*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
This had to be the strangest week of football in all of 2018. Almost all the high-end QBs laid eggs…Brees, Goff, Luck, Brady, Cam, etc. Several bizarre upsets and near upsets…like this game. Did you know this game was 33-30 KC with 6+ minutes left?
The Chiefs would go downfield and score a TD with 2 minutes left to go up by 10…but there were some touch-and-go 3rd & longs KC fought through to get there. They were a fluke play away from a possible Oakland upset.
Everything was out of sorts it seemed. KC fumbled it away on their very first play. Mahomes missed several bombs he had easy money on. KC couldn’t stop the Oakland offense to save their lives. It could have been a Kareem Hunt hangover. It could’ve been taking the Raiders too lightly. Credit Gruden…the Raiders are playing hard and getting better incrementally as the season goes on. Whatever it was…Oakland hung with KC, nearly caught them in the end…but the Chiefs did what they had to do and won. In this strange week, it’s as good as it gets…a win, no matter how ugly.
Kansas City needs to keep pushing because New England keeps winning. BAL-LAC-SEA ahead is not easy for KC. The Chiefs should need to keep pressing through Week 15. They play the SNF game Week 16. They will know by midday that Week 16 whether that game means anything for them because NE plays at 1pm. Even if NE is 11-4 after Week 16 midday, and KC is 12-2 going into their night game…the Chiefs need to win Week 16 to make Week 17 meaningless. The only way KC quits on Week 16 is if the Patriots lose two of their next three…and that’s likely not happening. Houston is lurking as well and could add more complexity.
The summary: KC will need to play all-in through Week 16 at a minimum. If they lose another game the next two weeks, then they have to play all-in the rest of the way through Week 17. For fantasy, it’s low odds KC will laydown before Week 17. We see them finishing 13-3 and we’ll see if that’s good enough for the #1 seed…it should be.
Oakland is sitting with the #2 pick in the draft (SF projected #1 right now). They might win a 3rd game, at best before season end. They likely do not want to. They may pull Carr early to ‘take a look at what they have with Geno’ as a veiled way to throw the Week 15 game at Cincy. I doubt it…they’ll probably do that Week 16 or for sure Week 17. I need Cincy to win one and two more games, for my ‘over’ win total that has fallen apart lately – so, I’d like it to be Geno Week 15. Please.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- How did Spencer Ware (14-47-1, 1-5-0/1) look? Does the Charcandrick West signing scare me? What about Damien Williams (5-38-0, 2-7-0/2)? Slow down, we’ll get to it all…
1) Ware looked fine. He just found out he was the new starting RB Friday night into Saturday before Sunday’s game. He’s also coming off a major injury in 2017 in which he hasn’t had to push a ton of workload this year, so why would they jam him 20+ touches in a game against Oakland in his first time (in 2018) as a starter?
The game was a lot closer than they expected and Ware had to grind a little against a ‘game’ Raiders defense. I thought he ran well, ran hard/tough. Everything looked fine.
2) Damien Williams got work too…obviously, they need to get him up to speed. They need Williams for relief work the rest of the season. He’s a very good receiving back, but so is Ware. It will be an 80/20 split in normal game flows.
3) Charcandrick West is back! Signed this week. That should not scare you for Ware. It makes a ton of NFL sense. KC cannot go into their Super Bowl run with just off-a-major-injury Ware and Damien Williams. If something were to happen to either Ware-Williams, KC would be in big trouble…so, this move made emergency planning sense.
West is not coming back to steal the backfield. He may not even see a touch this season, unless a major blowout is underway.
I would classify Ware as an RB1.5 the rest of the way. Not a favorable schedule, but not bad. Will yield some touches with Williams…but Ware will be the lead. He’s the only one really qualified in KC to be the lead back. But they won’t overwork him…so, with a major lead (or deficit) they’ll pull back the reigns, not overwork him – which is not as great as we want for fantasy.
