Investors tend to look backward at recent results and assume that is the new trend. But financial advisors are taught early on that “past performance is not indicative of future results.” It’s a characteristic of the financial markets that there is a certain amount of randomness in the stock market. The NFL version of the random walk theory is “any given Sunday.” And we see it all the time, perhaps more so with the Chiefs. Andy Reid’s team can beat high-quality opponents one week and a lose game they have no business losing the next.
If you’re buying every time a stock has gone up and selling every time it has gone down, you’ll eventually go broke. The only reliable way to prosper is to stay invested over the long term. As Chiefs fans, we’ve got a long history of frustrations that weigh on us after each loss. But, just like the stock market, we have to try to be forward-looking and understand that past performance is not indicative of future results.
After last week’s loss to the Titans, there weren’t many players trending up based on their play. So this week’s market movers will attempt to be a bit more forward-looking, with players whose stock we should buy now in anticipation of a rise through the rest of the season.
This week’s Bulls
- Tyreek Hill: If there was ever any doubt about Hill’s value to this team, an 11-catch, 157-yard performance last week on a ridiculous 19 targets should go a long way towards erasing them. Hill still left a couple of plays out there, but the Chiefs would not have been in a position to win this game without the plays he did make. As the team moves into the stretch run, it’s clear that Hill is a guy they can leverage to win games.
- Frank Clark: Clark has been solid all year, believe it or not. Playing through a pinched nerve issue, he hasn’t been as dominant yet... but hopefully it’s coming. Frank notched his fourth sack of the season last week but will be depended on more heavily now with Ogbah out for the season. The bull market for Clark may just be beginning.
- Mecole Hardman: Hardman’s game last week was about what we’ve come to expect. One big play, a questionable decision and not much else. The rookie is still putting up numbers, and his playmaking ability is not in question. He’s learning on the job, as he and Dave Toub admitted this week, but we’ve seen enough to buy stock in Hardman in the long run.
This week’s Bears
- Sammy Watkins: Watkins, when healthy, has been a reliable, chain-moving receiver for Mahomes. Last week, something looked off. Sammy caught only five of nine targets, with some frustrating misses. We’ll see if he wasn’t fully healthy, as he did pop up on the injury report with a groin issue. But it’s fair to question whether Watkins will be a significant part of the offense down the stretch.
- LeSean McCoy: As a game-day inactive last week, it’s clear that the Chiefs aren’t thrilled with Shady right now. Andy Reid tried to paint it as a plan to keep him fresh down the stretch, but that seems like just another way to keep from saying anything negative about a player publicly. The team could use him, and there’s some hope that he’ll get back in the mix at some point, but for now, he gets a sell rating until further notice.
- Rashad Fenton: Fenton had been a fantastic surprise, forced into action as a rookie, he was much more steady than expected. Last week, he was on the losing end of a couple of the most critical plays of the game, including Tannehil’s third-down run and the game-winning touchdown pass. We’ll see if this was just a temporary correction for Fenton’s stock or if he’ll start getting picked on.
Observations for Week 11
- There’s quite a bit of volatility in the middle of the roster, as each of the Chiefs backups shows their abilities and limitations when forced into action. It’s likely the same for teams across the league, as nobody has a full slate of starters sitting on the bench waiting for a chance to play. But it would be nice to see more consistency, and some backups emerge as starters. With the salary cap decisions coming up next year, it’s essential to get some starters on cheap contracts.
- The pass rush has to find a way, and it’s down to the stars to make it happen. Frank Clark and Chris Jones will likely be the most impactful pass rushers for the rest of the season, and they won’t have as much help as they had earlier in the season. Look for Clark, in particular, to assert himself and show why he is among the NFL elite.
- Anything can happen this week, but it’s a must-win. Stats and records go out the window in three ways when playing a division rival on Monday night in Mexico. But this Chiefs team now has its back against the wall. That’s a dangerous position for an opponent. Mahomes will drag this offense to a victory this week. It may be ugly, or it may be a blowout, but I’m not betting against the MVP in a must-win game.
If you’d like a complete look behind the curtain, here’s the full database. There’s a new tab for each week.
And throughout the season, feel free to weigh in with your own analysis of the rankings — and the Market Movers you notice!