I'm going back through some team notes from games last season, and in the following/current year I like to pick a few teams and post all their game recaps in order and make a few, quick new year/season observations -- and it gives us some spring/summer reading material when football news is slow.
The first team I selected to post from 2018 season -- the Kansas City Chiefs. The team responsible for the most successful regular season fantasy football we've had as a company. Let's walk down memory lane week-by week (one per day) and re-live it because it was great, culminating with that Monday Night Football game vs. the Rams...and then we kind slid from there. Let's re-live it all starting with Week 1...
2018 Week 1 Dynasty-Fantasy Analysis: Chiefs v. Chargers
*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
DirecTV flipped this game on 1+ minute past the start time (on the eight-at-a-time view). Just in time for me to see Tyreek Hill giving me the ‘peace sign’ going in for his punt return score to start what was going to be quite the fiesta for R.C. game.
If you think fantasy analysts and national football pundits are dumb on Tyreek Hill, or were, look at the morons in NFL coaching…why would you punt a returnable ball to Tyreek Hill ever? I mean, really think about that…three years into Tyreek, a team in the same division that has played him 4x the past two years – they can’t wait to punt straight away to him. Idiots…all of them.
I don’t want to waste carpal tunnel wear and tear congratulating myself for seeing the Mahomes-Hill thing way ahead of anyone in fantasy. To me, I’m already moving on. I’m looking for the next one while torturing myself listening to national analysts ‘discover’ them now. I want to give credit to others in this moment and I will lavish quite the praise on one player in a moment, but first two top-side team things from this game…
1) A lot of credit for this goes to new Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy. He’s either helped design the system to allow Mahomes-Hill to flourish or he just got the hell out of the way and is letting them do their thing. Either way, it’s an absolute first…or second, first is Ben-Antonio-Bell by Mike Tomlin.
Andy Reid and Matt Nagy have been the biggest stumbling block/brick wall to Tyreek…finally, the cheetah is out of the cage. Eric Bieniemy is the new player on the scene, so I thank him and give him the credit.
*Note, I don’t want to keep typing the “Mahomes-Hill” thing to reference my genius of seeing the pairing potential. I need a mashup, short version like Hollywood celebrity couples. I’ll take suggestions but for now I’ll go with MYreek for the two of them working together for FF gold.
Everybody in the world on one side of the MYreek trade before the preseason, and then there was little old, stupid, ‘what do you know about football’ me (don’t you dare not watch my celebratory song after all this if you had MYreek Week 1): https://youtu.be/6MbisgO_F2M?t=1m25s
2) The Chiefs just jumped on the Chargers and stunned them, but honestly…the Chiefs have a terrible defense and are lucky the Chargers didn’t end up winning this. So many dropped passes by LAC. So much bad defense by the Chiefs.
One of the reasons MYreek works for 2018 – the Chiefs have no defense. It’s going to be a shootout every week leading to lots of action.
Not helping the Chargers either – this was a LAC home game, and I saw more empty seats than humans. A frightening visual for opening day.
OK, get ready…I’m going to make three shocking commentaries about players. Two you know were coming and one of them pretty brazen – the one you’re not ready for is going to sneak up on you and hit some of you between the eyes. I’ll save that as my #3 of three on the KC ‘shock’ statements. First, I’m going to clear the Chargers’ player notes because there was nothing to them here. LAC got down quick and was shell-shocked and had to throw 51 times trying to get back into it. Not a normal game for them.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- My only Chargers’ note…
Tyrell Williams (2-8-1/5) dropped a sure 30+ yard TD in this game. He might have had a big game had he caught it, but he lost some trust from Rivers after that for a bit.
Tyrell is on the outside looking in with the Chargers WR group. His best value is in 2019 when he hits free agency, but even then I suspect he gets overlooked.
How will Tyrell look in a Patriots’ uniform? *April 2019 note: How about silver and black? Not so good...