-- No fears on Tyreek Hill’s (1-13-0/6, 2-37-0) egg here. Ill-timed if you needed him for this week, but FF scoring was down all over so most survived this.
There were probably more Mahomes-to-Hill bombs in this game than in any game this season. It’s just something was off. Mahomes either over or under threw them…and Hill dropped one.
When you play this style of video game offense, and you’re not taking this game as seriously/as focused as you should (it was ‘just’ Oakland), then this could happen.
-- I expected better from Chris Conley (3-25-1/7) with Sammy Watkins out again. There’s just not a lot of consistent love for the non-Kelce/Hill targets in this KC passing game.
Out of nowhere, backup TE Demetrius Harris (3-39-1/6) was utilized as a weapon. There was much more purpose to use Harris than Conley. I’ve never seen KC do anything like this with Harris but once before several years ago. Before I think this is a new thing, I’ll wait to see if this is like a Pennywise event where ‘It’ happens once every 30+ years.
My main interest in Conley, as I’ve stated – I am wondering if Watkins might be done for weeks, and Conley gets a bump from that for sure…BUT then if Hill goes down (with Watkins out), we’re all scrambling into Conley or Demarcus Robinson. Conley is a kinda Tyreek handcuff in deeper roster leagues…maybe.
-- Did you know, in his last 7 games, Derek Carr (29-38 for 285 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) has thrown 9 TD passes with no interceptions?
Now, half those games he had 0 TD passes in them…but he started the season with 7 TDs/8 INTs. His numbers are improving.
The PIT-CIN-DEN outlook ahead isn’t so bad with Chris Harris down for Denver.
If Carr is trending higher then maybe there is something to the Jordy Nelson (10-97-0/11) game? Jordy is their best WR by far…why wouldn’t he get all the targets? Teams are likely to double him ahead which may spring more Marcell Ateman (2-16-1/4) activity…he’s looking solid in his first few games on the main roster. They both enter the WR/flex discussion via Carr improving and the possibility of all shootouts ahead.
-- Jalen Richard (6-95-0, 3-31-0/4) is all over the map. One week he’s nothing. The next week he’s the best RB they have. The next week back to RB4 touch counts.
If the Raiders are trying to win games still, Richard is at least an RB3 name in PPR for the desperate.
-- My guy Dorian O’Daniel (2 tackles) started, but split snaps with Reggie Ragland for the first time in a while. Not sure if DO’D was banged up or what yet.
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes from these two teams…
KC-DST vs. Lamar Jackson Week 14 is interesting. I worry that the Ravens will be able to run clock and keep our KC offensive assets down this week. We need KC to score quick and make the Ravens chase them in the air some…and then that will be good for the KC-DST, when LJax puts it up in the air.
Arizona…what can you say? They suck, and I don’t want any of their things facing DET-ATL-LAR. That Week 14 game hosting DET – the Lions have looked really good in a string of losses vs. good teams lately, and Arizona comes off a win over Green Bay (like it’s a major achievement) – I kinda love the Lions -2.5 this week to try to save my betting season.
I fear saying, “Bet of the Year” after my last two of them face-planted (how did Indy not score a point?), but I don’t ‘fear’. I push on to the next opportunity and I trust the process. I will be playing the Lions strong this week and I’ll expand on why in their recap.
Want…we’re going to punish Detroit for losing to SEA-MIN-LAR-CHI 2x in a six-game span? They had the Bears on the ropes two weeks ago, and they outplayed the Rams last week. Arizona beat SF 2x and sad GB this season. The Lions for salvation this betting week!!
Snap Counts of Interest:
69 = Jordy
62 = Ateman
59 = Roberts
65 = Nick Nelson
54 = PJ Hall
52 = Joseph
22 = Hurst
65 = Conley
63 = Hill
42 = D Robinson
07 = Deiter
49 = Ware
19 = Dam. Williams
03 = Darr. Williams