chiefs broncos player props

The Week 18 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos was one of two flexed by the league into a nationally televised Saturday spot. The Broncos have been eliminated from playoff contention, but will look to make things difficult for the Chiefs, who aim to finish the regular season with a victory. A win for Kansas City would ensure that it finishes no worse than second in the AFC standings, while also forcing Tennessee to win its game on Sunday in order to prevent the Chiefs from sneaking back into the conference’s top spot. The number one seed in the AFC would provide Kansas City with a first-round bye as well as home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, so the team will surely be fully invested here.

Let’s take a deep dive into the best Chiefs vs. Broncos player props picks for this key NFL Week 18 matchup.


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Chiefs vs. Broncos Player Props Picks

Drew Lock Over 206.5 Passing Yards

The Denver Broncos elected to spend the ninth pick of last year’s draft on a cornerback, even with Justin Fields and Mac Jones still on the board. The Broncos opted to see what it could get out of Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock under center for the time being. Neither laid great claim to the position, leaving most to believe Denver will go in a different direction altogether at the end of this season. But, for now, the team has one more game to play to run out the string and Drew Lock will get the start under center.

The Broncos did spend a second round pick on Lock in the 2019 draft, so this is likely one last chance to decide if there is anything worth trying to salvage here or if they deem him destined to be a career backup in the league. As such, and in a game that has no real meaning for the team, we expect Lock to see a game plan that asks him to throw the ball a considerable amount.

Denver is also a double-digit home underdog here to a team searching for the top seed in the AFC, so it isn’t inconceivable that the Broncos could find themselves in a considerable hole early enough where abandoning the run becomes necessary to try to compete. Either way, we should see Lock get the opportunity to throw 25 or more passes here.

He had 22 and 25 pass attempts in the team’s last two games, completing over 70 percent of his throws in those two outings. He threw for 245 in last week’s 34-13 loss to the Chargers, a game that this one has the potential to emulate.

Lock won’t be facing a top 13 passing defense here like he did the last two weeks either. Kansas City allows the NFL’s fifth most passing yards per game (256.3) and just let Joe Burrow throw for over 400 last week. The Chiefs also concede 276.6 yards per game through the air when away from home this season, the league’s second worst mark.

It looks like Lock will have his full complement of weapons out there to help him in this one and he should have every chance to top this prop requirement in what could be his final audition for a meaningful place on this Denver roster.

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Darrel Williams Over 14.5 Rushing Attempts

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been ruled out for this game with the collarbone injury he suffered two weeks ago, as the Chiefs aim to have their starting running back as healthy as possible for a potential playoff run which will either begin next week or the week after. Thus, Darrel Williams projects to handle the bulk of the backfield carries against Denver in a game the team wants to win to have a shot at the AFC’s top seed and the bye that comes along with it.

You might not realize it, but simply by being available in every game this season, Williams has actually become the team’s rushing yardage leader, despite averaging less than four yards per carry. Even with Edwards-Helaire having played in 10 games, Williams managed to average 8.6 rushing attempts per game as the primary backup. He reached double-digits in carries seven times, including a season high 21 totes against Washington. He topped this prop’s requirement twice this season and even reached 14 rushes last week in a Kansas City loss.

Denver allows the 12th fewest rushing attempts per game against them this season, but as the season has slipped away from the Broncos here in the final few weeks, that average has skyrocketed. The Broncos’ last three opponents have run the ball an average of 33.7 times per game against them, the third highest average in the league over that span.

Something similar could certainly transpire here if Kansas City gets the big lead it craves and looks to run out the clock and protect its starters late in the game. That’s a luxury the Chiefs have with Williams, too, being the team’s backup running back. If they believe Edwards-Helaire will return to full health in time for the playoffs, Williams handling the ball here throughout the duration of the game to see out a victory becomes a wholly acceptable risk.

Denver has developed a well-earned reputation as a consistently tough defense over the years. This year’s group has followed suit, allowing the league’s ninth fewest total yards per game and third fewest points per game. However, the Broncos are just 14th best at stopping the run and allow the ninth highest yards per rush average at home this season (4.5).

We expect Andy Reid to open the game conservatively on offense for once, using Williams to establish the run game, while protecting Patrick Mahomes as much as possible. And, if things go to plan and the Chiefs are nursing a decent lead in the second half, we should see Williams in there to see out the potentially important victory, gaining plenty of rushing attempts in the process.

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Tyreek Hill Anytime Touchdown Scorer

Tyreek Hill has enjoyed another season of high usage in this pass-happy Kansas City offense. He sits fifth in the league in targets (156) and could realistically finish the regular season as high as second in that category. He is also third in receptions (110), seventh in receiving yards (1,237), and tied for seventh in receiving touchdowns (9).

Interestingly, though, those nine touchdown catches are far below his 15 from a year ago, a number that saw him finish tied for second in the NFL behind Davante Adams, who had 20. Reaching that double-digit scoring total will surely be of importance to Hill and we expect Patrick Mahomes to seek out his favorite target early and often in the red zone. This is especially likely to be true knowing that Denver will be without both of its starting cornerbacks, Patrick Surtain and Ronald Darby.

Hill will also want to atone for one of his worst outings of the season the first time Kansas City played Denver, where he caught just two of five targets for 22 yards and no touchdowns. Denver is the only division foe that Hill has failed to score against this season, tallying three combined touchdowns against the Raiders and Chargers.

Worth noting, seven of Hill’s nine touchdowns this year came on the road and he faces a Denver defense that has allowed at least one wide receiver to catch a touchdown in 12 of 16 games this season. The Broncos have allowed 16 wide receivers scores through 16 games, including five in the last four contests. There’s no reason one of the league’s best receivers shouldn’t add to that list here, knowing how shorthanded Denver is in the secondary.

Hill has scored on this field three of four previous times he’s played here and entered this season having scored four touchdowns in his last four games against the Broncos. Look for him to add to that impressive history with another score here.

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