Dynasty-Fantasy Analysis: 2020-21 Season AFC Finals Playoff – Chiefs 38, Bills 24
*Just like our in-regular-season coverage, we’ll be analyzing all of the playoff games for Dynasty/Fantasy purposes…with an eye on 2021 valuation changes, etc. During this time, I’m watching the tape and writing up an analysis on NFL Draft prospect scouting studies and prepping/studying for the Senior Bowl (still on for now) – so, I’m typing out my thoughts/notes quickly and not hardcore editing. Forgive any typos/grammar, etc.
There’s not much to analyze about the game itself. Buffalo played scared and righteously lost…a Bills team that had been running through the league and been playing with total confidence in the 2nd-half of the season – but when it mattered here, they wilted. They bowed down, got taken way out of their game plan, and started settling for field goals against KC (the sure sign of death).
The Chiefs get all the credit – they out-coached, outplayed, out everything’d the Bills. The Bills played scared, while the Chiefs played like they were on a leisurely Sunday drive. I expect to see the same in the Super Bowl…KC cruising to a victory.
Buffalo has to look in the mirror and realize they are really good, but they are never getting past the Chiefs in a playoff showdown without some modifications (nor are the 31 other NFL teams)…and maybe the Bills will never get past the Chiefs, ever. Some of what Buffalo’s future is made of will be determined next year when these two face-off in the regular season. If Buffalo gets embarrassed for a third time in two years – they might never mentally comeback from that…or get a chance to do so for years.
Kansas City is just the best team in football when it comes down to it – Mahomes is just better at football than anyone else, and he has a very talented group around him. KC can sleepwalk through the regular season, look sloppy, still win most every game and then go to the playoffs and just crank it up and wreck everybody.
The extra KC advantage in the years to come – everyone is going to want to play for Kansas City. Free Agents will take discounts. Veterans will want to spend their final season on a discount for one year to go there and help win a title. The Chiefs have a true dynasty opportunity on their hands.
There might only be one team with the elite QB, the home field/stadium, the appealing state to live in (when you are rich) that can someday defeat the behemoth…and that team exists within the same division – the L.A. Chargers and Justin Herbert…they have a chance to be the West Coast Buffalo Bills in the season(s) to come.
The three best teams in football in 2023 might be KC-LAC-BUF…missing from the top three is – any NFC team. San Francisco and Carolina will be the NFC hopefuls. Just talking out loud making cheap future predictions based on nothing but idle chatter.
Maybe it’s because I’m drunk with football winnings. One of the best wager weekends in the playoffs I’ve ever had. I didn’t bet the games (or I would have lost both based on my picks). I may never bet another (individual) game again. Player props is where it is at…the way I can use my secret superpower of scouting and watching/studying all these games.
I hope you listened to the Bet The Close podcast last week before Sunday or just took the advice from my playoff preview this past week. Thank you to Dawson Knox and then (the big one) Isaiah McKenzie scoring a TD to pay off props nicely. The one I didn’t get was Buffalo’s over 25.5 points scored…and we had several chances at that/hitting a hat trick, but the long shot player props paid for the Bills ‘over’ 25.5 loss and then some. I’ll discuss the TB-GB props hat trick winnings I hit on that game recap.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Josh Allen (28-48 for 287 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT, 7-88-0) damaged his FF value with this game…and I love it, as a Dynasty owner looking to reasonably acquire him this offseason (a quest I’ve been on for months)…and for building Redraft/Best Ball teams for 2021.
Only the Super Bowl will have more viewers than watched this past weekend’s games…and it’s the last impression that Allen owners are left with – him ‘failing’. I argue, for fantasy, Allen is up there with Mahomes. But after this game…they won’t even be close in the consensus rankings.
In no particular order, people will ‘like’ Kyler, Deshaun, and probably Herbert more for now + long-term. Lamar will be in that discussion for some people, and for 2021 only play…Rodgers will be up with/past Allen. Dak and Burrow are also in the mix potentially…their injuries holding people back.
Whereas Allen should be in the debate for top FF QB for 2021, and a strong #2 among QBs overall…he’ll probably be in the distrusted #4-5-6 range for many. The offseason will be filled with ‘can Josh Allen repeat his success’…or ‘was 2020 a fluke for Allen’ from the media. No such words will be spoken of Kyler-Deshaun-Herbert-Rodgers. Lamar will get ‘Is Lamar ready for a breakout 2021 like his 2019’? Glowing reports of recovery will happen with Dak and Burrow. Allen will have mixed negatives and be on ‘likely to revert/disappoint in 2021’ fantasy lists all offseason.
As far as this game goes – it was the first time in 2020-21 that I saw ‘old Josh Allen’ for a few plays here. The panicked guy looking a bit confused and forcing things that weren’t there. KC played him great and the moment was huge, and Allen choked on it for a few plays/series.
It’s legit to wonder…will Allen revert back to pre-2020 ways? We’ll be discussing it all off season on our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball side of things on FFM.
Allen played shaky in the middle part of this game, but then regrouped after a rough patch…but it was too late. He was not his best and still scored 26.3 FF points (4pts per pass TD) to Mahomes 25.5…28.5 Mahomes/28.3 Allen in 6pts per pass TD.
Mahomes v. Allen -- it’s a fantasy argument I’m interested in more than a which QB will be in the Super Bowl more in the years ahead one. It’s a fantasy ‘value’ consideration in a sea of very good QBs at the top. This loss…Allen looking shaky…it hurt his already shaky momentum/standing going forward. I like that as a ‘buyer’.
-- Good news…Clyde Edwards-Helaire (6-7-1, 1-0-0/2) got cleared for return!!!
