In addition to creating my own fantasy analytics (you can get free copies by emaling me at firstname.lastname@example.org), I also literally watch every NFL game. It’s a labor of love. I’m working on my “home office” … which is a clever way of talking about my over-the-top Football viewing lair. I’ll post pictures when it’s done. I’ll sometimes refer to this as my “lair” and other times, the “sports chalet”.
Anyway, this is the most important week 1 of a fantasy football season as I can recall. Why? Because we had no preseason games to calibrate and verify our rankings! I’ll be watching all games next week. What will I be looking for with respect to the Kansas City Chiefs vs Houston Texans on Thursday Night?
- Houston is going to be out for blood, but I argue the Kansas City Chiefs are better this year than they were last year. Why? Their defensive unit was adjusting to a new defensive system for the first half of the season. They were getting better throughout the year and entered the playoff in peak form.
- What about their offense? Tyreek Hill, who readers of the Fantasy Football Almanac know I’m extremely high on, had a pulled hamstring early in the season. By the time he came back, Patrick Mahomes was dealing with an ankle injury (remember that?). After that? Mahomes was dealing with a cracked patella (remember that?). The team still finished 12-4 and entered the playoffs on a roll. This year, if everyone can stay healthy … there’s a ton of potential.
- CEH’s speed could be an issue. I’m not a big “hey, he ran a slow 40!” watch dog. Jerry rice ran a slow 40 too. What I prefer to see is how he looks in pads. Well, in college, he looked slow to me. Now, I’ve been high on the guy since draft day. He’s a receiving dynamo, runs with more power than you’d expect and is quick. I think his ceiling is “Josh Jacobs with receiving ability” … which is to say, really high. Will he beat a safety in a dead sprint towards the end zone? No, he will not. But he’ll score fantasy points.
- Mecole Hardman was a favorite of mine last year. He couldn’t wrestle enough targets away from Demarcus Robinson to be a true, deadly WR3 on this team, but I expect that to change this season. In fact, I think by the end of the year, we’ll see Hardman as the clear WR2 to compliment Tyreek Hill. Look at the touchdown numbers for a guy who was essentially the 5th receiving option on this team last year. I’m hoping we get to see him unleashed on Thursday Night.
- Well, what does this offense look like without DeAndre Hopkins’ 150+ targets? Will Fuller, or “Mr. Glass” as I call him, is #1 on the depth chart. He will have many deep passes hoisted his way and when he’s on the field, has a TON of fantasy potential.
- What about the likes of Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb, etc.? My suspicion is that this offense will be more disciplined in how they distribute the ball in the passing game. Hopkins’ vacated targets will be spread across the receivers including Fells – but I want to see it in action.
- And what about David Johnson? I think he’ll get volume, but Duke Johnson isn’t bad either. This is a big first game because Houston will try to control the clock a bit to keep their defense as fresh as possible going against KC’s track-star offense.
RoccoBot Score Prediction: Kansas City 24, Houston 23
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