2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 4: Game Analysis: Chiefs 26, Patriots 10
I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I have to move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
This is going to be every other or every third game the Chiefs play this season – all the opponent’s try to do is run the ball every play to run the clock to hope that their weaker team can stay close, keep Mahomes off the field, and try to get lucky and win in the end.
It has yet to work for any team this season…to get a win.
Oh, it looks like it’s working…the Chargers looked like they were going to blow out the Chiefs, until they lost in OT. The Patriots kept this game to no TDs for KC in the 1st-half. New England played the near-perfect 1st-half. Only a 6-3 lead for KC at the half.
But then the Chiefs stepped on the gas a little and took a bigger lead, which forced the Patriots’ offense to get out of their four-corners slow down and then the Chiefs’ ace defense kicked in and put the Patriots away.
Many reading this have huge ties to the Kansas City Chiefs for Fantasy, so you have to prepare yourself for every team trying the same plan…run-run-run-run. The clock ticks away. You get nervous at the FF totals for Mahomes-Tyreek-Kelce-CEH, but then the KC things usually find their way to FF-goodness and it’s alright. It’s going to be painful watching a lot of it happening when it is working for a half…like v. LAC, like v. NE. I thought BAL would be the only team capable of pulling it off, but they were the most incompetent against KC.
The Chiefs can flip a switch, and they know it, so they are fine meandering. It’s like a cat with a mouse…they entertain themselves with it scurrying around at first and then decide, at some point, to kill it. There might be some painful FF outcomes because the Chiefs meander, but not every game can be FF-gold.
The Patriots played this game about as well as they could have, and were staying close…but, come on, they were never really in this game. They were just trying to survive and get lucky. It might have been more interesting with Cam playing, but likely KC would have done the same thing.
New England gets a break with Denver Week 5, then a BYE, and then there is some trouble – v. SF, at BUF, at NYJ, v. BAL in Weeks 7-8-9-10. That could easily be a (1-3) stretch making the Pats (4-4) and maybe 2-3 games behind Buffalo. Week 8 at Buffalo is going to be the season for either the Pats or Bills. Either the Patriots are still the leaders of the AFC East…or the baton was grabbed away by Buffalo.
KC is (4-0) and begging the question…who is going to beat them? Week 6 at Buffalo is that spot, potentially. If not there, I don’t think they’ll lose a game unless they take off Week 17 as an extra BYE week. They have a very nice schedule after Week 6.
Fantasy Player Notes…
All the scouting/study of this game for me was on the Patriots’ side. KC does what KC does for their side, and facing Brian Hoyer isn’t a real litmus test – it was a one-time, emergency event. I have brief notes on KC, but the interesting play activity…a few debuts, of sorts, happened with New England.
-- Damien Harris (17-100-0) finally got a real chance to play, and he looked good…as I expected he would whenever he got the chance. He was one of the best backs of the 2019 NFL Draft, arguably as good, better than Alabama teammate Josh Jacobs.
Harris started the game and it was his first real ‘playing time’ (besides junk a slim few snaps last year), and it was against the defending champs on MNF, and he responded with 100 yards rushing. Nothing wrong with that.
He ran the ball tough up the middle (as they wanted for the game plan) all game but also showed some juice in the run game…a juice lacking with Sony or Rex or White.
Is Harris the starter now? Maybe. You know Belichick…Harris may start and get 25 carries Week 5…or he might not start, rotate in and see 4-8 touches.
Harris is not going to send James White (7-38-0/7) to the bench, so Harris is instantly limited in PPR like Michel always was.
Harris is not sending Rex Burkhead (11-45-0, 1-5-0/1) to the bench eternally, because Rex is a heart & soul experienced player. So, Harris loses some opportunity to Rex.
When Sony Michel returns…it will be a cluster.
When Cam returns, he’ll take all the TDs anyway.
I love Harris…hate him/his situation for fantasy 2020.
