Andy Reid was finally able to capture that elusive Super Bowl Championship in 2019. In no real surprise the Chiefs were top five in points scored (5th) during this championship run. The Chiefs bring back all the offensive weapons with one new piece to add to their arsenal, so should be just as dangerous in 2020. The Chiefs offensive philosophy differs from many in the league as the offense does not start with the run game. This offensive philosophy is you throw the ball and get up in the first half and then grind it out in the second half, the Joe Banner approach. To do this the Chiefs offensive scheme is a traditional west coast offense mixed with jet sweeps and run pass options. The Chiefs like to stretch the field vertically while causing the defense to second guess itself after the snap with fake jet sweeps and other misdirection’s. By running these types of plays the running back becomes very involved in the passing game as they are able to run free up the seam while the defense drops back on deep routes and play up to defend the fake sweep. The team offensively really only has one concern entering the season and that is the center and left guard position. This could be the weak link in the offense.
Patrick Mahomes (QB) – towards the end of last season and into the playoffs we saw Mahomes do something he typically didn’t do much of prior and that was run. Towards the end of the 2019 season Mahomes was averaging about 8 rushes a game. In the post season he rushed for over 130 yards alone, so is this what we can expect going forward with Mahomes? We have to keep in mind that in most of the games the Chiefs had in the post season they were trailing so had to go vertical. With this going vertical with those speedy receivers it opens up the field for the quarterback to run, and Mahomes is very good at taking what he sees. As far as being the new norm for Mahomes we would say if the opportunity presents itself he will take the easy yards on the ground, but we wouldn’t count on 8 rush attempts a game from him. Mahomes is an elite passer as his combination of arm strength and accuracy makes him one of the deadliest gun slingers in the NFL today. Mahomes makes throws that he shouldn’t and also makes it look easy. Mahomes continues to rack up the accolades as he already has captured the NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP in his young career.
Fantasy Spin: Mahomes presents a lot of untapped running potential that keeps him in the mix with Lamar for the #1 ranked quarterback entering 2020. We in fact have Mahomes as our #1 ranked QB in all formats for 2020 and dynasty. Lamar is just too expensive for us as he is being taken in the second whereas Mahomes is being taken in the late 3rd early 4th round. That value, the offense, his ball skills, and potential to run more catapults Mahomes to the top of our rankings as an elite option in 2020.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire/Damien Williams (RB) – CEH and the Chiefs are a perfect match as CEH was the best pass catching back in the class, and as mentioned above the team loves to utilize their backs in the passing game. CEH is very good at running angle routes and very effective in the screen game. Williams is also an effective pass catching back as well as a good runner. The past two post seasons Williams has shown how good of an asset he is for the Chiefs, as he should have been the Super Bowl MVP in our eyes. CEH puts a damper on his upside for 2020 and likely is not in the Chiefs plans for the future.
Fantasy Spin: This backfield could be tricky to navigate for the first couple weeks, but ultimately we see CEH being the back to own in KC for the 2020 season. We have CEH as our 10th ranked running back making him a back end RB1 in redrafts. We have Williams as our 39th ranked running back making him a high end RB4 with RB3 upside. In Dynasty leagues we have CEH ranked as our 7th running back making him a solid RB1 option for our fantasy teams. Williams takes a slight hit in dynasty as he is only our 54th ranked running back.
Tyreek Hill/Mecole Hardman/Sammy Watkins (WR) – Andy Reid and the Chiefs organization loves Hardman and what he brings to the team. The team being so high on Hardman shouldn’t be surprising because his traits and skillset fit the team and what they do so well. The one thing with Hardman is we can’t come to expect a lot of volume from him as he is more of a speed/ big play guy. Reid is very good at designing two and three receiver vertical route concepts for his speed guys. Tyreek Hill has proven very effective in this scheme as he has a very similar skill set to Hardman. Hill is very quick and can beat any defender deep to break open a game. The concern with Hill has been nagging injuries that limits snaps. Over the teams last two season’s Hill has topped over 50% of offensive snaps in 22 of 32 games. In 2019 he had 9 games over 50% snaps taken where he saw 24% of the targets and accounted for 39% of the air yards, which came out to be 8.3 targets and 99.8 air yards a game.
Fantasy Spin: Hill figures to be a high end WR1 in 2020 once again, as we have him ranked as our 5th wide receiver entering 2020. The injury concerns limiting snaps is a concern, as well as his off field antics, but his skillset in this offense screams upside and is worth the price tag. Hill comes in as our 4th wide receiver in dynasty making him a WR1 in that format as well. Hardman will never be that volume wide receiver and will have up and down weeks throughout 2020. Hardman ranks as our 52nd wide receiver entering 2020 making him a WR5 in redraft leagues. In Dynasty we have Hardman ranked as our 39th receiver as he is viewed as a WR4. Sammy Watkins comes in as our 64th ranked wide receiver entering 2020. Watkins is very frustrating for us fantasy owners as his potential is there to be a solid fantasy asset, as he showed in the post season.
Travis Kelce (TE) – has been the league’s best tight end over the last several seasons. He is big, athletic, and tough. Kelce makes catches all over the field, but most of his production comes in the middle of the field. Over the last four seasons Kelce has put up over 1,000 yards in each season. Mahomes looks to Kelce early and often in games, and despite all the weapons around him always is featured. Kelce has also proven he is very durable as he has played in 95 games since 2014 missing only one in 2017.
Fantasy Spin: If you want Travis Kelce and his safe floor/high ceiling combination you will have to pay up for him, as he is projected to be the first TE of the board again in 2020. Kelce comes in as our TE1 in redraft and our second tight end in dynasty, only behind George Kittle. Kelce falls in dynasty because he hit that 30 year old mark, but for 2020 should be in line for another 90 catch 1,000 yard season in the high powered Chiefs offense.
Defense – this unit under Steve Spagnuolo got off to a rough start in 2019 allowing 26 points or more in the first 10 games. The unit then settled down and found their grove allowing single digit totals over the last month, finishing as the 16th total defense in 2019. Spagnuolo has stated in the offseason the team needs to get off to a better start. Another thing that was clear by the draft is the team looking to carry the speed on offense over to the defensive side of the ball. The team looked at division rival Broncos and Raiders getting quicker on offense and knew they had to get quicker on the backend to combat this.
Fantasy Spin: The Chiefs defensive unit comes in as our 9th ranked unit entering 2020. The team showed promise of a good fantasy asset late in 2019 and that should continue into 2020.
Strength of Schedule
The Chiefs wide receiver corps will face the 13th easiest schedule this fantasy regular season. Their playoff schedule will be the 5th easiest during weeks 14-16. Helaire and Williams will be looking at the 2nd toughest schedule during the fantasy regular season. The backs will then have the 10th toughest schedule during the fantasy playoffs. Mahomes will face the toughest schedule during the fantasy regular season, and the 8th easiest during weeks 14-16. Kelce will face the 2nd toughest fantasy regular season schedule, and will face the 13th easiest playoff schedule from weeks 14-16.