2022 Week 11: Chiefs 30, Chargers 27 (Dynasty/Fantasy Analysis Game Report)
The Chargers had control of this game for most of the contest…leading 20-13 at the half, and 20-16 after three quarters. But unlike recent previous contests where I thought LAC was primed to beat KC in these close matches, I never doubted that KC would find a way to win this game. The Chargers are just not groomed, coached well enough for these big spots in 2022.
KC took the lead to start the 4th-quarter, 23-20 and then the Chargers impressed with a TD drive to take a 27-23 lead with just 1:46 left to go. We all knew KC would win with that much time left, so KC raced right down to take the lead back 30-27, but there was still 0:31 left and the Chargers had their three timeouts. If Mahomes was in that same deficit spot, you know KC would get in field goal range to tie it up and send it to OT. Not the Chargers…the first play of the hurry up was a ridiculous run attempt up the middle by Herbert, that ended up a loss/sack and then the next play was a near-sack heaved pass into double coverage that got deflected and picked off. Ball game.
Kansas City has the heart of a champion. The Chargers have the opposite…the hearts of a loser. And nothing embodied it more than Keenan Allen -- this was the game of the year for the Chargers…the do-or-die moment…and idiot Brandon Staley put Allen on a pitch count and stuck to it…or Keenan put himself on one and helped force this loss. If Keenan was on the field all game, LAC might have won this…but Keenan spent 30%+ of the game on the sidelines and with Mike Williams out almost immediately, Herbert was forced once again to try and take down an elite team with Palmer-Carter and something called Stone Smartt.
What is Keenan Allen being kept fresh for? This game was everything and you barely knew Allen was in it until his terrific late game catch leading to their final score. Allen is almost 31 years old…what is he waiting for? Is he waiting for the 2023 retool with a new staff when he’s going to be going on 32-years old? A new staff that knows it needs to move on from both Allen and Williams? I don’t get it, but the Chargers keep on Chargering. Allen should have forced himself to play every snap in this must-win matchup. He didn’t.
This was a fatal blow to the already fragile psyche of the Chargers. Possessing one of the great QB talents of our era, they are back to .500 (5-5) and going to fall under .500 again by season’s end…again…and miss the playoffs…again. Brandon Staley should be fired now, and the process begun to hire Sean Payton now. The Chargers are going to finish with 8-9 wins…and the worst thing that could ever happen to the Chargers is they win 9 games and somehow stumble into the playoffs and thus retain Staley.
Kansas City dispatches the mild LAC threat for the division, and now all but have the division sewed up at (8-2)…a three-game lead on LAC, but really a four-game lead due to beating them twice this season. KC now progresses on to go for the #1 seed in the AFC. KC will finish with 13-14 wins and battle Tennessee and Buffalo or Miami for the #1 seed, but KC should get it with their tiebreaker win over Tennessee.
*Note any fractional numbers in parentheses (4/2) or (2/3), etc., are a ‘split’ stat on our definition of a ‘quality start’ (or not) marker on a player -- using 14 PPR points in a game for RB-WR-TE and 21 for a QB…point levels that are good/productive/well above average starts for a Fantasy week. Trying to identify trends, consistency (or not) in players we might not normally realize.
A (3/2), for example, means: 3 times the player hit at/above the mark, and 2 times they did not.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I already besmirched Keenan Allen’s (5-94-0/8) good name in the intro, now it’s time to review his game play upon his return.
He looked fine…a little rusty, a little stiff at first but otherwise he seemed fine. He got the first pass of the game and it felt like the Chargers were on their way to a magical reunion/night, but then Allen kept coming out of the game and not getting many touches when he was in. He was on his way to a useless output night but then made a huge deep ball catch late in the game to puff up his numbers.
Allen looked fine overall. But obviously, he’s playing on his own schedule…not demanding to get in and die in battle. So, I’d say the risk is still there…that he feels a little pull on his hammy ahead…and he’ll disappear again. He’s getting up there in years, the team could fall out of the race and his contract and age says he’s likely to be cut this spring by the new regime unless he’s willing to re-do his deal, but I think the way he’s gone about 2022 is a reminder the end is near and a new regime, if they’re smart, will be moving on and rebuilding this utterly disappointing 2022 WR group/offense to fit Herbert for 2023+.
Mike Williams (1-15-0/1) is a whole other problem…they gave a ton of money to a guy who always gets hurt, it seems, and he’s out hurt again. The new LAC regime is likely stuck with Williams for another season, then his contract is more cuttable in 2024 when he’s 30+ years old.
The Chargers need to move on from the old and get with the new/speedy (WRs) for Herbert.
Josh Palmer (8-106-2/10) opened things up with a deep bomb TD and when Williams went down, and when Allen kept shuffling in-and-out, it was Palmer who stepped up. With Williams out again, Palmer is playable again. Palmer didn’t do anything magical or star-like in this game -- he was just available for the real star, Herbert. I can’t say the same for Williams or Keenan.
