I write this in the afterglow of the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. My San Francisco 49ers. The team I have season tickets for. Let’s get this over with. What do we need to remember about the Kansas City Chiefs and their 2019 campaign as we gear up for 2020 fantasy football drafts?
What to Remember from the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs Season
- The Mad Lad did it again. Damien Williams posted a strong second half of the season, and we get to have the whole D-Willy argument from last summer all over again this year. First, the bad. For the second time in three years, Damien Williams missed at least five games. Also, Williams is one of the oldest fantasy-relevant RBs in the league and turns 28 in February. Granted, there’s not a lot of tread on those tires, but it’s something to think about. Damien Williams returned from a rib injury a completely different man than before his injury: Williams posted 107 yards per contact starting in week sixteen, and just 51.7 yards per game prior to that point. The Chiefs might address their dreadful backfield situation this offseason, but if they don’t, Williams is going to get a ton of hype once again.
- If you’re one of those people who lifehacks reading by reading the first page of a chapter and the last page of a chapter to get the gist of it, then Sammy Watkins should be your WR1 next year. He started as strong as possible, posting 198 yards and three touchdowns on nine catches in week one. Then, things went poorly until the playoffs. In the playoffs, he turned in 288 yards in three games. Between those two waypoints? It was bleak. Watkins missed two games, but he tallied just 475 yards in the 13 games between weeks two and seventeen. That’s a robust 36.5 yards per game. Also, he scored no touchdowns. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. Nothing. He ended the season with the most yardage he’s had since 2015, but even that wasn’t enough to help anyone outside of week one this year.
- The Kansas City Chiefs ranked third in yards after the catch last season, but that was more a factor of their prolific offense than anything else. In terms of the percentage of yards that came after the catch, the Chiefs ranked fourteenth (47.7%). A full season of Patrick Mahomes and a natural increase in YAC, given their playmakers, will lead the offense back to 2018 levels. In 2018, the Chiefs ranked #6 in the league, with over half of their yards coming after the catch.
- There’s nothing fluky about Travis Kelce and 2019. The consensus #1 TE for 2020 fantasy drafts rewarded his drafters this season with 1,229 yards and five touchdowns on the year, on 97 receptions. The low touchdown totals mean even better things for Kelce in 2020. We saw in the playoffs that he could still score with the best of them (4 TDs in the playoffs). The touchdowns likely return to his career levels, wherein he has a score every 18.1 targets. If he reached that this year, he would have an extra 2.5 touchdowns in his back pocket. To sum up, I expect a positive touchdown regression in 2020 for the consensus TE1.
- One thing we all sort of swept under the rug was Patrick Mahomes and his dislocated kneecap. Most original reports indicated that he likely needs offseason surgery. Not throwing a wet blanket on Mahomes, just something to remember. As for Mahomes’ performance. Take the Lamar Jackson Discount. Let people bump Mahomes down to their #2 QB and snatch him up in places where you would want to take a QB. Let’s talk about that knee and potential surgery. Matthew Stafford dislocated his kneecap in week 5 of 2009 and returned in week seven. It did not seem to be a problem for the rest of the year, and he had off-season surgery and returned at the beginning of 2010. Don’t let anything with the patella scare you. In short: Patrick Mahomes will be fine.
Check out the rest of the What to Remember series as it develops!
(Header Image Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/kansas-city-chiefs-kansas-city-4779222/, under CC BY 4.0)