2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Wk2 Game Analysis: Chiefs 17, Cardinals 10 (Subscriber Extra Notes)
Ross Jacobs did a full write up of this game from his perspective. I just watched the tape back on this, and here are some of my notes…
We got a good dose of KC’s 1st-team offense (minus Tyreek) vs. Arizona’s 1st-team defense, as well we got Arizona’s 1st-team offense against KC’s mostly 1st-team defense.
Winner = The Arizona defense
Loser = The KC offense
Dreadful = the Arizona offense
Let’s get into it…
Dynasty/Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The last three games I’ve watched of Patrick Mahomes (10-18 for 78 yards, 0 TDs/1 INT) haven’t been good…two preseason games and the Super Bowl. Not that Mahomes is now ‘bad’…just not ‘Mahomes’. This game, Mahomes seemed OK, but he had two issues to work around…
1) His offense outside of Tyreek Hill is one of the worst collections of ‘weapons’ in the NFL. How could they be so short of talent at the easiest positions to find/fill in the NFL…RB-WR?
2) The Arizona DST is hot right now. Ross saw it this week. I went wild over it last week, and they followed up nicely here – the Arizona Cardinals have a legit top 5-10 defense in the NFL.
I’ll push (and then tap the brakes on) the Cardinals-DST again: They look great this preseason, and that’s without J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones playing. Their coverage is swarming. Zaven Collins is taking to middle linebacker like an ace. This defense is deep and active – which they had a good/active/emerging last year and then injuries hit and the team fell down in the 2nd-half. If this defense stays healthy it’s going to be a top 5 unit.
…top 5 in NFL terms, but for Fantasy it’s a little murkier with their schedule. It starts OK (maybe) with TEN-MIN-JAX Weeks 1-3, but then turns with LAR-SF-CLE Weeks 4-6, then a break with HOU Week 7 but then Green Bay Week 8 and SF Week 9. It’s a choppy schedule overall, with highs and lows…but this defense looks so promising they might make this schedule submit to their will against the likes Tennessee’s and Minnesota’s and Rams good-not-great type offenses.
We keep moving this DST up in the rankings…it will be a top 10 FF projected unit the rest of the preseason for us.
Maybe it was just a bad day, but I’m watching KC’s offense without Tyreek and it looked like they were all running mud.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (3-13-0, 1-10-0/1) is a very average-good RB. He may get an FF-boost from being in the KC offense, but he’s not a primary weapon for them…he’s a piece, and I don’t like paying heavy for that in Fantasy. Chase Edmonds (1-3-0) looks way more active and quicker than CEH.
Darrel Williams (2-2-0, 1-8-0/1) spelled CEH and looked even slower. Demarcus Robinson (2-10-0/6) looks even slower than Williams…how is Robinson a starter for Mahomes? How does KC give worse weapons to Mahomes than what Rodgers complained about in Green Bay?
Byron Pringle (4-63-0/5) is the only non-Tyreek with any juice on the 1st-team type guys…and Pringle is technically not starting, but I don’t know how they’ll start Robinson over Pringle. I bet Pringle takes that job.
Mecole Hardman (4-39-1/8) has speed but is a weak WR…and he was blanketed most every throw, for the supposed speedster. For someone who is so fast, he doesn’t get great separation – especially with Tyreek not on the field taking heat. If Tyreek gets hurt, KC is not winning a Super Bowl with this offense as-is.
-- Speaking of slow-ass Chiefs: rookie TE Noah Gray (3-22-0/3)…the media’s ‘next Kelce!’ Yeah, nice try…but no.
-- The slowest-ass player in this game was the poster child for slow-asses: James Conner (2-1-0). If you think Conner is a threat to Chase Edmonds…don’t. Man, does Conner look horrible. Cement shoes all the way.
-- Now, we did see speed with Rondale Moore (3-15-0/5, 1-9-0). More quick passes and jet sweeps this week. He’ll have WR3 hopes right off the bat and then WR2 hopes when he supplants A.J. Green (0-0-0/1) who just needs to go away. I see nothing with AJG here. He looks very aged/mediocre in his routes.
The reason I said the Cardinals offense looked dreadful in the intro – Green is not a legit NFL starter anymore, but they are pushing him. Kyler (1-4 for 2 yards) looked terrible in part because he had no one to throw to without DeAndre Hopkins there…only Rondale provided a spark, but Moore wasn’t in as much with Kyler as I had hoped.
-- Player on the rise for a WR desperate KC…Daurice Fountain (3-54-0/3). He looked like their best WR in this game. A 5th-round pick by IND in 2019…he’s making waves with KC now. He’ll be a #4 WR, or should be…booting out DeMarcus Robinson, with Pringle ascending to the starting lineup. I wouldn’t be surprised by Week 3-6-10, whenever, that the Chiefs start Tyreek-Pringle-Fountain as their trio.
Actually, what KC should do is snatch up a WR that gets cut due to salary cap or make a trade for a mercenary one-year guy – because after Tyreek it’s bad news. James Washington would work, but the Steelers won't help KC out.
-- I leave this game wondering if KC’s malaise is just them not taking the preseason seriously…or if the weaponry after Tyreek is a drag that will hold this team back to ‘great’ and not elite/unstoppable. It’s dangerous to read too much into the preseason, in most cases.
However, I do feel right about what I see with the Arizona defense. That’s going to cause a shift in our win-loss projections. If their offense wasn’t so shaky, I’d confidently pick Arizona to win the NFC West as of now – I’m debating in my head…can Kyler just hoist this thing on his back and ride with this defense to NFC West domination?