Patrick Mahomes II shattered conventional wisdom last year. The second-year player was the NFL Most Valuable Player in his first season as a starter and threw for 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns, and just 12 interceptions. His 482.1 fantasy points rank second all-time behind Peyton Manning's 55-touchdown season in 2013. Manning was 37 years old when he threw 55 touchdowns. Tom Brady was 30 in his 50-touchdown year. Drew Brees' best year came as a 32-year old. Quarterbacks don't typically peak at 23 years old in their first full season under center. Last year Mahomes won many fantasy leagues because he did all that with a late round price tag. This year, you're going to have to draft Mahomes very early, and we need to decide if he's worth it, and at what price? We also need to understand how the Chiefs roster changes if Tyreek Hill misses significant time.
In this Roundtable, we address:
- How Tyreek Hill’s presumed absence impacts the Chiefs overall production
- Whether Patrick Mahomes II remains the No. 1-ranked fantasy quarterback
- Is Sammy Watkins in-line for an elite fantasy season
- Who benefits most on the roster
- Compelling options to bolster the receiving corps via trade or free agency
Tyreek Hill’s Presumed Absence
Jason Wood: Although we don't know Tyreek Hill's fate yet, for the sake of the conversation assume he does not play a snap in 2019. How does Hill's absence impact your projections or expectations for the Chiefs offense?
Sigmund Bloom: You have to lower the expectations by a significant amount. I expect a 10% to 20% smaller passing pie and with yards and touchdowns not coming as easily to the running game. That should still keep the Chiefs among the league's top five scoring offenses, and top ten in yardage, so the players are still among the most coveted in fantasy drafts. Pat Mahomes could also take a step forward in Year Two to offset some of the loss.
Chad Parsons: I believe in regression after monster seasons as a general rule, so expecting Mahomes and the Chiefs passing game to come back to the pack was already expected. Tyreek Hill aids the entire offense with his big-play ability and speed, so field constricts some without him. Sammy Watkins is a fringe WR1 with upside from there. Travis Kelce as the consensus No. 1 tight end is an even more secure projection, and the Chiefs No. 2 receiver becomes someone to watch. I think Mahomes is more likely to throw less than 40 touchdowns than more than 45.
Bob Henry: I’ve lowered my Chiefs team projections about 10%, so I’m in line with Sigmund conceptually. I mainly reduced Mahomes’ passing touchdowns and yards-per-attempt average, but also slightly decreased the yards per rushing attempt as the defense can better key on the ground game without Hill in the lineup. I thought about a deeper cut, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Andy Reid finds someone else that can have a similar effect as a versatile playmaker.
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