Bad news…Six carries for 7 yards -- and outplayed once again by KC’s best RB Darrel Williams (13-52-1, 1-9-0/1).
You need to score 13+ PPG (PPR) to be in the top 25 RBs in the modern day.
CEH hit 13+ points in a game in just five of the 14 games he played in this season.
He took 15 or more carries in a game once in his last 8 games.
His catch counts in a game in his last five games = 1-1-5-1-1.
I know he’ll be fine/good…but what’s his case for ‘great’? Is the offense going to be built around him? I think not. He’s a good/solid RB getting good touches in a great offense that doesn’t need him.
-- It’s similar/worse news for then Bills’ RB situation…the offense is not being built around the RBs. Josh Allen has become the offense.
Devin Singletary (6-17-0, 2-9-0/3) somewhat carried the Bills offense in the 2nd-half of 2019 season, and he tallied 6 catches and 134 total yards in their playoff game last season. A year later, T.J. Yeldon (3-15-0, 4-41-0/5) is used more than he had been all year as the Bills tried to catch up to the Chiefs…Singletary an unneeded bystander about as important as Edwards-Helaire to his team.
Zack Moss is the lead in a split for 2021 with Singletary. Neither will matter in the wake of Josh Allen hoovering all the FF numbers. Moss will just matter more than Singletary.
I really thought the Bills would ride Singletary as the lead in 2020, but he flat out died. The number of teams moving to either a two-back system (because there are too many talented RBs in the world and it’s smart to do economically) or to a system where the RBs don’t matter because the QB is the center of the offensive universe is past the simple majority of teams and closing in on 75%+ of all NFL teams going this way…and eventually there will be all-star backfields of talent because college football is pumping them out.
In another year or two, the best Fantasy RBs to have in a given season will be the ones in a duo but one of them tore an ACL…so the other one has free range to the workload, not by original design. Good luck trying to guess those situations ahead of time…
Buffalo and Kansas City fall in the ‘RBs are random-good or mostly irrelevant for FF because of the QB talent’ category.
The top 10 PPR RBs by PPG in 2020, listed by their QB (Weeks 1-16, 10 or more games played…)
1) Bridgewater (breaking the rule for this #1 because CMC only played 3 games)
5) Rodgers (Jones likely leaving via free agency in 2021)
9) R Wilson
Of the top 10 above…one truly high-flying elite Fantasy QB. Solid/mediocre QBs spawn the best RBs…so says 2020. It makes sense…when your QB cannot carry the team, or the head coach doesn’t want the QB to carry the team/wants a tough guy run game – you get more RB output than a running back working with elite QBs.
-- Can someone tell me why Sammy Watkins is getting paid a bunch of money by the Chiefs again in 2020? Has anyone mattered less to the Chiefs reign than Watkins? Is he even in football anymore?
2 TDs this season. Eight of his 10 games played at 60 yards or fewer.
In 2018, he signed a three-year, $48M deal with KC…for what? Because people thought he was ‘generational’ in 2014? He’s been a generational money suck. He got paid $15M this season for literally, nothing.
He’s a free agent now…watch a team like the Bears or Jets or Jaguars sign him to a massive deal.
Byron Pringle (3-22-0/5) looked more effective in this game than Watkins has his whole KC existence.
-- Who cares about Watkins or Pringle or anything besides…Tyreek Hill (9-172-0/11) and Travis Kelce (13-162-2/15)?
No one can stop them.
If Mahomes really wanted to, if Andy Reid really wanted to…Tyreek Hill could have a 2,500+ yard season with 20+ TDs if desired/geared up for such a thing.
Who else can you say that about in the NFL? Davante Adams, maybe? Derrick Henry on the ground? Christian McCaffrey on the combined ground and air?
So, isn’t Hill a top 5 fantasy player/asset?
Doesn’t Kelce deserve mention in there?
There were 2020 redrafts and Best Ball drafts where I saw Hill followed Kelce followed by Mahomes go to one team. Not getting those great RBs off the jump didn’t hurt their fantasy team’s results one bit.
-- Who is Josh Allen throwing to besides Stefon Diggs?
Dawson Knox (6-42-1/8) had his best catch count game of 2020 here, but just for 42 yards…and much of it coming from the fact that all the WRs were taken away downfield and Allen had to settle more short/medium in this game than normal.
Knox now has 5 TDs in his last 9 games. He will be a low-key Robert Tonyan in 2021 – the TE working with the elite QB, the open alternative near the end zone when the defense is tripling the ace WR.
Gabriel Davis (0-0-0/3) continued his late season swan dive – 0 catches on 7 targets the last two games. 17 catches off his last 34 targets (50.0% connection with a 70%+ passer). The Bills need to add an upgraded #2 WR to work across from Diggs, with Beasley in the slot. They will likely draft that WR, and that WR will be a random TD dependent WR2-3-4 week-to-week.
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It’s going to be a scouting NFL Draft season like no other – some top prospects opting out of their final college season, a unique schedule for CFB teams to have played, a different type of bowl season…a whole new backdrop to scout against. An experienced, talented scouting eye is going to rule. I have 10+ years of successful CFM scouting and analytics to lean on – I’m ready for the challenge.
I know the mainstream football analysis is going to butcher this year’s class even worse than normal – because they are going to blindly favor big school prospects more than ever, because those schools will have the only names they are truly familiar with, and it’s just the ‘name’ they are familiar with not their ‘game’. They’ll ‘hive mind’ run with whatever names the collective seems to be buzzing about – because they don’t put in the work, they just echo things they’ve heard. I’m not saying that to be a jerk – it’s the open window of opportunity (their failure) that I was able to build my career/business upon.
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