Captain Chiefs vs Cardinals Showdown Rating (Single Game)


The KC Chiefs will face the Arizona Cardinals on September 11. What should your Daily Fantasy Lineup look like for this game?

With the 2022 NFL season kicking off this week, many of us fantasy sports fanatics also enjoy playing fantasy sports (DFS) daily on sites or apps like DraftKings or FanDuel. But, sometimes we don’t know who the best picks are, especially early in the season. That’s why I’m here today: to share with the Kingdom who I think will be the top picks for the Kansas City Chiefs’ game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 at Glendale.

Top Picks

All fantasy data collected from FantasyData

Choice of MVP/Captain

Patrick Mahomes, QB ($17,000 (FD), $12,200 (DK))

Does this really need an explanation? It’s Patrick Mahomes. Regardless of the game, unless he’s injured, he should be considered an option for MVP/Captain. Recording 4,389 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2021, Mahomes had a fantastic 361.66 points (in a standard league) during the season. Even without Tyreek Hill, I still project he will be in the top 5 fantasy QBs this season.

Travis Kelce, TE ($15,000 (FD), $10,000 (DK))

Travis Kelce finished as TE2 last season, just behind Mark Andrews. He had 6 straight 1,000 receiving yard seasons. This leads me to believe that he will again have a very good season. It’s possible he’s starting to regress, but I doubt he’s falling off a cliff stat-wise.

Other choices: James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster

Flexible picks

James Conner, RB ($14,500 (FD), $8,200 (DK))

Last season, James Conner finished RB5. I expect a similar result this season, especially since Chase Edmonds is gone. With such a young defense, it’s possible that Conner will go completely nuts in this game. The Cardinals were 8th in the red zone on the ground last season. Meanwhile, at the same time, Kansas City was 25th in red zone defense. If you want to take a risk, put James Conner as captain. Otherwise, don’t fade a good RB.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR ($10,000 (FD), $8,000 (DK))

Smith-Schuster was WR139 last season. However, it is a merit to have been injured for 12 games and to have an incredibly washed QB thrown at him. While the Cardinals’ defense was good against receivers last season, I expect them to drop sharply this season. Smith-Schuster is a vital part of the Chiefs WR committee this season and should improve significantly from last season.

Marquise Brown, WR ($13,000 (FD), $8,600 (DK))

The Marquise Brown trade during the draft was a big shock to me. I thought he was in a decent situation with the Ravens. But, now I realize he’s in a much better position with the Cardinals. Brown is in a tough competition for WR1 with Rondale Moore as DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for the first 6 games. While I don’t think Brown will have a great game against the Chiefs, it’s worth considering for your team.

Kyler Murray, QB ($16,500 (FD), $11,600 (DK))

Kyler Murray should mostly be considered because of his scrambling game. He was QB10 last season and should be treated as such this season as well. He will be crippled by the lack of DeAndre Hopkins for the first 6 weeks. While Rondale Moore and Hollywood Brown are two usable WRs, I don’t think they have what it takes to fill Hopkins’ shoes. Expect Murray to be pretty average this season, and especially in this game.

Other choices: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, AJ Green


Salary cap: $60,000 (average $10,000 per player)

Position Player Cost Project. Points
MVP (1.5x) Patrick Mahomes $17,000 23.78
Flex James Conner $14,500 15.51
Flex Travis Kelce $15,000 14.75
Flex Skyy Moore $6,500 N / A
Flex Isiah Pacheco $6,000 N / A

Remaining salary: $1,000


Salary cap: $50,000 (average $8,333 per player)

Position Player Cost Project. Points
Captain (1.5x) Patrick Mahomes $18,300 25.0
Flex Kyler Murray $11,600 21.7
Flex Marquez Valdes-Scantling $6,400 8.2
Flex AJ Green $5,800 9.6
Flex Skyy Moore $4,800 N / A
Flex Jerrick McKinnon $3,000 5.5

Remaining salary: $100

injury report

Report as of September 8, 2022

Kansas City Chiefs
  • Deon Bush- DB- Foot- FP- LIKELY
  • Malik Herring- DE- Abdomen- FP- LIKELY
  • Trey Smith- G- Shoulder- FP- LIKELY=
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster- WR- Knee- FP- LIKELY
  • Lucas Niang- OL- Patule- OUT
Arizona Cardinals
  • Markus Golden- DE- Toe- DNP- DOUBTFUL
  • Trayvon Mullen- CB- Toe- DNP- DOUBTFUL
  • JJ Watt- DE- Mollet- DNP- DOUBTFUL
  • Aaron Brewer – LS – Ankle – LP – DOUBTFUL
  • Zach Ertz- TE- Calf- LP- DOUBTFUL
  • Justin Pugh – G-Neck – LP – DOUBTFUL
  • Zeke Turner – LB – Shoulder – LP – DOUBTFUL
  • Jonathan Ward – RB – Shoulder – LP – DOUBTFUL
  • Rondale Moore – WR – Hamstrings – DOUBTFUL
  • DeAndre Hopkins – WR – SUSP
  • Antonio Hamilton – CB – Foot – OUT

Practice Designation
DNP- Did Not Participate
LP- Limited Participation
FP- Full Participation

Game Designation
OUT- Will Not Play
PROBABLE- Will Likely Play

Misc. Designation
SUSP- Suspended by Team or NFL


If both teams were healthy, I think it would be a much tighter game than my lineups suggest. However, Arizona doesn’t look good as the injury report shows.

Additionally, the Cardinals lost two key players in free agency. Chandler Jones, DE, Raiders, and Jordan Hicks, LB, Vikings. Together, these players accounted for 105 solo tackles, 7 forced fumbles, 63 saves and 15 sacks (player data collected from Pro Football Focus). Their 2022 defense may not get them (and I personally believe they won’t) off to nearly as hot a start as they did in 2021.

With Rondale Moore’s hamstring injury on Sept. 8 and DeAndre Hopkins suspended until Week 6, the Cardinals’ passing attack is heavily delayed. However, James Conner and Kyler Murray can do well on the run. In 2021, Conner is averaging 3.7 yards per carry. At the same time, Kyler Murray averaged 4.8 yards per carry. They can run the ball. And, it looks like they might have to.

With all that being said, I expect the Chiefs to struggle a bit with the running game. Last season, opponents averaged 4.8 yards per carry. To be honest, I don’t see much changed in that regard. The Cardinals will focus on the run due to their top two WRs being Marquise Brown and AJ Green.

The best strategy to use in this game would be to start Patrick Mahomes at MVP/Captain and then place a WR or Travis Kelce in a Flex position. On the side of the Cardinals, Murray should not fade in this game. The problem with this is; having both quarterbacks on your team severely limits your ability to select other top players. For example, on FanDuel, using both Murray and Mahomes uses $33,500. Well over half your original salary. So another strategy is to replace Murray with James Conner. While I don’t think this strategy is as effective, it does save you $2000 to use elsewhere.

On Wednesday, September 7, Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney tweeted this:

This makes predictions for future DFS games slightly easier, but slightly harder for this game. I was initially making a prediction with Smith-Schuster as WR1, but that’s out the window on a committee offense. Therefore, my best advice as to which WR you should choose for this game is: pick your favorite or throw a dart at a board. You will have the same chance as me for picking.

I predict the outcome of this game will be favorable for us Chiefs fans. It’s a matter of who you think will be best for your wallet. As always, if you are going to bet, please do so responsibly and within your means. Good luck to all of you.


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