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Chiefs vs. Bills start/sit advice: Jamaal Charles leads the charge against Kyle Orton and Buffalo

Sunday's Buffalo-Kansas City game could be a deciding factor in the AFC wild-card race.

Assuming Denver and New England keep their first-half pace up, the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills will be among a group of teams vying for the two AFC wild-card spots. Which means Sunday's matchup between the two 5-3 teams could go a long way toward shaping that playoff race.

The Chiefs enter Sunday's game largely healthy from a fantasy perspective. They will be without wide receiver Donnie Avery for the fifth-straight game. Tight end Travis Kelce was on the week's injury report, but he is expected to be fine for the game. The Bills, meanwhile, have a lot more to worry about. Running back Fred Jackson practiced some this week as he deals with a groin injury, but he is listed as questionable and it would be something of a surprise if he were to play. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins suffered a groin injury in practice this week, and it's the same situation for him as it is for Jackson -- questionable, but it will be something of a surprise if he ends up playing. It will leave the Bills on their second- and third-string players at some key positions.

The Chiefs will travel to Buffalo for Sunday's 1 p.m. ET game. Here's a look at the fantasy prospects of the key names:


Start 'em: He's not on his 2013 pace, but Jamaal Charles is still a top-flight RB1. ... Travis Kelce hasn't been the most consistent tight end, but he has good upside, and he's firmly in the position's top 10. ... The Bills' injuries mean the Chiefs' defense has a chance to put up some big numbers.

Start 'em?: After five or fewer fantasy points per game through the first three weeks, kicker Cairo Santos hasn't put up fewer than six since. He's no great start, but he has potential.

Sit 'em: In general, you need your quarterback to come in with some upside -- a reliable 14 or 15 points has some value, but if you can't at least hope for an elite game from your quarterback, it's hard to use him. Alex Smith has only reached 20 points once all season, and even that was only 21. ... Knile Davis will put up his occasional numbers as Charles' backup, but he also has complete no-show games. He's useful only in the most desperate of situations. ... Even as the No. 1 receiver, Dwayne Bowe doesn't really offer fantasy value -- the Chiefs famously haven't gotten a touchdown from a wide receiver all season.


Start 'em: The Bills' defense has averaged almost 10 points a game in its last five, and that even includes a negative performance in that time. It's a good low-end starting unit.

Start 'em?: The Bills appear determined to keep Anthony Dixon as the No. 1 running back with Fred Jackson out, even if Bryce Brown is, from here, probably the better running back. Neither one is likely to be very helpful, but could be flex plays in a desperate situation. ... Scott Chandler has seen his targets rise since Kyle Orton took over at quarterback, and with so many other injuries in the team's offense, he could be a decent sneaky play.

Sit 'em: Between the strong Kansas City pass defense and his dwindling weapons, Kyle Orton needs to be on the bench this week, even as he's been reasonably effective since taking over the starting role. ... Even if Sammy Watkins plays, you probably want to look elsewhere until he can get back to full health, and it's not like Robert Woods or any of the team's other receivers have proven much. ... Dan Carpenter's performances this season have been very up-and-down, making him hard to trust as a starter.


Start in every league: Jamaal Charles, Travis Kelce, Kansas City defense, Buffalo defense

Start if you're desperate: Cairo Santos, Anthony Dixon, Bryce Brown, Scott Chandler

Bench: Alex Smith, Knile Davis, Dwayne Bowe, Kyle Orton, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Dan Carpenter