKinnon than we think.


Sam LaPorta- The game script I’m expecting from the Lions includes heavy running and short yardage passing with Brown and their rookie Tight End.


Defenses- I know this high total will keep everyone away from the team defenses, but we’ve seen this a million times before. It would not surprise anyone if there were 3 defensive/ special teams touchdowns in a game like this. High total, both sides missing pieces, first game of the year, Super Bowl hangover, you get the picture. It’s definitely in the cards and low ownership is always appealing.





Noah Gray- With no Kelce we can look at his backup, but I’m not a fan. I expect Gray to be extremely popular with his $2,400 price tag, but historically no Kelce does not lead to an overwhelming work load for Gray or any of the backup tight ends. I think saving $1,500 for Justyn Ross makes a lot more sense with a lot more upside. If I’m spending $2,500 or below I’m not looking for a ceiling of 2 catches while praying one is for a touchdown.

Jahmyr Gibbs- I mentioned my love for Montgomery and dislike for the rookie. I think Gibbs gets way more ownership and I think his price is egregious for a lot of unknowns. I’ll take the wait and see approach with this kid.


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