-- Just to put a bow on the Chargers side of this…
Justin Herbert (23-30 for 280 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) is so unbelievably talented. He single handedly keeps the Chargers from being a winless/worst team in the NFL. That opening bomb TD to Palmer was so effortless and on the money…if Herbert had a real WR group, one with modern day speed, not three turtles (Allen-Williams-Palmer) and if he had any protection he’d be the top QB in Fantasy.
Herbert got sacked 5 times and hit 10 times this game…and still played/produced a quality game and had the lead after 58+ minutes of play.
Those FF-teams led by Herbert…it’s just not our year. The WR injuries…the O-Line injuries…the terrible coaching not able to adjust as well to the crisis for him. Herbert is stuck trying to make lemonade…as we’re stuck with him for FF.
IF Keenan Allen can play back to normal, Herbert has FF hope ahead facing ARI, LV, MIA the next three weeks…the #23-25-22 pass defenses in the league. If he can get Allen-Williams both back, then we have top 3 FF QB in any-given-week hope with Herbert the next 3 weeks.
The Chargers should’ve been the ones offering/beating the KC offer for Kadarius Toney, but LAC management is failing Herbert and they’re happily stuck with a bunch of plodders for a receiving group.
-- And then I have to re-live, talk about the Kadarius Toney (0-0-0/1) zero event again…
Toney didn’t start, and that’s OK…as long as he plays a lot and gets touches, I’m fine. Toney was in-and-out but the 1-2 times Mahomes was looking his way a pass got batted and Mahomes tucked and ran another. No effort to get Toney the ball on a screen or handoff…or anything. Then Toney disappeared…then we found out he hurt his hamstring, then we learned he was done for the game.
I’ve been burned by Toney multiple times. I’ve benefited from Toney once, just one time…back in 2021 against Dallas, I can remember it clear as a bell…which was an event that sticks with me and is leading me off a cliff, probably, in my subconscious.
I don’t know how long it will be before I learn my lesson. I know the lesson…and I’ve stated the lesson on how the Chiefs would screw this up (in 2022) as sure as they did rookie Tyreek Hill. Toney inconsistency (of mind and body) + KC’s lack of urgency to make him a playmaker = this was bound to happen.
I bet Toney misses a game or two, because KC has no reason or desire to rush him back…better for him to be 100% to play his 20-25 snaps in a game. Then when he does return, we can’t trust him…so we could be 3-4 weeks away from any signs of life…but we’ll all like hang on because he has such promise and had that one-legged hop TD, so we’ll tie up a roster spot for weeks hoping against hope…just in time for JuJu and Hardman to get back up to speed.
Our brains say we should cut and run now on Toney.
Our heart’s say…he could be a high-end WR1 with Patrick Mahomes! Of course, FF-society also used that same logic to push Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the top pick in the Dynasty Rookie Draft and RB1 in redrafts his rookie year.
How’s that lookin’?
-- For the rest of the KC receivers, who had opportunities with JuJu-Hardman and Toney out…
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (1-18-0/4) didn’t step up, per usual.
Jody Fortson (3-67-0/4) actually got the start…and I bet the Chiefs staff is more into hard working Fortson than flighty uber-talent Toney. I like Fortson, but he’s just a bit player here.
Justin Watson (3-67-0/4), another player the Chiefs, I’m sure, like more than Toney…he played the most snaps of any KC WR.
Skyy Moore (5-63-0/6) had his best game of 2022…as we saw that Mahomes knows better than the staff, because he keeps getting fed Watson-Fortson-MVS but he looks for Toney and Skyy more often, when he has the chance. I have said all early season that Skyy is a PPR star waiting to happen, a perfect fit for this quick pass offense -- and we got a glimpse of it here. When JuJu returns, we likely won’t see it again until 2023.
-- Back-to-back games with Isiah Pacheco (15-107-0) getting 15+ carries in a game, but he’s not getting any TDs or any targets, so he’s in kind of a no man’s land for FF production. He looks fine, but KC usually passes around the goal line, so rushing TDs are very limited…and you’re likely to see Jerick McKinnon in around the goal line anyway.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (2-9-0) sustained a high ankle sprain, and he will be gone for weeks, but he wasn’t really playing anyway so nothing really changes for the KC backfield.
-- Another advertisement for the KC-DST…
Facing Justin Herbert is not a good matchup, but the KC-DST held in there against him OK…5 sacks, 10 QB hits, 1 pick, 1 fumble recovery. Not bad. But again, I say: you want this DST for Weeks 14-17 with DEN-HOU-SEA-DEN. Also, Week 12 vs. LAR could be the #1 DST projection of any DST this upcoming week.
Snap Counts of Interest:
60 = Palmer
53 = D Carter
44 = Keenan
08 = Bandy
06 = Mike Williams
45 = Ekeler
16 = Spiller
08 = Michel
57 = J Watson
46 = MVS
27 = Skyy
18 = Fortson
14 = Toney
04 = Kemp
01 = Powell
34 = McKinnon
26 = Pacheco
05 = CEH
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