2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 9 – Chiefs 26, Vikings 23
This was one of the best chess game/coaching maneuvers in a game that I’ve watched this year. The Chiefs tried to hide/help Matt Moore as best they could while going all-in on stopping Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs…and letting everyone else try to beat them. They almost did…but KC ended up with the win.
Kirk Cousins was brilliant in making use of all the not-Diggs/Cook options, but that’s not a lot of talent to work with. KC was masterful locking down Diggs/Cook, and it kept KC in the game and then the mental mistakes were made by the Minnesota defense (getting to be a recurring theme)…as they couldn’t keep track of Tyreek Hill the way KC committed to stopping Diggs/Cook. Solid plan by KC, excellent execution by the players, especially the Chiefs defense.
The Vikings were exposed as just a try-hard ‘B’ student, while the Chiefs are starting to get the pieces in place to be an ‘A student’ team – a team that can win it all. I didn’t think that a few weeks ago, but now I see this defensive plan coming together and their obvious offensive pieces – this team could be better than the Patriots in a few weeks, and maybe the best team in football with Mahomes back and healthy.
…Belichick will still find a way to beat them in the end, however.
Kansas City is now 6-3 with a two-game lead in the AFC West…this win potentially bought them another week to rest Mahomes Week 10 so that he’s 100%-ish to face the hard-charging Chargers in Week 11. If KC wins Week 11, the AFC West is all but over. If LAC loses to Oakland on TNF…it gives KC a preview of what they can do, which is extra-rest Mahomes (and they aren’t going to seat Oakland as much). If LAC wins, then KC has a harder decision on whether to push Mahomes.
I think KC will go on to win 11 games, and they need to push things in general for the #2 seed -- because the Ravens are suddenly a thing (but KC beat them already) and the Texans are starting to emerge (and HOU already beat KC). The Chiefs would, obviously, desperately want that playoff BYE week. 11 wins might do it, but 12 wins should lock it in. I don’t think the Ravens will hit 11 wins, nor Houston for that matter…but too hard to call that right now. Both teams are surging a bit.
Minnesota falls to 6-3 and faces a fall to 6-4 at Dallas this week. And then four of their final 6 games at home is awesome for them. 9-10 wins for Minnesota as a projection, possible NFC North favorites because I think that Green Bay is overrated and Minnesota is a ‘B’ student that’s an ‘A’ at home and a ‘C’ on the road…and with all those home games coming, including home vs. GB Week 16 on MNF – the perfect set up for a Vikings NFC North title.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I’m starting to see ‘signs’ with the Chiefs-DST.
They are starting to plug up the run game leak they had…they cut off Dalvin Cook (21-71-0, 4-45-0/7) this game. The Chiefs were getting blistered by the run Weeks 1-6…worst in the league levels. Five games in a row allowing 120+ rushing yards in Weeks 2-6. 180+ rushing yards allowed four games in a row Weeks 3-6. But the last three weeks averaging 95.0 yards per game rushing.
The Chiefs haven’t allowed a 300+ yard passer since Week 1…and that was garbage time allowed v. Jacksonville. 7th in the league in sacks, with their top pass rushers out hurt a lot the last few weeks. They have maybe the deepest collection of pass rushers in the NFL…when they are all healthy.
There are some signs of life happening…
In addition, when they have faced average QBs/offense…they’ve been good – held Oakland to 10 points Week 2. Indy to 19 points Week 5. Denver to 6 points Week 7. They have played mostly all good-to-great QBs this season. They get a break with Ryan Tannehill this week. I love the KC-DST this week.
The KC-DST is plausible Week 11 vs. LAC, but then a Week 12 BYE takes long-term (today) steam out of them. Weeks 15-16 vs. DEN and CHI are nice, if you get there.
I like them this week and then again Weeks 15-16. In-between, a mixed bag that isn’t great but may be Ok-ish.
-- Kirk Cousins (19-38 for 220 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) played a helluva game here, I thought. They tried to bait him into forcing things to Diggs-Cook, and he didn’t take the bait. He made plays with C.J. Ham, Laquon Treadwell, and Ameer Abdullah…so smart.
TD passes in a game the last 4 games for Cousins: 4-4-0-3…the zero was that aberration on TNF vs. Washington where he threw all over them, just no TDs because they ran everything in.
Tougher schedule ahead…@DAL, DEN, BYE…then the nicer -- @SEA, DET, @LAC, GB Weeks 13-16.
-- With Adam Thielen (0-0-0/1) out, the Chiefs doubled Stefon Diggs (1-4-0/4) into an FF-nightmare. We’ll see if Dallas is smart enough to do the same this week.
If Diggs is taken away, who works for fantasy? I don’t know. Cousins used everyone to get over with Diggs-Cooks being overplayed. There was no ‘one guy’ he leaned on.
Diggs feels like a great play with Thielen out, but not if Dallas does what KC did here.
-- Damien Williams (12-125-1, 2-3-0/2) is the new RB du jour for KC/fantasy. I’ll just say it again, what you already know…he got a nice, clean 91-yard TD run, and minus that he had 11 carries for 34 yards and 2 catches for 3 yards. About like his other sad 2019 performances.
He is the clear lead now, so that’s worth something.
Checkout these snap counts from this game at RB…
43 = Damien
11 = Darrel
06 = McCoy
If not for the big TD run…what a terrible FF game for playing 43 snaps!
Next week, it could be Darrel Williams is the man…or we’re all re-chasing LeSean. I want nothing to do with this backfield if I can help it.
-- For what it is worth…Sammy Watkins (7-63-0/10) played a heck of a game here. I usually make fun of him for being so overrated, but he made some clutch catches in this game. Maybe he has a spark coming ahead with Mahomes back.
Snap Counts of Interest:
43 = Damien
11 = Darrel
06 = McCoy
63 = Diggs
59 = Olabisi Johnson
20 = Treadwell
07 = Thielen
55 = Kyle Rudolph
43 = Irv Smith