Speaking of WRs in Patriots unis – Corey Coleman is now a Patriot, as I semi-predicted. Just note – there is nothing FF-immanent with that move. It will take Coleman weeks to get things down. But then, Edelman will have returned. I don’t suspect Coleman will play until later in the season, and probably not matter until 2019…but get excited that the Pats can rehab his career.
If the Patriots cut him after a few weeks…it’s probably over. *April 2019 note: There is some hope for him with NYG with OBJ gone...maybe.
-- First, the biggest praise… Patrick Mahomes (15-27 for 256 yards, 4 TDs/0 INT). I have studied football for more hours of football tape of every game/all positions than any human on the planet the past decade. I just have; it’s indisputable. I’ve seen a lot. Have a lot of stuff in my brain to call up on the old hard drive. In all my years, I’ve never seen a performance like this from a young QB in all my days.
Mahomes plays the quarterback position so well it makes me want to cry. In the bible, old testament, people couldn’t see/look at God directly. If they even got close their face/body would change or you might die…I feel like that about watching Mahomes at QB. Like, I’m ready for the Lord to take me because I’ve seen QB heaven. Don’t make me watch Garoppolo or Trubisky or Brady or Goff, well…a little more Goff wouldn’t hurt. I don’t want inferior products…I want the real thing.
I can’t even describe it, I just know ‘it’ when I see it. He’s officially the best young QB that I’ve ever witnessed. Garoppolo is awesome. Trubisky is the best QB that I’ve seen as a college prospect. Brady is a machine. Goff is beautiful. Aaron Rodgers is the gold standard. Patrick Mahomes will probably be past Rodgers someday.
That’s how good he is…and the coaching staff is out of his way.
Mahomes will have a game with three picks ahead, because he’s Magic Johnson – showtime, a play-maker, potentially the greatest play-maker at his position of all-time. Mahomes takes risks, but he pays them off more times than not. Mahomes made throws in this game, from various arm angles, that no other human could make…not Rodgers, not Brady.
If you don’t have him in dynasty – sell your soul for him before it’s too late. Perhaps…wait until after this week, maybe he just has a normal game this week and bring some hysteria down. Fortunately, the NFL is too busy hyping Sam Darnold as better than a Mahomes/every QB who ever lived, so Mahomes is not as hot a price as you might think today. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a big Week 1…maybe, Mahomes was just lucky…you can try to tell them.
Let Patrick Mahomes’ dad tell you how good his son is at QB-ing: https://youtu.be/yOoGw9aTRhs
*April 2019 note: It seems hard to fathom that after Mahomes rocked in Week 1, about 50% of the analysts and fans were skeptical. Fantasy analysts were trying to sell him hot...big mistake. You'll see why, again, and laugh with tomorrow's Week 2 post -- the 6 TD game against Pittsburgh,
-- Tyreek Hill (2-4-0, 7-169-2/8)…what else is left to say? Let me bum you out…
No more getting Tyreek in the 2nd or 3rd-round of a redraft, cleverly taking a round ahead to assure you get him. Nope, it’s 1st-round redraft living from here.
Tyreek as the #1.01 pick in redrafts next year? It might be. Can you imagine a life without Tyreek after three years with him, for you long-time FFMers? Enjoy 2018 for all it’s worth.
*April 2019 note: Well, maybe so...not because of his play though.
-- OK, the shocker…
If you own Kareem Hunt (16-49-0, 0-0-0/1), you might want to trade him ASAP. Spencer Ware (3-32-0, 1-8-0/2) is back with a vengeance. Ware looks better than ever and that means wayyy better than Hunt…and that’s not a slam at Hunt. You know I love Ware.
Even back into this preseason, there was something about Ware and his teammates and the coaches. Ware is like the respected guy. Energy is brought when Ware gets touches, you can see the player’s reactions. I would not be surprised if Ware pulls into a hot-hand split with Hunt in a few weeks.
