Week 2 TNF Showdown: Chargers at Chiefs

by Matt Babich · Betting & Props

Welcome to the newest edition of TNF Showdown which features Chargers at Chiefs. I’ll be guiding you through the important aspects to watch in each Thursday night matchup.

Without further ado, let’s see what the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs have in store for us in what will be a pivotal battle for control of the AFC West.

Advanced stats and analytics will be utilized to identify favorable matchups and players to avoid. The purpose of this article is to paint a picture of how the teams play and matchup with one another in less than 1,000 words.
As the season continues, less emphasis will be put on last season and early season’s stats. Vegas trends will also be implemented to help predict the game flow. I’ll conclude the article with a Cliff Notes section and give the readers my prediction for the game.

Vegas Trends

  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of the Chargers’ last 6 games.
  • Justin Herbert and the Chargers are 2-1 ATS in their 3 games against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Justin Herbert and the Chargers are 1-0 SU when playing Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kansas City’s last 6 games.
  • Kansas City are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games.
  • Kansas City are 8-1 SU in their last 9 games at home.

Notable Injuries

Los Angeles Chargers

Kansas City Chiefs

The Los Angeles Chargers

While the Chargers celebrated a Week 1 win, Mike Williams celebrated running some wind sprints (please, please, hold your applause). Running 31 routes, the veteran wide out saw only four targets, catching two for a sickly 10 yards. While this is an unsettling start to the season, Keenan Allen‘s likely absence tonight is the perfect recipe for Williams to bounce back. His past production sans Allen, combined with a favorable matchup against Rashad Fenton, makes him a must start in Week 2.

Without Keenan Allen, the Chargers will look to DeAndre Carter and Josh Palmer to fill the void. While many expected Palmer to be the solidified number three receiver, it was Carter who shined in Week 1. Carter played 18 of his 25 snaps from the slot where he produced 64 yards and a touchdown on four targets. Palmer saw the same amount of targets. However, he was limited to five receiving yards on three receptions. Carter will be the one seeing the majority of the snaps in the fantasy-friendly slot. This makes him a flex option in deeper PPR leagues.

This season of the Austin Ekeler Show got off to a slow start. He showed ineffectiveness as a rusher. Ekeler notched only 36 rushing yards on 14 carries. He made his usual impact in the passing game. Ekeler racked up nine yards per reception while catching all four of his targets. If there’s one thing that will get Ekeler back to scoring fantasy points at an elite rate, it’s playing the Chiefs. In his past four games against Kansas City, he’s averaged 19.2 fantasy points per game and has found the endzone in three of the four contests.

Without Keenan Allen, take the OVER on Austin Ekeler’s 39.5 receiving yard prop, and sprinkle in an ATTS bet.

Finally, Gerald Everett arguably posted the Chargers most impressive individual performance. In Week 1, he accomplished what he hasn’t done since Week 7 of 2019. Everett compiled 50 receiving yards and a touchdown. The veteran tight end has found himself in the most powerful passing offense he’s ever been apart of, and he is going to compete to be the third option in this passing attack. He is a prime streaming candidate this week versus a middle of the road defense against tight ends.

The Kansas City Chiefs

Tyreek who? It turns out Patrick Mahomes doesn’t need the all-pro speedster to put up MVP-level numbers. In his first game with his revamped receiving corps, the 500 Million Dollar Man completed 77-percent of his passes for 360 yards and five touchdowns. Within 12 minutes, Kansas City was up two scores, and they never looked back. With J.C. Jackson likely out, Mahomes figures to rack up elite production again.

Hopefully you didn’t let the contract values fool you because JuJu Smith-Schuster is the new No. 1 in Kansas City’s receiving room. He corralled six of his eight targets. Both of these marks being second to Travis Kelce. Once the most hyped up-and-coming receiver in fantasy, the Tiktok star is quickly finding success in his new home. Expect him to play a pivotal role in tonight’s offensive battle.

JuJu Smith-Schuster Advanced Stats & Metric Profile

It was a slow day for the remaining Chief’s receivers. Rookie Skyy Moore was PFF’s highest graded rookie for Week 1 but participated in only seven routes and was limited to a single target. Wind sprint and contract swindling master Marquez Valdes-Scantling is back in action. He led the team in routes with a whopping four targets sprouting from them. It’s tough to gauge on one game (with a very positive Game Script), but there may not be much value past the WR1 and TE1 in this offense.

Neither Scantling or Moore should be in your lineups as both can be replaced through the waiver wire.

The biggest surprise for the Chiefs was the success of one Clyde Edwards-Helaire (aptly renamed in the PlayerProfiler rankings as “Bad Running Back”). Two touchdowns be damned because I’m not buying the post-week one hype. The Cardinals are a cluster-you-know-what of an organization who wield a rather porous defense without J.J. Watt. All three Chief’s backs ran the ball efficiently, but it was Jerick McKinnon and Isiah Pacheco who out-touched Edwards-Helaire 18-2 from the second quarter on.

While the Chiefs clearly want to get the other backs involved, Edwards-Helaire is still the resident starter. You should be looking to move him off your roster as soon as possible. However, if you opt to stick it out, he has RB2/flex appeal this week against a middle-of-the-road Los Angeles rush defense. That being said, his floor makes him an easy player to avoid in fantasy contests this week.

Cliff Notes


I have a fever, and the only prescription is more points. Tonight’s point total is set at 54.5, and as per usual it has me salivating. Last week, the Chiefs put 44 big ones on the scoreboard without breaking a sweat, while the Raiders and Chargers combined for 43 points in a game where both teams struggled to move the ball. LA and KC both possess respectable defenses, but both tend to struggle against high-powered offenses. Given this and the Vegas trends of both teams, I’m taking the over tonight.

Vegas is concerned about the absence of Keenan Allen. The Chiefs are favored by 4.5 points in this divisional battle. The Chargers offense is capable of staying afloat and even excelling without Allen, but the order of vanquishing this rejuvenated Chief’s squad becomes much taller without him. Defensively, the Chargers have the edge, which is why I expect them to cover the spread in this pivotal divisional matchup.

Prediction: Chiefs 30-27