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Broncos vs. Chiefs Week 13 Sunday Night Football Showdown Game Breakdown & NFL DFS Picks

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Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 13 Sunday Night Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Week 13 Broncos vs. Chiefs Sunday Night Football matchup.

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Week 13 Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Picks

The 6-5 Broncos head to Kansas City this Sunday Night, riding the high of a divisional win against the Chargers last weekend, where they dominated a talented Los Angeles team from start to finish and moved into a three-way tie for second place within the winningest division in football. The Chiefs’ offense may have had its ups and downs this season, but Kansas City is still on a four-game winning streak, and comes into this matchup well rested after its bye week. Even with multiple dud performances on offense this season — something we’re not used to seeing from Patrick Mahomes at all — the Chiefs’ offense still ranks third in the NFL in EPA per play. The underlying metrics remain quite positive for Mahomes and the rest of the offense, despite scoring less than 21 points in three of their last four contests. It’s no surprise then, that the Chiefs, at home coming off a bye, are have an implied total north of 28 points, and are favored by well over a touchdown, despite having a slim one-game lead on Denver in the standings.

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No one needs to be convinced that Patrick Mahomes ($12,400 DraftKings/$17,000 FanDuel) could break the slate, producing a quintessential “have-to-have-it” score that you need in order to win in tournaments. Yes, the Broncos rank quite highly by most defensive metrics this season. They’re fourth in the NFL in points allowed per play and top-ten in yards allowed per pass attempt and schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing offenses. Mahomes has not been his reliable self as of late, either, scoring under 15 fantasy points in four of his last five starts. But Mahomes’ volatility hasn’t stopped either Tyreek Hill ($10,800 DraftKings/$14,500 FanDuel) or Travis Kelce ($10,000 DraftKings/$13,000 FanDuel) from producing in recent weeks. Hill has three performances with 20 or more DraftKings fantasy points in his last four games, including two weekly top-five wide receiver fantasy finishes during that span. He’s averaging an absurd 12.5 targets per game since Week 8, and while the matchup against Denver’s defense is anything but easy, Hill could absolutely score 30-plus fantasy points if he makes the most of similar volume this Sunday Night. Kelce offers a slight salary discount and has arguably the higher floor projection, and his chances of scoring 15 fantasy points are about equal to Hill. But it would take multiple scores for Kelce to top 20 fantasy points, which is always tough to bet on, meaning Hill is still the preferred top option from the Chiefs’ passing attack.

The Broncos’ Teddy Bridgewater ($9,800 DraftKings/$14,000 FanDuel) has led the Broncos to a winning record despite myriad offensive injuries, and remains a better real-life quarterback than fantasy football quarterback. Bridgewater is fifth in the NFL in true completion percentage, and has been excellent when under duress, ranking fourth in pressured completion percentage as well. Bridgewater simply isn’t an adept deep thrower, however, as he ranks 32nd in completion percentage on throws of 20-plus air yards. Despite leading the 12th-best offense in the NFL in terms of EPA per play, Bridgewater has topped 22 fantasy points exactly zero times this season, and has topped 20 points in just 36% of his starts. And while Bridgewater is absolutely fine for cash games, and has a top-five chance of being in the optimal lineup on both  DraftKings and FanDuel, when aiming to take down large-field tournaments, it’s likely more savvy to bet on all of the passing production going to one of Denver’s top receivers. Jerry Jeudy ($7,200 DraftKings/$10,000 FanDuel) has been the clear leader in both target share and air yards share since Week 8, while Tim Patrick ($6,200 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel) has continued his ascent, earning a health 28% of the team’s air yards, more than Jeudy, on just under 16% of the targets. It appears he’s replaced Courtland Sutton ($6,800 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel) as the primary deep-threat in Denver for the time being. Sutton has just 137 total air yards Since Week after topping that mark in four individual games from Weeks 2 through 7. All three of the primary receivers in Denver can be left off of cash rosters, as they’re all highly volatile and have a relatively low fantasy floor with Bridgewater under-center. Noah Fant ($5,000 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel), who has a 17.5% target share and 21% air yards share, is probably a better value play than all three.

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The best bet within the Denver offense is Javonte Williams ($7,600 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel), who should get a bulk of the carries with Melvin Gordon sidelined this Sunday. Williams, PFF’s No. 1 back heading into the 2021 Draft, is a near-lock for 20 touches in this contest, and has eight-plus target upside, likely to remain involved even if the game begins to get-away from Denver in the second half. Williams has carried over his elite elusiveness from college in the NFL, currently holding a 6.0% breakaway run rate, and best elusiveness rating in the NFL according to PFF. With a salary not-fully adjusted for Gordon’s absence, Williams is the best value play on the slate by a wide margin, and will likely be the highest-rostered player, as well. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($8,600 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel) remains viable, receiving 70% of the running back carries in his return to action in Week 11, but at his salary, more than Williams on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Edwards-Helaire is a contrarian, large-field tournament option only this Sunday


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Darrel Williams ($2,000 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel) to a backseat to teammate Edwards-Helaire last week, earning just five rush attempts, and none inside the red zone. After several decent fantasy performances in the middle of the season, it appears Wiliams will be a low-probability play suitable for large-field tournaments. Betting on Byron Pringle ($1,800 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel), Demarcus Robinson ($1,000 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) or Mecole Hardman ($4,800 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel), who have combined to receive over 20% of the Chiefs’ air yards in Weeks 9 through 11, look like stronger tournament plays, especially when paired with a Captain or MVP of Mahomes. Harrison Butker ($4,200 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel) could even be in play should the Chiefs continue their offensive struggles, but still end up winning (as they did in Weeks 8, 9, and 11.)

For the Broncos, Albert Okwuegbunam ($1,400 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) is the only other player besides the aforementioned big four receivers to earn 10% or more of the team’s targets since Week 9, but he’s been highly efficient on his 10 targets during that span, catching eight for 114 yards, and leading the team in receiver air conversion ratio (RACR). Kendall Hinton ($200 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel) has played on 15% of team snaps during that span, making him the only other viable punt play in the Denver passing game. Mike Boone ($200 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel) will likely spell Javonte Williams, but it’s nearly impossible to project his level of involvement, as he hasn’t played a snap since Week 8, and doesn’t have a carry all season.

The Bottom Line

The Broncos ($3,000 DraftKings), particularly their secondary, is certainly capable of stifling opponents. A top-tier defense in nearly every per-play defensive efficiency metric, Vic Fangio’s crew is capable of giving great quarterbacks fits and turning over any team multiple times. Still, the most likely outcome in this game is that Kansas City continues to work out their kinks offensively, and ultimately breaks-through for 25-plus points. With top-flight playmakers like Hill on the outside and Kelce at tight end, the ceiling for this offense, and for their primary skill players, has not altered one bit despite the mediocre middle of the season for the Chiefs, and most likely, the only way Denver wins is if they keep pace offensively, which could be made easier by Kansas City’s middling, albeit slightly improving, defensive.

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Week 13 Sunday Night Football Prediction: Chiefs 28, Broncos 20

Check out all of the best NFL bets for this Sunday Night Football matchup over at OddsShopper, where you can find winning bets in 30 seconds or less.


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A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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