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Fantasy Football: Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes & the Kansas City Chiefs’ Team Preview

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FREE Week 6 NFL PIcks FantasyDraft Cheatsheet using Awesemo projections, features Patrick Mahomes, Austin Ekeler and more!

With ESPN and Yahoo NFL Fantasy Football leagues starting shortly, and Best Ball leagues already going, our goal is to get you prepped early for your upcoming NFL fantasy drafts with our Kansas City Chiefs preview that feature a look into key positional additions and departures, breakdowns, and possible sleepers. As well, we’ll touch on the Tyreek Hill situation and Pat Mahomes ADP.

Awesemo’s Season Long NFL Fantasy Football projections and rankings are OUT! And they are customizable and can be used as ESPN Fantasy Football Rankings or Yahoo Fantasy Football Rankings for whichever host site you use for your league.

You can find them right HERE.

We’ll be releasing four team previews per week, starting June 25 and going through August 16, beginning with the AFC East.


Ben Rasa and Nolan Kelly break down the AFC West for your Fantasy Football Drafts!


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Last day’s preview:

The Denver Broncos

The Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Football Preview

Article Key:

  1. Overview
  2. Key Fantasy Departures: Targets
  3. Offensive additions
  4. Best Ball ADP
  5. Positional breakdowns: QB, WR, RB, TE, O-line
  6. Preseason players to watch
  7. Betting guide
  8. NFL Fantasy players to target
  9. Biggest question mark
  10. Fantasy football sleepers
  11. Awesemo’s fantasy football rankings
  12. News and updates: check back throughout the next two months
  13. Final thoughts

Overview

Outside of small shufflings on the offensive line, the NFL”s top offence from 2018 returns in tact.

Steve Spagnuolo takes over the defence from Bob Sutton who was fired after leading a porous unit that allowed 26.3 points per game and the second most yards in the NFL last season. Spagnuolo is perhaps most famous for designing the 2007 NY Giants defence that defeated the then undefeated Patriots. His scheme features an aggressive, blitz-heavy approach with an heavy emphasis on corner and safety blitzes.

The Chiefs revamped their secondary, while adding Frank Clark in a trade with Seahawks and Alex Okafor, but they also lost Justin Houston and Dee Ford. Talent wise this is a wash, so they’re hoping Spagnuolo can coach up this team’s greatest weakness, elevating them to mediocrity in search of a Super Bowl.

Key Fantasy Departures: Targets

  • Total: 148
  • Chris Conley: 47
  • Kareem Hunt: 33
  • Demetrius Harris: 25
  • Spencer Ware: 22
  • Other: 21

Offensive additions

  • Mecole Hardman: Viewed as a Tyreek replacement with the looming suspension,  the second rounder out of Georgia is an exciting athlete, with an explosive first step. Unfortunately for Hardman drafters, Tyreek was not suspended and it’s hard to imagine him having any fantasy value with so many mouths to feed.
  • Carlos Hyde: The former 49er was not productive during a short stint in Jacksonville last year, though his YPC matched Leonard Fournette’s. He’s a popular handcuff and a decent backup option should Damien Williams get injured, though early reports suggest he may be in tough to make the 53-man roster.
  • Darwin Thompson: Sixth round pick out of Utah State is a deep sleeper that has drawn comparisons to Philip Lindsay. He seems ideally suited for a third down role.

Best Ball ADP

  • 8) Travis Kelce (TE1)
  • 19) Damien Williams (RB13)
  • 39) Patrick Mahomes (QB1)
  • 40) Tyreek Hill (WR20)
  • 62) Sammy Watkins (WR26)
  • 124) Carlos Hyde (RB 47)
  • 125) Mecole Hardman (WR53)
  • 203) Darwin Thompson (RB64)

Quarterback

Pat Mahomes finished 60 points clear of the next closest QB in traditional fantasy scoring last season. No other top ranked position player had a gap of more than 20 points over second place. You’ve heard it all before: 50 TDs, 5,000 yards passing, a 113 QB rating and 300 yards rushing. It may go down as the greatest QB statistical season in Fantasy Football history. Unless Mahomes can improve on it.

The big question is, do you believe Pat Mahomes can become the first quarterback to repeat as the QB1 in fantasy football since 2003-2004? All the data says fade at his current ADP. His 8.5% TD rate is unsustainable and his top WR may miss time with a suspension. It’s tough to bet against him, because the problem with projecting Mahomes for regression is that he may just be a freak of nature. The exception to the rule.

