What We Saw: Week 1

Kansas City Chiefs vs Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Kansas City Chiefs

 

Quarterback

 

  • Patrick Mahomes: 25/33, 378 yards, 3 TDs | 1 carry, 2 yards

 

Patrick Mahomes came out in MVP form from the start today. His numbers were padded a little by some poor tackling from the Jaguars allowing his receivers to do some work after the catch, but Mahomes looked great on the road against what was expected to be a tough defense. He made a really nice throw to Kelce while rolling to his right for a big gain, and did a good job of throwing under pressure the few times the Jaguars managed to pressure him. Mahomes did briefly leave with an injury, but he came back in after having his foot taped up and didn’t look any worse for wear. The one negative from Mahomes today was a really bad missed touchdown pass on a no-look throw to Travis Kelce, but that should be cleaned up as the season goes on. If Mahomes can put up these numbers on the road against a good secondary, while losing his number one receiver to injury no less, it looks like NFL defenses are in for another long season against him.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Damien Williams: 13 carries, 26 yards, 1 TD | 6 targets, 6 receptions, 39 yards
  • LeSean McCoy: 10 carries, 81 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards
  • Darwin Thompson: 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards
  • Anthony Sherman: 1 target, 1 reception, 15 yards

 

The Chiefs backfield ended up being a two-man committee, with Damien Williams seeing the most volume but LeSean McCoy looking like the better runner. Williams saw most of the red zone work, including punching in a 1-yard touchdown, and was much more involved in the passing game. McCoy showcased his signature running style, making defenders miss pretty consistently with his cuts. The Chiefs probably don’t want to make McCoy an every-down player given his age, but he is going to get enough work to be fantasy relevant. Williams is usable as long as he maintains his edge in receptions and goal-line touches, but it’s worth monitoring how much of that work McCoy eats into going forward.

 

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

 

  • Sammy Watkins: 11 targets, 9 receptions, 198 yards, 3 TDs
  • Travis Kelce: 8 targets, 3 receptions, 88 yards
  • Tyreek Hill: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards | 1 carry, 5 yards
  • Mecole Hardman: 1 target, 0 receptions

 

Today Sammy Watkins reminded everyone why he was so highly regarded coming out of college. Watkins did everything today, displaying his ability to get open deep as well as to do some damage after the catch on short routes. His first touchdown came on a route over the middle where he caught the ball and then had no one between him and the end zone forty yards away. His second touchdown came on a nice throw from Mahomes down the sideline where Watkins just ran away from his defender, and his third was a short completion in the red zone where Watkins left cornerback Jalen Ramsey behind on a nice route. Tyreek Hill was injured early in this game on a tackle by Ramsey, and it looks like Hill will miss a few weeks. Watkins becomes a must-start going forward, and rookie Mecole Hardman is worth adding if he’s available despite being a nonfactor today. Travis Kelce looked good today and was unlucky to not have a bigger day. Patrick Mahomes missed him on an easy touchdown when Mahomes tried to throw a no-look pass, and then Kelce had a touchdown catch ruled out of bounds when he was barely unable to get his second foot down.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Quarterbacks

 

  • Nick Foles: 5/8, 75, 1 TD
  • Gardner Minshew: 22/25, 275 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT | 1 carry, 6 yards

 

Nick Foles started strong, throwing a beautiful long touchdown throw to D.J. Chark, but unfortunately, Foles was hit on the play and broke his collarbone. With Foles set to miss several weeks, rookie Gardner Minshew will be the starter going forward. Minshew was impressive coming on in relief of Foles, including a nice touchdown throw to Chris Conley. Most of his production came after the Chiefs had opened up a big lead, but it was still encouraging to seem him taking what the defense gave him and making accurate throws. Minshew won’t be fantasy relevant himself outside of deep two-quarterback leagues, but he does look capable of sustaining the fantasy value of his weapons.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Leonard Fournette: 13 carries, 66 yards | 6 targets, 4 receptions, 28 yards
  • Ryquell Armstead: 1 carry, 7 yards | 1 target, 0 receptions

 

Leonard Fournette dominated the backfield touches, with backup Ryquell Armstead barely getting involved. Fournette looked like the powerful runner he was before injuries derailed him last season, and his receiving work was good to see. He looked like a more patient runner, showing good vision and letting his blocks develop in front of him to take the running lanes that were there. He had his first career fumble today, but the Jaguars will look to lean on him even more going forward without quarterback Nick Foles. As long as he remains healthy, and in good standing with the team, Fournette is one of the rare every-down running backs, and a must-start for fantasy.

 

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

 

  • D.J. Chark: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 146 yards, 1 TD
  • Chris Conley: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 97 yards, 1 TD
  • Dede Westbrook: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 30 yards, 1 TD | 1 carry, 2 yards
  • James O’Shaughnessy: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 32 yards
  • Geoff Swaim: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 17 yards

 

The Jaguars were playing from behind for most of this game and were against the weak Chiefs secondary, so the production from their receivers in this game will probably end up being an outlier by the end of the season. Having said that, D.J. Chark and Chris Conley were both impressive today. Chark looks like he can be an elite downfield threat in his second season, and Conley is finally getting a chance to show off his athletic gifts after spending his early seasons buried in the Chiefs depth chart. Consistency for both players might be hard to come by since they both look to be a little reliant on catching the deep ball to return value, but they are both worth taking a flier on to see if their breakouts are for real. The talent is there if they get the volume they need to succeed. Dede Westbrook was a little disappointing today and seemed to be the one to suffer the most from losing Nick Foles. He did catch a touchdown to salvage his day, getting himself open after Gardner Minshew bought some time with his legs. Going forward, Westbrook should see more volume as the Jaguars focus on shorter passes when they aren’t trailing by multiple scores, so he’s an interesting buy-low target in the wake of Foles getting injured. 

 

 — Dan Adams

 

 

Michael Miklius

Mike is a lifelong Bears fan and unapologetic Mitch Trubisky homer. Twitter: @SIRL0INofBEEF

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