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Dolphins-Chiefs fantasy preview: Who to start, avoid in Week 9 game in Frankfurt, Germany

Programming note: Dolphins-Chiefs is airing live exclusively on NFL Network from Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany at 9:30 a.m. ET and also available to stream on NFL+. To make that viewing experience even better, here's a fantasy primer for Sunday's game. Enjoy!


The Obvious: WR Tyreek Hill, TE Travis Kelce

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · QB

Typically, Mahomes would be the foremost of “The Obvious” plays, but things have been rather rocky lately. The reigning MVP has had fewer than 20 fantasy points in four of his last five games, culminating in a single-digit flu-game dud against Denver last week. I’m here to provide reassurance. Miami is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to QBs. Expect this to be closer to the 34-point performance Mahomes hung on the Chargers in Week 7.

Raheem Mostert
Miami Dolphins · RB

On paper, the Chiefs have been a bad matchup for fantasy running backs, allowing the third-fewest schedule-adjusted fantasy points to the position. A deeper dive reveals they have allowed the seventh-most yards per carry to RBs but just two rushing touchdowns all season. Mostert (10) and the Dolphins (16) lead all players and all teams respectively in rushing touchdowns. I think Mostert and Miami win the battle of strength-versus-strength here. Start him with confidence.

Jaylen Waddle
Miami Dolphins · WR

After a slower start to the season, Waddle came alive in October thanks in no small part to three touchdowns in four games -- and those scores are no fluke (deep dolphin reference for my marine biologists). Over that span, Waddle ranks in the top four in the NFL in both routes (22) and targets (seven) in the red zone, and his five end-zone targets are tied for the most in the league (with several players, including teammate Tyreek Hill). In a game that promises points, I think we get to see penguins in Germany.

Rashee Rice
Kansas City Chiefs · WR

The thick fog in the Kansas City wide receiver room has been clearing over the course of the season and we can now say with confidence that Rice is the top dog. Last week, he led the wideouts in routes, targets, catches, yards and passer rating when targeted. His elite efficiency -- 2.6 yards per route run puts him between DJ Moore and Amon-Ra St. Brown in the NFL’s upper echelon -- is finally converging with legitimate usage. It would be fun to see his true breakout (aka first 20-point fantasy day) in the Chief’s first game against Hill.

In a pinch ...

Isiah Pacheco
Kansas City Chiefs · RB

At first glance, the Dolphins are a middle-of-the-road matchup for running backs, at best. But here’s a sneaky factoid: They have actually allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs on rushing production alone, while being incredibly stingy against receiving backs. Pacheco is Kansas City’s lead rusher by a country kilometer (shoutout metric system), while Jerick McKinnon slots in as the receiving back. Advantage Pacheco in this one, I’d consider him a low-end RB2 or flex play.

DFS dart-throws …

Outside of Kelce and Rice, Valdes-Scantling has been the clear-cut No. 3 option for Mahomes over the past couple weeks. You’re mostly betting on a deep touchdown from MVS, but with his recent involvement and the expected points in this game, it’s not impossible. And if you want a really crazy play, Moore has often been deployed against man coverage this season and the Dolphins have allowed the highest passer rating in the league while playing man-to-man. Just saying.


Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · QB

Hear me out. Tua has posted three performances with fewer than 16 fantasy points this season. All three came in tough environments on the road (at New England, Buffalo and Philadelphia). Since blasting the hapless Chargers at SoFi in Week 1, Tua is averaging 12.2 fantasy PPG away from home. Now, this isn’t a true “road game,” in the sense that he’s not playing in his opponent’s stadium. But he will be traveling roughly 8,000 kilometers to get there (again, shoutout metric system) and I’d be willing to bet the German crowd will be more red than aqua on Sunday. The Bills and Eagles games also had projected totals of 50-plus points and Tua dropped a dud in both. To top it all off, the Chiefs are allowing the second-fewest schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. I’d give some serious thought to streaming guys like Dak Prescott, Sam Howell or (gulp) Derek Carr.

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