*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
This past week was spent by the football mainstream doing two things…
1) Discovering Patrick Mahomes.
THEY got a ‘hot tip’ after the 6 TD passes in Week 2, so they were on the case of doing interviews and all falling over each other trying to describe how much they loved him and easy he makes everything look.
Things I said in 2017. How can all these experts be studying and watching all this football, and now they are shocked/have today discovered Mahomes makes this look too easy? You could have seen it last preseason, this preseason or in his college years.
2) The ones not discovering him were downplaying him, especially in fantasy…’this can’t last’ and ‘QBs are streamers, so trade him hot’.
I saw one website pleading with their readers to trade him now to get the great Corey Davis before it was too late. Guess what? You still got time to get your precious Corey for Mahomes if you want it.
Mahomes is single-handedly going to carry fantasy teams to the playoffs and put them in line for a title. I’m pretty sure Corey Davis will not do the same.
Well, apparently, this ‘can keep up’ as once again Mahomes went out and shredded another NFL defense like it was nothing – could’ve had 4-5 TD passes with a little luck and a player falling an extra yard or two on some plays. Don’t worry, the mainstream isn’t done yet…they are already pointing put the tough schedule ahead DEN-JAC-NE as Mahomes’s comeuppance. Ohh, I’m so scared for pitiful/lucky Mahomes.
The mainstream belief is a young QB cannot make this look this easy…because if it is true -- it destroys all the idols created that rookie QBs need more time to adjust to the so very tough NFL, that schemes can halt young QBs, that the playbooks are so complicated…and that Mahomes wasn’t the best QB from the 2017 draft in hindsight.
Did anyone see apologies from the mainstream in their celebration parade for Mahomes this week? Nope. I did see a commercial tease that after the break, on NFL Network, Sunday morning, ‘the guys’ were going to tell YOU why Mahomes is so good so far. Kurt Warner can ‘love this kid’ all he wants, and Michael Irvin can wear all the funny suits and talk gibberish all he wants – they didn’t see it, they never see it…not ahead of time. Not when it matters.
I’ll admit it liked Mitchell Trubisky over Mahomes for the 2017 NFL Draft, in part because I never thought an NFL team would let Mahomes just ‘go’. Kudos to Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy. I thought there was more chance they’d box in Mahomes then let him loose, like KC disciple Matt Nagy is doing to Trubisky. I’m still not sure I wouldn’t take (for the NFL) Trubisky over Mahomes if both were dealt the same circumstances/coaches/players entering the NFL. But that’s a debate for another day.
For now (and the future/dynasty), Mahomes is THE player to own in all of fantasy. He might even lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl this year.
2017 Patrick Mahomes was Jimmy Garoppolo…Jimmy Franchise was the next ‘big thing’ at QB in the NFL. Now, that candle got snuffed out for 2018. The no more Jimmy G. reality has big fantasy ramifications we have to deal with, so we’ll painfully start there…
Fantasy Player Notes:
-- I’m assuming Jimmy Garoppolo (20-30 for 251 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) is done for the year with an ACL. Obviously, there are lots of ramifications for this for fantasy. Let’s get to them and then I’ll end with JG’s long-term dynasty play/thoughts.
Everyone on the Niners, weapon-wise, is affected, hurt by this in 2018. Here’s the outlook on each individual:
First, C.J. Beathard is not bad. He’s not close to Jimmy G., but he’s capable like a poor man’s Matt Ryan or rich man’s Josh McCown. He’s a sneaky fast runner, which makes him fantasy QB viable in 4pts per pass TD leagues. In his last five starts last season, CJB ran for 24.4 yards per game and rushed for 3 TDs. He also had 288 and 294 yards passing in his third and second-to-last starts of 2017. However, 3 TDs/5 INTs his five starts of 2017. The passing game is definitely dropping off, but not as bad as you’d think.
Marquise Goodwin (3-30-1/4) probably takes the biggest hit. He doesn’t die off, he just falls from WR1 threat to WR2-3 purgatory. He’s still ‘the guy’ but Garoppolo was the special sauce in their relationship. Goodwin will have moments but him and JG being the Niners’ equivalent to the Goff-Cooks for 2018…it’s dead. Goodwin had low catch counts but big yards one splash plays with Beathard last season. 2.2 rec., 65.8 yards, 0.20 TDs per game.
