The Kansas City Chiefs -- the last undefeated team in the NFL -- travel to Colorado Sunday night for an 8:30 p.m. ET game against the division rival Denver Broncos, one of two one-loss teams in the league. It is pretty clearly the primo Week 11 matchup for a lot of reasons, and the prevalence of fantasy stars is one of them:
Start in every league: Jamaal Charles, Ryan Succop
Start if you're desperate: Alex Smith, Defense/special teams
There are actually some subtle warning signs about Charles. His last three games have been his three worst of the year. The last two games are his only ones of the year without a touchdown. He has fumbled three times in the last five games after none in his first four. But he's still fantasy's No. 1 running back on the season. Maybe you sell high on Charles if you get a super-attractive trade offer, but you don't ever think about not starting him. Succop has had consecutive double-digit point games, and is seventh among kickers in fantasy points.
Smith actually hasn't been bad this year, with three different games above 20 fantasy points. The Broncos are middle-of-the-pack against quarterbacks, largely because of interceptions, which is Smith's strong point. He's probably not worth starting, but in a bind, he might come in handy. Normally, a defense against the Broncos is a must-sit, but the Chiefs' defense is 29 points ahead of the next-best in the league, they're coming off a bye and they get to face a banged-up quarterback behind a banged-up offensive line. It's a high-risk play, but the reward is definitely there.
No contender has a worse receiving corps than Kansas City's. Even in a game that has the potential to be a shootout, not one of Avery, Bowe and McCluster promises much return.
Start if you're desperate: Julius Thomas
Bench: Defense/special teams
Yeah, the Chiefs have a strong defense, so the Broncos' studs could have a bad game, but who dares bench Manning, Moreno or the three-headed Thomas/Welker/Decker wide receiver monster? Maybe someone takes a chance and benches Decker, but by and large, these are the guys you throw in your lineup and accept whatever outcome you get. That includes Prater, even though he's not the big name the rest of his team's stars are, but he's still fourth in kicker points.
If there's one big-name Bronco who could be a justifiable sit, it would be the tight end half of the Thomas duo. The Chiefs allow fewer than three points a game to opposing tight ends, two points better than any other defense playing this week. Even then, Thomas has been a stud all season, so odds are he needs to be started. But a benching is just defensible.
The Broncos' defense will score between four and seven points. That is one of the safest bets in fantasy, as every single defense facing the Chiefs this season has scored in that range.