2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 10: Chiefs 41, Raiders 14 (By Ross Jacobs)
Well, I guess now the Chiefs are fixed. Or more accurately, they were never broken. Sometimes teams go through slumps. Sometimes they have bad games. Sometimes the blocking is bad, receivers drop passes, the ball bounces funny...these things happen and they don't always have to mean something big. More often than not it's just flukes, random chance. Mostly these teams are who we think they are.
The Chiefs so called slump was mostly the product of a little bad luck but also they played some pretty good defenses. The Titans game was a ton of bad luck early that put them in a hole, but the Giants and Packers both have very underrated defenses. RC has been on both of them for weeks, and yet we still collectively think of them as average defenses...thus the Chiefs struggling on offense is their own fault and not them getting held down by the opponent.
Sometimes you have to step back and question your assumptions when these things happen.
Lost in the offensive discussion is the fact that the “struggling” Chiefs won 2 of those 3 games and have now clawed their way back into the lead in the AFC West...and the defense is suddenly coming on to help! They've allowed a total of 38 points over their last three wins, albeit against the Giants with half their skill position players hurt and the Packers without Rodgers. Holding the Raiders to 14 was quite impressive though, and what if Love is actually good like RC and I suspect and (just like I said above about questioning your assumptions) what if it was a suddenly good KC defense that held him down?!
It's natural to assume that the KC defense is bad and thus Love is bad, but that might not be accurate anymore. If the KC defense has indeed made a turn and are now a decent group, then this team is about to get a rocket fuel jump and start crushing everyone on their way to another AFC West title.
This next week against the Cowboys is a huge test. Beat them soundly and they might cruise through their last 6 games with ease. Lose and they fall to 6-5 and leave the Chargers room to catch them. I don't think that's going to happen though. I think the Chiefs win this game and lose at most one, possibly two, more games.
The Raiders had a wonderful start to the season going 3-0 and getting everyone all excited, but in hindsight it wasn't that impressive a run. They had to mount a comeback against an ok Ravens team, got a good win against a poor Steelers squad, and struggled with the terrible Dolphins. Since then they've gone 2-4 and are quickly falling back into mediocrity. I've said it all year, this team just doesn't have the firepower necessary to compete with the better teams.
Looking at the schedule I see another 4 or 5 losses coming most likely, possibly even 6. The only team they will be clear favorites over is Washington. Every other game looks competitive if they aren't the outright underdog. Prepare for another 7 or 8 win season Raiders fans.
--Guess Patrick Mahomes (35-50 for 406 yards, 5 TD/0 INT) didn't forget how to play football or have the league figure him out.
Who would have thought that the greatest QB in NFL history didn't suddenly get shut down forever? How stupid was that argument, really? When have we ever seen an elite QB magically disappear from the landscape because the league “figured him out”? That's not even a thing, and suddenly you have analysts and fans claiming he's done for good? I think that has to be the single dumbest thing I've ever heard said about football.
Guess a couple of low scoring wins, not even losses but actual wins, will make people jump to some radical conclusions. Never forget that humans are rather dumb herd animals and will overreact to the tiniest bit of potentially bad news. It doesn't even have to actually be bad, but if people think something is bad they will run off a cliff to avoid it. These are the moments where FFM is ready to step in and profit off of herd stupidity.
I bet a few of our readers even managed to swing trades for Mahomes the past week or two. Think about that! The immortal Patrick Mahomes, the greatest weapon in all of fantasy, the golden boy, was available for trade, was being dumped on you as if he was hot garbage, all because people ignored his entire career of success because of 3 not great weeks!
If you were able to get a deal done for him, especially in dynasty, this past week then you have my congratulations. You just stole the greatest asset in fantasy and can now compete every single year for the next 10 years because of this one move.
--The “return” of Mahomes means that Tyreek and Kelce are back to elite status at their respective positions. No questions asked.
--Wish Mahomes would use CEH the way he used Darrel Williams (11-43-0, 9-101-1/9) in the passing game here. Here's the thing, a lot of analysts are going to say this is a sign that Williams is actually a better player/receiver than CEH with the logic being “well if CEH could do this then they would have already done it.” That's nonsense. Coaches do stupid shit all the time. Just look around the league. How many years was Cordarrelle Patterson completely wasted before he was unleashed by a coach with the eyes to see what he had?
CEH isn't the greatest back ever, but he's better than Williams. On the year CEH is averaging 4.7 ypc on 14.75 carries per game in his four healthy games. Williams is averaging a mere 3.6 ypc on the year and 13.8 carries per game during his five games as the lead back.
The main difference is that Williams has been fortunate to grab 5 total TD's during his lead time while CEH only got 2 and neither of them on the ground.
The only other difference is that during two of the past three games, Williams began to be used more in the passing game, possibly as a response to the two high safety looks everyone is throwing at the Chiefs these days.