I know KC will go too long with Hunt, so it will be a slow creep for Ware stealing touches (but Eric Bieniemy doesn’t seem to be messing around with nonsense…he’s not forcing anything to Sammy Watkins for example). Hunt hasn’t been all that good since his four hot weeks to start 2017. Ware is more talented. This is going to be a Hunt problem to some degree. You better run before you get caught.
I write this as a known Ware lover, and Hunt liker, and susceptible to making up my own Spencer Ware-based reality here. But I took Hunt’s projections down this preseason once I saw Ware was really back. It was Ware’s job in 2017 before he got hurt. He’s the better RB, the more respected back in the locker room (taking nothing away from Hunt). He’s not just going away – and he’s a 3rd-down gem, so he works better with Mahomes FYI, Hunt had 1 target in this game…which may be the new reality of this offense regardless of Ware.
*April 2019 note: I was right, Ware would get that starting job back...just not the way I imagined. I wonder how many weeks it will be before I mention the words 'Damien Williams'? No one cared at all at this stage.
-- Another KC issue, another one I predicted preseason, because I’m tapped into the Chiefs brain apparently…knower of all future things with KC that I am…Travis Kelce had 1 catch for 6 yards on 6 targets. That catch came first drive…for 55+ minutes of game play he didn’t catch another pass.
Kelce may be ‘fine’ but he’s definitely not the Kelce of 2017 with Alex Smith here with Mahomes…whole different everything. The two looked out of sync the entire day.
If Kelce has another game like this in Week 2, I’d be a buyer. I think Mahomes will get used to Kelce…he needs Kelce because of another thing I was right about – Sammy Watkins (3-21-0/5) sucks out loud. Kelce will have an evolving role of trusted options, but not ‘the guy’ like he was with Alex Smith.
*April 2019 note: It's true...Tyreek was 'the guy', but Kelce did come back with a vengence after this week. I was skeptical of his roll with Mahomes, so I missed this a lot.
-- Rookie LB Kyzir White (6 tackles) started for the Chargers over Jatavis Brown (2 tackles). You can put a fork into Jatavis’s IDP usefulness as long as he’s a Charger. He still has value. If forced to play, he instantly puts up top 10 in all IDP stats immediately.
His next real value is being traded or released and winding up on…I’d say the Patriots, but they’re booked. Let’s go Saints instead.
Worrilow (UDFA)-Jatavis(5th-round)-Elandon Roberts(6th-round)…what do these CFM/FFM delights have in common? Instant NFL success, defying all the odds of their overlooked draft status and Senior Bowl/Combine snubs. Who’s still got a job? Reggie Ragland (Alabama/2nd-round pick) and Jarrad Davis (Florida/1st-round pick) can’t get enough chances to blow. UDFA/Missouri State future Pro Bowl LB Dylan Cole is a backup, Zach Cunningham (Vandy/2nd-round pick) is a starter.
NFL teams follow the pundits, who just assume bigger school players are the best. High draft pick players are assumed the best.
Why would you assume Pro Football Focus doesn’t have the same bias in their grading? NFL scouting is a giant circle jerk of flawed info passed around to each other. Coaches, GMs…fans – they see what they want to see. Shallow Hal scouting. For everyone who hears the name Donald Trump…one person thinks he’s the devil, another thinks he’s greatest. Same guy. How can he be both things? People have visceral, opposite reactions to the same reality. People dig in and protect their reality on Trump…but one of them (or both) are radically wrong on the President. Try telling them they are wrong and see how open they are to a civil discussion.
What’s wrong with my scouting on linebackers and their talents? Nothing, as far as I’m concerned. I just have to continue to monitor/recognize the Shallow Hal effect of the coaches/the establishment.
*April 2019 note: Shocker...Jatavis was forced to play later in the season and was great.
Snap Counts of Interest:
72 = Keenan Allen
62 = Tyrell Williams
47 = Travis Benjamin
44 = Mike Williams
44 = Kyzir White
14 = Jatavis Brown
40 = Hunt
09 = Ware
51 = Watkins
40 = Tyreek
35 = Conley
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