Wide Receiver

The Tyreek Hill Situation

Tyreek Hill had his best season as a pro last year, with 87 catches for 1,479 yards and 12 TDs, to go along with 151 rushing yards. He ranked first in the NFL in contested catch rate (65%), first in Yards Per Target (11.47), third in Yards Per Route Run (2.54), and set an NFL record for receiving yards on deep passes (According to PFF).

Buy, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that Tyreek Hill is facing a suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. We don’t know how long the suspension is going to be, though initial guesses of a full season were quickly brought down to 6-8 games, and now, with the release of the full audio tape and reports of a positive meeting with Roger Goodell, some are suggesting just two games.

His Best Ball position is rising, quickly, from the mid-90s in early May, to the high 30s as of writing. If the suspension wasn’t looming, Tyreek ADP’s would be in the 7-10 range. This is a home run pick in large Best Ball leagues, even at his current ADP. Remember: You’ve got tens of thousands of people to beat, so taking risks on players like Tyreek is prudent, given the upside.

TYREEK HILL UPDATE:

Tyreek Hill was not suspended by the NFL. His draft position will rise all the way to the early second round in short order. The value is essentially gone, unless you get very lucky in Best Ball Drafts.

This news has created an online debate about whether or not it’s even worth it to enter Best Ball tournaments, since as recently as June, drafters were taking Tyreek in the 7th round. That’s a huge disadvantage. It’s likely that you’ll be going up against quite a few of these teams come playoff time, should you make it. Disadvantage: Anyone drafting past this point.

The flip side of that argument is essentially the same as fading a highly owned player in a 12 person weekly DFS contest: If that player BUSTS in that given week: Advantage YOU. If Week 13 comes around and you’re fortunate enough to have a couple bullets left, and Tyreek posts a mediocre line, you could realistically eliminate a large percentage of your competition.

Your best bet at this point in large tournaments is to fade Tyreek Hill completely. Take him out of your player pool. There is no sense drafting him at 11 when many of your likely playoff opponents got him at 68. It’s absurd planning this far ahead, but maybe bump up Damien Williams, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins. Let’s say you’re lucky enough to make it into the playoffs. There’s a good chance you’ll be facing a lot of early season Tyreek teams.

This is very similar to a weekly DFS contest where you have a shot, but have the exact same player as all the people above you, so you have to switch out to something sub-optimal in order to differentiate.

Other Wide Receivers

Hedging is tricky business in Best Balls and in season long NFL drafts, because you’re mitigating upside in favour of safety, when ideally, you’d want to maximize upside. Still, Sammy Watkins makes for an interesting pivot off the Tyreek hype, or an addition to your receiving corps if you get Tyreek. If it turns out that Hill does miss a substantial portion of the season, Watkins is easily atop the depth chart in Kansas City and should be a borderline WR1. Watkins essentially missed the final six games of the regular season last year but was on pace for 1,000 yards. His PFF receiving grade was 4th in the NFL on short passes.

Initially Best Ballers got really excited about second round speedster Mecole Hardman out of Georgia, but that enthusiasm has tempered with Tyreek news. He’s a great dynasty pick and an early season add if Tyreek isn’t suspended, but unless you’re in a deep league, it’s unlikely his anything more than a weekly flier. Keep an eye on him during preseason.

Running Back

Concerns over Damien Williams role as an every down back lessened recently when Andy Reid declared him the starter before camp began.

Williams averaged half-a-yard more per carry than Kareem Hunt after taking over the starting role in Week 12, with the third highest ranked PFF grade among RBs from weeks 10-17. He finished with a 23-160-2 receiving line as well, and Pat Mahomes had 146.7 passer rating when targeting running backs last season.

Drafting Williams as high as he’s going is risky. The upside is he finishes as RB6-7, the downside is he isn’t able to handle the workload and finds himself in a timeshare. When the upside is a move up 6-7 spots in final RB scoring and the downside is your fantasy team is finished because he didn’t end up in a starting role, that’s a high price to pay.

Carlos Hyde is a flier that could see snaps should Damien Williams disappoint or get injured. Rookie sixth round pick Darwin Thompson is a high upside flier in deep drafts and the last round of Best Ball tournaments, who could get work as a third down back.

Tight End

Travis Kelce was the TE1 last season and there’s no reason to think he won’t repeat this year. He led the NFL in forced missed tackles, had the highest passer rating when targeted, and registered 25% more explosive plays than the next closest TE. He’s a top-ten pick in Best Ball and an easy late first, early second in standard/PPR drafts.

If newly signed backup Blake Bell makes this roster as the TE2, keep an early season eye on him for DFS Showdown slates. Demetrius Harris has moved on to the Cleveland Browns.