Matt Breida (10-90-0, 3-27-0/3) is about to be knocked into reality. Teams played the 49ers to pass and were happy to let Morris-Breida try to beat them. Now the defense doesn’t have to over-respect the passing game. Brieda’s rushing title hopes were going to end anyway, now they do quicker. However, he may get a spike as a PPR back, which is where his value should be.
George Kittle (5-79-0/7) takes a hit for upside but not as crushed as you’d fear. He’s a great target for CJB…and teammates back at Iowa. 3.7 rec., 38.6 yards, 0.20 TDs per game with CJB + Kittle in Beathard’s five starts in 2017. Kittle’s upside to top 3-5 TE takes a hit, but still a TE1 threat.
Pierre Garcon (1-11-0/4) had already died…now he’s even more dead, and a candidate to be traded before the trade deadline (to the Pats). If that trade happens, it’s a ‘stock up’ for Dante Pettis, who would have worked a bunch of 2nd-team with CJB, but don’t expect Beathard to make Pettis a rookie star right away
What about the fantasy future with JG? I’m moving on. Too many other great, young QBs hitting the league. Garoppolo will be 28 years old next season. He’ll probably be shaky to start the 2019 season in time from his rehab, and we’ll all be nervous about his return. If 2018 is dead and 2019 is shaky/rehab year. What? I hope 2020 is the big breakout at age 29?
I think Garoppolo is a super-talent, but I’ll get re-interested again later. In dynasty, if you need to deal him on IR to a team building for the future, as you go for the gold, by trading JG like a draft pick – do it. Don’t clutch JG too hard for 2018. Too many other young QBs emerging. Garoppolo may have missed his window to stardom by getting delayed too long in New England and now this.
-- Patrick Mahomes (24-38 for 314 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) was great as usual. Don’t be surprised if he cranks a couple of picks in a game soon…because he likes/tries to force the action. And that’s a good thing.
If you can trade for him somehow, you do it. An existing QB people like on your team + a nice player is likely what it takes to get a Mahomes deal started. There are still people who think he’ll fallback to earth, and he might…but that means just 300+ yards and 2-3 TDs minimum every week and not as many 400+ and 4-5+ TD games. He’s the future, the future is now.
-- Go buy any Tyreek Hill (2-51-0/5) stock you failed to get prior. He didn’t score a TD here, had a quiet game and dared have a game without a TD. Teams are doubling him more, and Mahomes is just toying with the defenses using other guys when he sees that and makes everyone else a star. He eventually goes back to Hill in-game because it’s his guy, beyond his guy.
Mahomes under-threw an easy 40+ yard TD with Hill in this game. No worries. There will be games like this where they get up by 3-4 TDs and don’t need to push it to Hill every throw.
-- Kareem Hunt (18-44-2, 0-0-0/1) should be taking advantage of teams playing the pass and leaving the run wide open. Hunt has responded with a bland, sad-looking 2018 of 3.2 yards per carry YTD. Like I’ve been saying since mid-2017…there’s a problem here and I’m not sure when KC is going to have had enough.
Spencer Ware is averaging 4.7 ypc (on just 5 carries) this season.
Ware has 3 catches on 6 targets, Hunt has 1 catch on 3 targets this year.
Nothing is immanent, but I can see Ware going from 90/10 share to Hunt, to 80/20, 70/30, then enter a game early and just look great and get a lot of carries over Hunt in that one game and then it’s a thing in the media and so-on. The story is not that Ware takes over, but that Hunt continues to plummet from grace.
-- Rookie IDP Fred Warner (11 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 PD) was named starting ILB, despite Reuben Foster’s return – which is smart of the 49ers. Foster goes to OLB where he belongs. Warner is in the FF/IDP juicy spot.
-- 2nd-year CB Eric Murray’s (5 tackles, 1 PD) move to safety for KC has been a good one…he’s averaging 6.3 tackles per game. I’ve always liked his toughness. Playing safety just makes a ton of sense. IDP deep sleeper.
Snap Counts of Interest:
47 = Hunt
18 = Ware
68 = Eric Murray (100%)
52 = Garcon
42 = Goodwin
25 = Trent Taylor
23 = Pettis
15 = Bourne
29 = Breida
23 = Morris