-- Jarrett Stidham (5-13 for 60 yards and 1 TD/3 INTs) came on in relief of Brian Hoyer and was OK/forgettable. He was trying to get his team back in it…so, he was taking chances and got picked a few times. It’s not a great backdrop to judge him on.
However, I will say this – he’s the past. Stidham is not a QB for the new millennium of football. The football world doesn’t need another Jimmy Garoppolo. It did in 2015, not in 2020. You’re wasting energy here with him for fantasy/dynasty long-term.
The Patriots will re-sign Cam before they turn it over to Stidham.
-- Gunner Olszewski (1-11-0/1) came off I.R. and played a few snaps. Don’t be surprised if he works his way into the rotation heavier as the season goes along.
As/if that happens, it will take some of the limited pie off the plates of Byrd-Harry.
Julian Edelman (3-35-0/6) is drying up in this offense, but this was a Hoyer-Stidham emergency event, so hard to say if he’s dying totally…or just had issues because of these QBs against a great defense. Four games in, Edelman has one great game…and three duds. It’s worry time, but with Cam Week 5 it could turn the tide.
-- I don’t like Sammy Watkins (4-43-0/7) but he is ‘something’, not nothing. He had a nothing game vs. LAC (and their great coverage) but has 6.0 rec., 63.3 yards, 0.33 TDs in his other three games.
The Chiefs WR playing similar snaps as Tyreek Hill, and on the same field with Mahomes…it won’t be terrible, and it’s sometimes great/fantastic.
Mecole Hardman (4-27-1/4) is scoring TDs lately, but still only plays about half or less of the snaps in games and splits time with Demarcus Robinson. He’s a boom-bust, and a weird Tyreek handcuff kinda-sorta.
-- What did I tell ya about this Chiefs-DST? Worth getting strong last week and two weeks ago, huh? Prepare for the gold with the Miami-DST pairing, and you do that this week…get MIA ahead of time for Week 6 vs. DEN (while KC is at BUF). Don’t get scooped on it next waivers.
Pairing the right DSTs together is 2020 FF reality, there is no ‘shutdown every week’ defense. You need to find the right mix and matches because DST scoring is so down in general…except the good Ds with the great schedules/opponents so far.
From my prior week’s KC-MIA musings (with slight updates for Week 5/past Week 4…
Dropped by many because of the Ravens matchup Week 3. After the Ravens game you get a long stretch against a mix of good and weak offenses. No powerhouse matchups until like Week 15…if you consider the Saints a powerhouse (at NO). Also, consider – the Chiefs have good-to-great defensive talent to go with (and an offense that supports them).
Weeks 4-5-6 with Cam-Carr-J.Allen is OK, but then it gets really good Weeks 7-14…
At DEN, NYJ, CAR, BYE, at LV, at TB, DEN, at MIA.
You know what pairing works great with KC…the Chiefs and the Dolphins…
Week 4 = KC v. NE (DONE/WINNER!!)
Week 5 = KC v. LV
Week 6 = MIA at DEN (KC at BUF)
Week 7 = KC at DEN
Week 8 = KC at NYJ
Week 9 = KC v. CAR
Week 10 = MIA v. NYJ (KC bye)
Week 11 = KC at LV
Week 12 = MIA at NYJ (KC at TB)
Week 13 = KC v. DEN
Week 14 = KC at MIA
*UPDATE INFO AHEAD NHERE* From Weeks 5-15 you get 10 weeks, and 3 matchups with DEN and 3 with the Jets…over half the matchups vs. DEN and NYJ. Miami doesn’t have a terrible defense either.
Snap Counts of Interest:
52 = Tyreek
46 = Watkins
26 = Mecole
23 = D. Robinson
73 = Byrd
57 = Harry
46 = Edelman
09 = Zuber
06 = Olszewski
40 = White
26 = Rex
23 = Harris
25 = Willie Gay, KC (Rookie LB started this game, but didn’t play but 33% of the snaps.)