Offensive line

Trending: Neutral

PFF Pass Blocking Grade: 5th

PFF Run Blocking Grade: 8th (66.7)

Continuity is pretty much the name of the game for the Chiefs’ o-line in 2019. Starting centre Mitch Morse is gone, replaced by last season’s backup Austin Reiter, who had near identical pass blocking and run blocking grades in half the snaps. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif returns from injury and should start at RG. Eric Fisher came on strong late last season and Mitchell Schwartz might be the best RT in the game.

Preseason players to watch

  • Darwin Thompson/Carlos Hyde: Who’s the RB2? Can Thompson carve out a role as a third down back?
  • Damian Williams: Are they treating him like a true RB1, or is he in a time share/two down back with Thompson stealing snaps on passing downs.

Ben Rasa’s Fantasy Football and Sports Betting Preview 

2019 O/U Win Total – 10.5 (Over +110 , Under -140)

After falling just short in the AFC Championship game the Chiefs will look to take the next step, and with the loaded team they have its hard to not think they are capable of doing so. Mahomes leads one of the best offenses in the NFL and despite some turmoil and roster turnover the Chiefs are going to be Fantasy Football gold once again this season.

Ben’s Favorite Player to Target

Travis Kelce – TE

Kelce is the consensus number one tight end available and its hard to imagine if  healthy he isn’t in line for another gigantic year in 2019. Add in the fact that Tyreek Hill may be suspended and even more of the offense should flow thru Kelce who is a matchup problem and the top weapon for Mahomes. He has one of the highest floors of any pass catcher out there and I wouldn’t hesitate to grab him early and make him one of the cornerstones of your roster.

Biggest Question

Should you reach for Patrick Mahomes?

Similar to Travis Kelce we have Pat Mahomes being projected as the first QB off almost all draft boards and after his historic 2018 its hard to argue. The big question is how much earlier are you going to have to draft him than the rest of the top tier QB’s and is it worth that opportunity cost? To me even though Mahomes is incredible the difference between him and guys like Luck or Rodgers isn’t enough to justify having to burn an early round pick on him and you are better off waiting to draft a QB even if you want a top end one. Plus with Tyreek Hill’s status in question, and some new faces on offense it adds a little more uncertainly to the situation and makes it easier to let someone else break the ice with QB’s in drafts.

Fantasy Football Sleeper

Carlos Hyde – Running Back

Damien Williams takes the reigns after Kareem Hunt’s departure and should be in line for a big year with his role in this offense. Even though Williams gets first shot, the value you get by drafting Carlos Hyde in the mid to possibly late rounds could be huge if this becomes a time share situation or if Williams gets banged up during the year. Behind them we only have late round rookie in Darwin Thompson, so it easily could be a two man backfield for much if not all of the entire season. Hyde as a backup still could hold some value to you considering where he’s falling in draft boards and with the potential to be an integral part of the RB situation for this offense the skies the limit in the right time share.

Awesemo’s fantasy football rankings

Awesemo’s Season Long NFL Fantasy Football projections and rankings are OUT! And they are customizable and can be used as ESPN Fantasy Football Rankings or Yahoo Fantasy Football Rankings for whichever host site you use for your league.

You can find them right HERE.

News and updates

  • Tyreek Hill was not suspended by the NFL. Drop Sammy Watkins slightly and Mecole Hardman entirely.
  • Damien Williams may very well find himself in a timeshare shortly. Avoid him at his current ADP.

Final Thoughts

10.5 wins projected from Vegas is one of the higher totals in the entire league and it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs doing anything else besides contending for the AFC once again this year. The division has improved and the Chargers are  going to push them, but if Hill is playing and the offense stays healthy it will be tough to stop this team. The Super Bowl window is now and the Chiefs seem to have pushed the chips into the middle so expect them all in from this point forward to grab a ring. On the Fantasy side pretty much the entire offense is in play and in the right situation or draft position plenty of these guys will make quality roster spots for your team.

I've been obsessed with fantasy sports since as long as I can remember. Back in 1993, while seated in the last row of Mr. MacMillan's math class, I'm fairly certain a few buddies of mine and I invented daily fantasy sports -- popping down our fivers and using nothing more than a newspaper box score, we'd make our NHL player picks for the night's action. Twenty years later I started out playing DFS on DraftStreet, when three-max tourneys with 490 people were a big deal, and I've been hooked ever since. More than anything, I'm interested in getting better as a player, and in helping you become a better player. Armed with Awesemo's grades and the projections from our experts, we're here to help you take the next step. You can contact me by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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