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NFL Season Opener Fantasy Football Preview: Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs

Jeremy breaks down what to expect from tonight’s NFL season opener between the Chiefs and Lions.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 24: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts before the AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium on January 24, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Today is the day I have been waiting for since February 13, 2023. I have the same feeling I had when I was a kid on Christmas morning. My stomach has butterflies, and I can’t stop smiling from ear to ear. I have a little more bounce in my step. I can’t wait to go downstairs to see how many presents I have waiting for me. I open my first present, and it is a wonderful primetime football game between the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs!

I open my second present and it is my favorite first-round pick in fantasy this year, Travis Kelce! I am so excited about it that I take him out of the box only to find that he has a hyperextended knee. Oh no, how dare Santa Claus (aka Andy Reid) let this happen to my star fantasy football player. Now I will be nervously awaiting word all day to see if Kelce will be active for tonight’s game. Those are just some of the emotions I feel when it comes to the first game of the NFL season each year, but also with some extra drama with the Kelce injury happening two days before the game. It is like an old-man Christmas Day for me. 

Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Football Preview


Now as for the football game tonight. I believe we are going to get a great game. The Chiefs will be having their world championship pregame ceremony with the unveiling of the championship banner and the presentation of the Super Bowl rings. Now also add on the Travis Kelce knee injury and the Chris Jones holdout and there could be a lot of distractions tonight for the team. They will be counting on the leadership of Patrick Mahomes and Head Coach Andy Reid to make sure the players are focused on the game and nothing else.

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The real question for fantasy managers is whether Kelce will be active for the game and, if so, how much he will play. I am kind of hoping that he is inactive for this week so that he can recover better with the extra three days of rest before their Week 2 matchup. Otherwise, it will just be a mess trying to figure out how many snaps he will get in the game tonight.

I am intrigued by seeing what Mahomes can do without Kelce on the field as he has some good young receivers. Some of the wide receivers like Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling will have to step up and make some plays. I am also interested to see who gets the most wide receiver targets and snaps for the game.  


The Lions were one of the surprise teams of the 2022 season. They just barely missed the playoffs last year. Head Coach Dan Campbell will have his team fired up and ready to play against the world champs. The Lions want to get off to a better start this season after losing six of their first seven games last season. What could be better than going into Arrowhead Stadium and beating the world champs? 

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I am looking forward to seeing how the Lions use some of the new players they brought in this offseason. Everyone is buzzing about the running back room with electric first-round pick Jahmyr Gibbs and the reliable David Montgomery. I want to see how the touches get distributed during the game and how many times they are on the field together.

Jared Goff will be relying on a more veteran receiving group with Jameson Williams out thanks to a gambling suspension. I am interested to see the target share and snap percentages for Josh Reynolds, Marvin Jones, and the rookie Sam LaPorta. We already know that Amon-Ra St. Brown will lead the team in targets, and probably receptions too. 

With all that being said, I think we get a high-scoring game tonight. I believe both Gibbs and Montgomery will have more than 100 total yards with no Chris Jones in the middle for the Chiefs. I can see Mahomes and Goff both throwing for close to 300 yards each, with a couple of touchdowns. I think the two leading receivers will be Moore with 6-96-1 and St. Brown with 8-105-1. Ultimately, I can see a final score of Chiefs 31, Lions 27. 

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