The Kansas City Chiefs are two games better than the Indianapolis Colts. Still, barring some unexpected changes in the playoff seedings down the stretch, Sunday's game between the two teams will only be the first in a two-games-in-three-weeks home-and-home series between the two, as it certainly looks like the AFC South-winning Colts will be the AFC's four-seed and host the probable five-seed Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs. Still, there is enough at stake that both teams will be playing full out in their 1 p.m. ET game Sunday in Kansas City, leaving a lot of playoff intrigue:
Start if you're desperate: T.Y. Hilton
Quick, without looking, where does Luck rank among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring? It's hard to imagine anyone guessed fourth, which is the right answer. Luck trails only Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Cam Newton at the position, despite being theoretically disappointing. Even against a tough defense, Luck stands to be a top-10 quarterback. ... Vinatieri has been good for big production most of the season; he's kicked three or more field goals in three of his last five games and six times on the season.
Hilton got back to the right side of the ledger a bit a week ago, with eight catches for 78 yards, his best game since Week 10. On the other hand, 41 of his 78 yards came on a single play, and he hasn't scored in seven weeks. On the other other hand, he's far and away the top weapon in an ever-depleting offense. He's got upside.
It's frustrating that Brown enters Week 16 getting over a stinger from a week ago; it looks like he'll be fine for Sunday's game, and the Chiefs' run defense has struggled lately, but the injury makes trusting Brown that much less easy to do. ... And, related, Richardson might be a nominal fantasy play with Brown out, but the starting running back's presence relegates Richardson to afterthought status. ... Rogers' hot status in Week 14 was replaced by Whalen in Week 15, but either one needs more big games before fantasy owners should even consider trusting them. ... Fleener's fantasy production has dropped in four straight games, and he's had one or zero fantasy points five different times. He's played himself out of TE1 status. ... The Colts' defense has scored double-digit points in two of three games, but has zero or fewer points in four of its last seven. There's got to be a more trustworthy unit out there.
Start in every league: Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, Defense/special teams
Start if you're desperate: Dwayne Bowe
Bench: Donnie Avery, Ryan Succop
Before shutting down the Houston Texans' Case Keenum in Week 15, the Colts had been a feast for opposing fantasy quarterbacks this season, with nine straight double-figure fantasy days, five of 20 or more. Smith has been a top-10 fantasy quarterback all season. ... Nope, Charles isn't scoring 51 again. Yep, he's still obviously starting. ... The Chiefs' defense might not be the league's No. 1 unit in Week 16 against a good offense, but it's still a must-start.
Bowe has scored in the double figures three times in five games, though that production is almost entirely because of touchdowns; he still doesn't have more than 70 yards in a game all season.
Avery has contributed two big games this season - Week 3 and Week 12 - but has been largely unusable in fantasy otherwise. ... Succop has only converted three field goals since Week 9.