AFC West Fantasy Football Breakdown Recap

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This week, The Fantasy Footballers finished up their AFC divisional breakdowns with the AFC West. Sporting last year’s Super Bowl Champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC West has some of the best fantasy options at many positions.  There are also plenty of questions and Andy, Mike, and Jason tackle all of those in their breakdown.

If you missed the episode, continue reading for a full recap. You can also listen to the full show here.

To see where the Ballers have the stars of the AFC West ranked, be sure to get your Ultimate Draft Kit today.

Kansas City Chiefs

Head Coach: Andy Reid
Offensive Coordinator: Eric Bieniemy

2019 Offensive Stats

  • Rush YPG: 98 — 23rd
  • Rush TDs: 16 — 13th
  • Pass YPG: 281 — 5th
  • Pass TDs: 30 — 6th

Projected Week 1 Starters (ADP)

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Player Additions:

Player Subtractions:

Team Breakdown

The Chiefs are a fantasy gold mine. Kansas City ended 2019 with a +143 point differential and scored 36 points in games they lost. They score…a lot. On offense, they return all eleven starters and added Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the draft, one of the best RBs to be had. The only real question when it comes to Patrick Mahomes is whether or not you’re willing to pay the 3rd Round pick, you want him if you can get him. The questions start with CEH. In 16 years as a head coach, the RB1 for Andy Reid has finished as a top-10 fantasy RB twelve times. With the draft capital they spent on Edwards-Helaire, how quickly will he win the starting job. Damien Williams finished strong yet again and the abbreviated preseason will benefit Williams. Clyde will get the job eventually, but is eventually worth your 2nd Round pick? Every WR returns for 2020, but Hill and Hardman will be the features.  Sammy Watkins basically came out and said he won’t be very productive this year but he still has great potential and is being drafted as the WR58. Tyreek Hill is definitely one of the best in the league but was the overall WR30 last year, missing multiple games with injuries. Topping off their embarrassment of riches, the Chiefs also have the top option at TE in fantasy football, Travis Kelce. Kelce has finished as either the overall TE1 or TE2 for each of the last four seasons and has been a top-10 option for six straight years. The only question about him is when does Father Time catch up?

Denver Broncos

Head Coach: Vic Fangio
Offensive Coordinator: Pat Shurmur

2019 Offensive Stats

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  • Rush YPG: 103 — 20th
  • Rush TDs: 11 —22nd
  • Pass YPG: 194 — 28th
  • Pass TDs: 16 — 32nd

Projected Week 1 Starters (ADP)

Player Additions:

  • RB Melvin Gordon
  • WR Jerry Jeudy (Round 1)
  • WR KJ Hamler (Round 2)
  • TE Albert Okwuegbunam (Round 4)
  • WR Tyrie Cleveland (Round 7)

Player Subtractions:

Team Breakdown

The Broncos had the worst offense in football last season. They were 4-1 with Drew Lock as the starter but he was not good for fantasy. They loaded up on weapons and even added to their OL to protect Lock. He is the centerpiece of this team and their success will fall on his shoulders. Courtland Sutton was the #1 target regardless of who was playing QB, but he was far more effective for fantasy when Joe Flacco was playing QB. The fact of the matter is this: the team winning doesn’t matter for fantasy football. The Steelers won last year too, but you didn’t want any of their players. That makes Sutton and his WR19 ADP very risky. Sutton was the WR48 over the last month of the season with Lock at QB. The addition of Pat Shurmur as the offensive coordinator might be the move to bring this team together. The Broncos had a great offseason, now they just need to prove they can do it. Shurmur will be good for the running backs too. The Broncos gave Melvin Gordon a good contract and he should see the goal-line and passing-down work. Phillip Lindsay will still see carries but Gordon will likely be the better fantasy asset. Noah Fant had a solid rookie year for a TE and is a possible breakout candidate this season but the guys are not confident. Jerry Jeudy is an exceptional player and he could be a prime reason that Drew Lock ends up playing better than we think he can.

