By Matt Johnson
on Wednesday, December 27th
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid delivered a late gift on Wednesday. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, who the team traded up to select in the 2017 NFL Draft and is viewed as Kansas City's franchise quarterback of the future, will draw his first NFL start in Week 17 against the Denver Broncos.
Kansas City is locked into their playoff seed and an AFC West crown, which allowed the team to rest its starters and give Mahomes his first live action in the regular season. As a result, Mahomes draws the start against a stout Broncos' secondary.
In a lost season for the Broncos, Denver's secondary continues to provide some problems for opposing passing attacks. Denver allowed the eighth-lowest quarterback completion percentage at 59.8 percent. Meanwhile, they've allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards per game (196) and the 12th lowest yards per attempt (6.8). So it's certainly a matchup that raises some concerns for Mahomes.
Kansas City will also be resting starters Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill, which would further reduce the likelihood of Mahomes finding great statistical success.
Mahomes ' raw tools, specifically his rushing ability and one of the strongest arms in football, still give him plenty of traits to get excited about. Kanas City could open up more RPOs and deep shots for him in this game and the style of offense they establish for Mahomes will be a key aspect to watch. If you're still playing in Week 17 for season-long leagues, Mahomes is off the radar.
Given his value on DraftKings and FanDuel paired with his raw ability, it will make him a value-play DFS option in the season's final week. Get excited football fans, Kansas City is bringing some fun to a meaningless Week 17 game.