What We Saw: Week 13

Diontae Johnson saved the Steelers' season with his two 4th quarter TD receptions

Broncos @ Chiefs

Final Score: Chiefs 22, Broncos 9

Writer: Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)

 

Both defenses stood out in Sunday night’s contest between the Chiefs and the Broncos, but ultimately it was Kansas City’s defense that made the biggest play when it mattered most – a 75-yard INT return for a TD to put the game out of reach early in the 4th quarter. While Denver’s offense stumbled out of the gate, Kansas City raced out to a 10-0 lead on their first two possessions and would go on to hold that lead from wire to wire. Both QBs struggled with the heavy, swirling winds at times – which led to more of a ground game than we might have expected. It’s been a tough season offensively for QB Teddy Bridgewater and the rest of the Broncos offense as it relates to fantasy production. However, with RB Melvin Gordon out with hip and shoulder injuries, we finally got to take a peek at RB Javonte Williams operating as Denver’s lead back – and he did not disappoint. Williams dominated backfield touches and proved he was more than capable of shouldering the load – finishing with 178 total yards while finding the end zone through the air in the 4th quarter. Williams got a boost through the air with a 34-yard grab just before halftime on a play where Denver decided to run a play with one second remaining in the 2nd quarter. On the other sideline, it was RBs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams who led the way for Kansas City. Not only did Edwards-Helaire and Williams both contribute on the ground, but they finished as the Chiefs’ two leading receivers on the night as well. Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes‘ struggles continued as he posted his second-straight contest without a passing TD after throwing for 5 against the Raiders back in Week 10. Mahomes salvaged a modest bit of fantasy production with a 10-yard TD run to cap the Chiefs’ opening drive but otherwise was a letdown yet again. What does all of this mean for your fantasy team with the fantasy playoffs right around the corner? Let’s dive into what we saw:

 

Denver Broncos

 

Quarterbacks

 

Teddy Bridgewater: 22/40, 257 yards, TD, 2 INT | 4 carries, 17 yards, Fumble (Lost)

 

It was a tough night for QB Teddy Bridgewater and the Broncos’ offense on Sunday. Bridgewater hasn’t really been a serviceable fantasy QB this season, so his lack of production on Sunday night shouldn’t come as a huge surprise – but with Kansas City being so beatable through the air for fantasy QBs this season, it would have been fair to expect a slightly better performance from Teddy Two-Gloves. Instead, Bridgewater had his first multi-INT game since back in Week 6 against the Raiders and completed barely more than half of his passes. Ironically enough, Bridgewater actually turned in a better fantasy performance than his counterpart Patrick Mahomes, but if you were forced to start Bridgewater you may likely be left holding an L at the end of the week.

 

Running Backs

 

Javonte Williams: 23 carries, 102 yards | 9 targets, 6 receptions, 76 yards, TD, Fumble

Mike Boone: 4 carries, 35 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 19 yards

 

While the Broncos struggled to move the ball through the air against Kansas City on Sunday night, Broncos’ rookie RB Javonte Williams absolutely stole the show on the ground and was easily the biggest fantasy performer of the night. While Williams hasn’t been able to wrestle the majority of touches away from fellow backfield mate Melvin Gordon to this point in the season, Gordon’s injury paved the way for Williams to show us all what he can really do. Williams’ 178 yards would have been enough on its own to land him at the top of the score sheet, but he also blessed his managers with this garbage-time 13-yard TD grab:

 

 

It will be interesting to see how long Gordon is kept off the field with his injuries, but until he returns, Williams is practically a must-start moving forward.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Jerry Jeudy: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 77 yards

Noah Fant: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 33 yards

Courtland Sutton: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards

 

With Bridgewater struggling to make plays with his arm, the Broncos’ pass-catching group certainly struggled from a fantasy perspective as well. This has been a tough group to trust throughout the season, and Sunday night was no different. WR Jerry Jeudy paced the group with 77 yards but still has yet to find the end-zone since returning from IR back in Week 8. In fact, Jeudy hasn’t scored a TD all season. That being said, Jeudy has appeared to work his way into Bridgewater’s good graces since his return as his role has nearly equaled that of fellow WR Courtland Sutton. Sutton struggled mightily on Sunday night – failing to get any separation and only hauling in 2 grabs. These two pass-catchers have as much talent as any group in the league, but unfortunately for their managers, Denver’s sputtering offense fails to get them involved with any type of consistency. TE Noah Fant also had a quiet night with just 33 yards receiving.

 

Kansas City Chiefs

 

Quarterback

 

Patrick Mahomes: 15/29, 184 yards, INT | 4 carries, 12 yards, TD

 

For those out there who burned a high fantasy draft pick on Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes this season, it likely hasn’t panned out for you quite as expected to this point in the season. Mahomes’ output has been solid for the most part, but there have been quite a few dud weeks from him that we aren’t accustomed to seeing. Sunday night was one of such dud weeks for Mahomes. Not only did Mahomes fail to throw for a TD for a second-consecutive week, but he only completed 15 passes on the night – compared with 24 rushing attempts for the Chiefs. At least for Mahomes’ fantasy managers, one of Kansas City’s 24 rushing attempts was this one:

 

 

Running Backs

 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 14 carries, 54 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 28 yards

Darrel Williams: 5 carries, 20 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 60 yards

 

Chiefs’ RBs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams had nearly identical production against the Broncos on Sunday night. Both hauled in all 3 of their targets, Edwards-Helaire just slightly outpaced Williams in total yardage, 82-80. In fact, Edwards-Helaire and Williams were responsible for the Chiefs’ two longest passing plays on the night, including this 38-yard play by Williams:

 

 

We knew Edwards-Helaire had been sick with a bout of the stomach flu this week, so it was unsure how the workload would be split between the two backs. If you had to start either one of them, at least we saw respectable performances from both.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Tyreek Hill: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards

Travis Kelce: 8 targets, 3 receptions, 27 yards

Demarcus Robinson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 21 yards

 

As Patrick Mahomes struggled through the air with the swirling winds, this Chiefs’ pass-catching group may have been the biggest dud of the night. Kansas City’s dynamic duo of WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce combined for just 5 catches for 52 yards. There’s been a lot of chatter over whether or not NFL defenses have ‘figured out’ this Chiefs’ offense – mainly catalyzed by so many defenses showing Mahomes two high safety looks and keeping the big plays in front of them. As such, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid has shown that he’s willing to run the ball and take what’s available underneath in a lot of cases. Hill and Kelce have had fine seasons to this point – Hill is currently the WR3 overall, and unsurprisingly, Kelce the TE1 overall. That being said, their production has taken on more of a boom-or-bust feel than in seasons past. Either way, this dud of a game should be considered an exception and not the norm for both Hill and Kelce.

 

Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)

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