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Las Vegas Raiders

Head Coach: Jon Gruden
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Olson

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2019 Offensive Stats

  • Rush YPG: 118 — 13th
  • Rush TDs: 13 — 19th
  • Pass YPG: 245 — 9th
  • Pass TDs: 22 — 22nd

Projected Week 1 Starters (ADP)

Player Additions:

Player Subtractions:

  • RB DeAndre Washington (Chiefs)

Team Breakdown

The Raiders are a confusing team coming into 2020. You could make an argument that they are ready to move on from Derek Carr. You could also make an argument that 2019 was one of his best years. The team was pretty decent last year, 9th in passing, but they were 30th in the NFL when it came to WR targets. Neither Tyrell Williams nor Hunter Renfrow could stay healthy and neither was a great target, which is a big reason they drafted Henry Ruggs in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft. Darren Waller led the team in targets and was only the 28th TE ever to hit 1,100 yards in a season. While his targets may come down, his TDs have a great chance to improve and he is the best fantasy pass-catcher in this offense. The only real fear surrounding Waller is the bust history of mid-round TEs. Henry Ruggs will likely be a version of Tyreek Hill in this offense but it’s unlikely the Raiders will be able to use him the way the Chiefs use Hill. Ruggs will be a threat to score every time he touches the ball but will be hard to trust in 2020. A player you can trust is Josh Jacobs. Jacobs was great as a rookie and the only real knock is his involvement in the passing game. Jacobs has real breakout potential, think Dalvin Cook rising to top-5 in 2019. With all of these weapons around him, it’s hard not to like Derek Carr in deeper QB leagues. You aren’t targetting him in a basic single-QB league, but he has the potential to take a step forward and is worth adding late in multi-QB leagues.

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Los Angeles Chargers

Head Coach: Anthony Lynn
Offensive Coordinator: Shane Steichen

2019 Offensive Stats

  • Rush YPG: 90 — 28th
  • Rush TDs: 12 — 20th
  • Pass YPG: 276 — 6th
  • Pass TDs: 24 — 18th

Projected Week 1 Starters (ADP)

Player Additions:

  • QB Justin Herbert (1st Round)
  • RB Joshua Kelley (4th Round)
  • WR Joe Reed (5th Round)
  • WR KJ Hill (7th Round)

Player Subtractions:

  • Phillip Rivers (Colts)
  • Melvin Gordon (Broncos)

Team Breakdown

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The biggest story around the Chargers is the losses of Phillip Rivers and Melvin Gordon. While some will argue that Austin Ekeler is an upgrade over Gordon, the loss of Rivers makes this a very different team. He has been the starting QB for the Chargers for the last 16 years. It appears that the Chargers plan to use Taylor as the starter for at least the first few weeks but rookie Justin Herbert will get this job eventually. Much like Denver, QB play will determine whether or not you want most of the players on this team. They will likely be a very low pass volume team and that is going to hurt a guy like Keenan Allen, who has been a fantasy value in his career but based on volume. It’s hard to bet against Allen but the change of volume raises concerns.  And if you don’t want Allen, it’s hard to want WR2 Mike Williams. Taylor and coach Anthony Lynn were together in Buffalo and while they were a good team, they were not great for fantasy from a passing volume standpoint. However, Tyrod Taylor will throw the ball deep and that will play well into Mike Williams’ game. Williams averaged over 20 yards-per-reception last year (eyes emoji) and is not volume-dependent in the least. Ekeler will step into the RB1 role but could also suffer from a loss of targets. A lot of his value will come down to how many routes he runs and how many carries he’s given. Regardless, there aren’t many arguments that lead to him repeating as the RB6. Hunter Henry is another of the risky mid-round TEs. With the lower passing volume and a constant injury worry, you may be better off waiting on your TE rather than drafting him in the 7th. He did finish as the TE8 in just 12 games last year but that was with Phillip Rivers.

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