I think it would be foolish to assume there won't be a plan to use CEH similarly upon his return. It's working and he has the skills to play in the passing game. Go look at his final year with Burrow at LSU for proof. If CEH returns to his usual 14.5 carries per game but also starts getting 5 or 6 targets per game and a little bit of TD regression then we're suddenly looking at an RB1 the rest of the year.
The only question is if he'll return to a split role with Williams after he's played so well (which is what most analysts are warning against). I think you know the answer to that. The Chiefs will go right back to CEH as the lead. He's never going to be a 70% usage guy, and that's fine. He'll get plenty of numbers as a 60/40 guy. He just needed the TD's and a few more catches to jump up the fantasy charts, and I believe that opportunity is about to come.
CEH could have been available on waivers or in easy trade for weeks...or right now, still. He's been hurt for weeks, somewhat ineffectual for fantasy when he was healthy (to the point of getting made fun of), and Williams put up a couple of flashy games that is scaring people into thinking this will be a true split backfield. I say go nab him now ahead of the curve and sit on him. It doesn't hurt to take a look, and there's a ton of upside if he pops the way I think he might. There's a decent chance he comes off IR this week against the Cowboys, but he should be back for sure in week 12.
--Byron Pringle (4-46-1/5) has finally ascended to the #2 WR role behind Hill and rightly so. It only took them this long to figure out he's their next best option. At least the change has finally been made though. This is another contributing factor to the improvement in KC's offense. Andy Reid may be a slow learner, but at least he eventually learns. Doubt it's worth much for fantasy, but maybe he can pull down WR4 numbers now? It's something.
--Josh Gordon is such a steal! He's a monster! He'll dominate with Mahomes....yeah, no catches, no targets, he really matters, huh?
--This was the first time all year I've seen a decent connection between Carr and Bryan Edwards (3-88-1/4). It's not enough for me to jump on the train...yet. I'm watching closely though. Trouble is that if he pops a huge game out of nowhere, there's been enough hype that he'll get snatched up on waivers before we can grab him. You have to get him a week early.
I don't think it's this week against a tough Bengals secondary, but perhaps the week after against the Cowboys? We'll see.
--The real top WR for now is Hunter Renfrow (7-46-1/9) as we've said all year. He is Carr's Edelman or Allen's Beasley. It won't work every week, but more often than not he's good for some safe ppr points.
--Where oh where has Darren Waller (4-24-0/7) gone? He had one great week and because it was a monster effort the first game of the year everyone has been duped into starting him every week in the vain hope that he's going to go crazy again. I do think he'll pop ahead at some point because he's still a very good player, but you wasted a lot of weeks waiting for it.
--Man does Josh Jacobs (7-16-0, 5-20-0/5) suck. Remember way back in 2019 and 2020 as a hotshot rookie and 2nd year “breakout” star when he was rushing for 1000 yards and 10+ TD's on a ton of volume while not being very effective? Me too. Funny how a year can change things. Sure would suck if Najee Harris had a similar career arc...just remember this next time you think Najee is untouchable and the #1 dynasty asset without a doubt.
--I'm not even going to talk about DeSean Jackson's fumble...if you haven't seen it, go watch. I don't know what this guy is doing or why the Raiders signed him.
--Sorry RC, but Nick Bolton (4 tackles, 1 tfl) and his huge tackle counts might be gone and it's a good thing for this defense as a whole. I love Bolton as a run defender, but he's been a liability in the passing game all year. The last two weeks his snap counts have been drastically cut down to around 40% and suddenly the KC defense looks much better on the whole.
*RC NOTE: Yes, it looks like time to reel it back in on Bolton if KC is reeling him back in snp counts.
--One guy not losing snaps is Denzel Perryman (11 tackles), also known as the NFL's leading tackler. The man has been on fire all year. And to think, he was signed as a free agent by Carolina after the Chargers didn't want to keep him, then Carolina cut him and he was signed by the Raiders. DeVondre Campbell was available forever this offseason after Arizona cut him and he signed for a pittance. Joe Schobert was traded for a song...you think maybe the NFL has an issue evaluating LB talent? I'm beginning to think so.
*RC NOTE: Bolton should be, has been for a bit, KC’s Perryman...run game, high tackle counts, pass game liability...but Bolton is getting pulled back on the leash it appears.
Snap Counts of Interest
56 = Tyreek Hill
46 = Byron Pringle
33 = Josh Gordon
26 = Demarcus Robinson
45 = Darrel Williams
20 = Jerick McKinnon
11 = Derrick Gore
49 = Darren Waller
21 = Foster Moreau
46 = Zay Jones
43 = Bryan Edwards
39 = Hunter Renfrow
9 = DeSean Jackson
31 = Josh Jacobs
17 = Kenyan Drake