Bartender, do you know how to make this drink?
Start with a first-round quarterback, add a rushing-title tailback. Dash in a long-distance receiving freak, a gigantic tight end, and another field-stretching wideout. Don’t forget a brilliant play designer and a defense that can’t stop anything.
Mix well. The 2018 Kansas City Chiefs are the tastiest fantasy beverage.
The Chiefs-Steelers total settled in the low-50s for Sunday, and that wasn’t nearly enough. Patrick Mahomes blitzed Heinz Field, throwing for 326 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-37 victory; fantasy goodies for just about everybody.
Every major Kansas City offensive piece was heard from. Travis Kelce scored twice and collected 109 yards, Tyreek Hill had 5-90 and a touchdown, Kareem Hunt hit 80 total yards with a spike. And while Sammy Watkins didn’t get a score, 6-100 is a solid line on seven targets.
If we have one complaint about the Chiefs offense, it’s that the usage was a little wider than fantasy owners would like. Demarcus Robinson and Chris Conley both had touchdown catches — no reasonable fantasy option in that mix.
Excuse us the minor quibble. Mahomes, three starts into his career, looks like a star. He’s already rolled up 10 touchdown passes in two starts this season. Andy Reid has this offense locked-in right now. And the horrendous Chiefs defense (Philip Rivers torched it last Sunday) is forcing a weekly shootout. The Kansas City carnival is fantasy’s hottest ticket.
The 49ers head to Kansas City next week. Week 4 caps with a Chiefs-Broncos clash on Monday night. Can altitude stop the high-flying Chiefs? And can their defense stop anything?
Ben Roethlisberger returned to form in a home start, chucking 60 passes and collecting four touchdowns (three air, one ground). Antonio Brown was playing at less than 100 percent all day (9-60-0, 17 targets), but Jesse James (5-138-1) and precocious JuJu Smith-Schuster (13-121-1, 19 targets) picked up the slack. Don’t blow off James’s potential down the road — tight end is the ultimate attrition position, and we’ve already seen some big names get hurt this season. Would it shock anyone if Smith-Schuster ended the year as Pittsburgh’s most-productive wideout?
James Conner had a rushing touchdown, a two-point conversion and five catches, but his eight carries only went for 17 yards. For all the perceived bad blood between Le’Veon Bell and the club, the 0-1-1 Steelers would probably welcome him back ASAP.
Next Monday’s game should be a fun one: Pittsburgh at shock-the-world Tampa Bay. Baltimore and Atlanta head to Heinz Field after that.
Fitzmagic Happens Again
It’s going to be a ball when Kansas City and Tampa Bay meet in the Super Bowl, isn’t it? Okay, that’s months away. Let’s settle the MVP debate first.
If Mahomes is the breakout star of the first two weeks, Fitzpatrick is the most unlikely one. Tampa’s fill-in QB torched the Saints in a stunner last week, then uncorked 402 yards and four more touchdowns Sunday, authoring a 27-21 upset of the Eagles. Fitzpatrick threw touchdowns to four different players — including a 75-yard rainbow to DeSean Jackson on the first offensive snap — and averaged 12.2 YPA.
Everyone hasn’t been invited to the Bucs party, of course. Peyton Barber stumbled to 22 yards on 16 carries. Tight end Cameron Brate doesn’t have a catch through two weeks. Fitzpatrick and Brate both went to Harvard, but it hasn’t translated to chemistry on the field. But with two wins banked and 75 points scored, no one in Tampa cares.
After Pittsburgh in Week 3, the Bucs play Chicago in Week 4 — on a short turnaround. It looks like the Jameis Winston return will be put on delay, if it happens at all.
Kenny Golladay, Everyday
Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are good players, known commodities, and they’ve been heard from through two weeks. But Kenny Golladay is pushing for a seat at the table — and he has a fair chance to be Detroit’s best fantasy wideout.
Golladay rolled up 7-114-0 in the season debut against the Jets — plus a heady tackle after an interception — and it was more of the same in Week 2. Golladay snagged 6-of-9 targets for 89 yards, including an acrobatic 30-yard score in the first quarter. The Lions are off to an 0-2 start in the Matt Patricia sharpened-pencil era, but it’s not Golladay’s fault.
There should be enough to go around in this offense. The Lions seldom throw to their tight ends, and the running game has been sporadic through two weeks. And the Lions use three wideouts in their base offense, so don’t let the apparent gridlock fool you. There’s probably enough to go around. And whatever you paid for Golladay a few weeks ago, you’re well positioned for profit.
David Johnson Dragged Down
Most football fans figured to miss Bruce Arians, former Cardinals coach. But right now, David Johnson misses him most of all.
Johnson has been stagnated for two weeks, both ugly Arizona losses. The Rams pasted the Cardinals 34-0 on Sunday, holding Johsnon to 48 yards on 13 carriers. And in a staggering display of myopia, the Cardinals only targeted Johnson twice in the passing game (one catch, three yards).
There are a lot of moving parts to the Arizona blackout. Sam Bradford looks cooked (3.3 YPA Sunday). Larry Fitzgerald is dealing with a balky hamstring. If DJ owners want off this ride, they’ll probably have to wait until Johnson has a restore-confidence game. You can’t sell off this type of performance.
Chicago’s formidable defense comes to Arizona in Week 3.