chiefs steelers player props
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6-1) will look to keep their playoff hopes alive when they head to Arrowhead Stadium to face the red hot Kansas City Chiefs (10-4), winners of seven straight, on Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs’ extra rest from a Thursday Night Football game in Week 15 could be nullified by COVID-19 cases that have infiltrated Kansas City’s team this week, potentially opening the door for a Pittsburgh upset.

Let’s take a look at the best Chiefs vs. Steelers player props picks for this key NFL Week 16 matchup.

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The 3 Best Chiefs vs. Steelers Player Props

Ray-Ray McCloud Anytime Touchdown Scorer

There are a number of routes you could go if looking at a Pittsburgh wide receiver to score in this matchup, but we love the value we get with Ray-Ray McCloud and believe he is worth a poke here. Kansas City allows the fifth most passing yards per game (250.9), despite their current seven game winning streak.

The Chiefs have seen 146.6 of those yards go to wide receivers, leading to 14 touchdown catches by that player grouping. Those 14 touchdown catches by wideouts against Kansas City account for 63.6 percent of the passing scores against the team. And, opponents added one rushing touchdown by a receiver, pushing the total to 15 on the season. The Chiefs have seen 66.6 percent of the touchdowns scored against them come via the pass when at home in 2021, the league’s tenth highest rate.


McCloud could be a solid selection here, as he will spend time in the slot, a position the Chiefs have struggled to defend in the red zone. With JuJu Smith-Schuster done for the year, McCloud has found himself more involved in the Pittsburgh offense, sitting third amongst the team’s wide receivers in receptions behind stalwarts Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson.

With the red hot Chiefs playing at home as favorites of more than a score, there is the potential for this game to get away from Pittsburgh, much like it did two weeks ago in the first half against Minnesota. If that happens, the Steelers, who already throw the ball the fourth most often in the NFL, could go exclusively to the pass, meaning even more snaps for McCloud, who caught six of eight targets in the comeback effort against the Vikings.

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Clyde Edwards-Helaire Anytime Touchdown Scorer

Pittsburgh’s defense began the year by keeping opposing running backs out of the endzone in each of the team’s first five games. But, as the season has worn on, the Steelers’ run-stopping unit has gotten exposed, currently allowing the league’s second most rushing yards per game (143.9).

With that inability to stop the run has come, not unexpectedly, an influx of rushing touchdowns against Pittsburgh, as well. Since those five shutout weeks against opposing backs to begin the season, Pittsburgh’s rush defense has allowed at least one score on the ground in every game since.

In fact, since Week 5, Pittsburgh has allowed 13 scores by opposing running backs, even allowing two in the passing game. This sets up well for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has jumped right back into his lead back role since returning from injury four weeks ago after missing five straight games. Despite the time missed, Edwards-Helaire leads the team in rushing yards and has scored all three of his rushing touchdowns on the season since returning to the fold.

Edwards-Helaire could also exploit the Steelers, who have allowed two receiving scores by opposing running backs, in the passing game, as he has averaged two catches per game on the season and his team has scored four touchdowns via running back receptions. Two of those scores were tallied by Edwards-Helaire, with one coming against the Chargers, a team also desperately poor against the rush, like Pittsburgh.

Given that Pittsburgh has conceded 11 touchdowns by opposing backs across the last six games and gives up the league’s second most rushing scores per game on the road this season, Edwards-Helaire should have a plethora of opportunities to reach paydirt in a game his team is expected to win handily.

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Byron Pringle Anytime Touchdown Scorer

COVID-19 made its trip through the Kansas City locker room this week, with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce being the most notable players affected. Those two guys have accounted for 16 receiving touchdowns thus far in 2021, over half of the team’s receiving touchdown total. If either or both are unable to go, other guys will have to pick up that enormous amount of slack.

Byron Pringle should benefit from the viral disturbances this week, whether Hill and Kelce are able to play or not. While Mecole Hardman’s usage has declined as the season has worn on and Josh Gordon has been worked into the mix, Pringle has remained fairly consistent in his role and continues to be the team’s best deep threat, after Hill, of course.

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Pringle averages 14.4 yards per catch this season, a team high and the 27th best in the league this season. Two of his three touchdowns went for over 20 yards, as have nine of his 28 catches. That could play well against Pittsburgh, 12th best against the pass, but vulnerable to longer touchdown scores.

Pittsburgh has allowed 19 passing touchdowns this season, the seventh lowest total in the league. However, 15 of those have gone to wide receivers, good for 78.9 percent of the passing touchdowns conceded by the Steelers. Of those 15, 10 went for 14 yards or longer, roughly Pringle’s yards per catch average in 2021. In fact, with Pringle’s nine catches of 20 yards or longer being four more than any other Chief not named Hill or Kelce, it’s worth pointing out that Pittsburgh has given up seven touchdown passes of 20 yards or longer this season, all to wide receivers, including three in the last four weeks.

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