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Arrowheadlines: Has any of Thursday’s standouts earned a roster spot?

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Chiefs headlines for Saturday, August 31

NFL: Preseason-Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

Final Chiefs roster prediction: Who earned a spot Thursday night? | Kansas City Star

Kansas City brass likely had their 53 entering the fourth preseason game, but a few players like LB/DE Jeremiah Attaochu and WR Jody Fortson put together standout performances that could make them reconsider a couple things.

Though the Chiefs had injuries at the wide receiver position in the preseason, that’s still a deep spot on the roster. K-State product Byron Pringle and Cody Thompson both seem to have secured roster spots, along with old friend De’Anthony Thomas, giving that group seven players entering the season.

Le’Veon Bell, Sam Darnold Among the 10 Most Undervalued Players in Fantasy Football | SI.com

WR Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs (ADP: 128.5, WR57)

The player most likely to be a bust for his fantasy owners in 2019 is Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins. Watkins, who is being drafted as WR37 with an ADP of 72.8, has missed 14 games over the past three seasons due to injuries. When actually on the field, it’s as if he isn’t really there, anyway. He has averaged a mere 3 catches with 47 yards per game and 13 touchdowns over his past 33 games! For three straight seasons, Watkins has finished outside the top-40 in PPR scoring among wideouts, so why exactly is there so much love again? In a prolific MVP season by his quarterback Patrick Mahomes last year, Watkins still disappointed, only finding the endzone three times. If my projections are down once again on Watkins, how can they not be high on rookie WR Mecole Hardman? The Chiefs traded up in the second round for the speedy Hardman, and he is poised to burst onto the fantasy scene in 2019. Hardman has gone as late as pick 146, which in that draft made him WR62! Playing on arguably the best offense in the NFL, Hardman easily makes the list as a player who is being undervalued in drafts.

AFC West preview: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders | Sky Sports

The Chiefs were shut out in the first half but rallied late on to lead 28-24 with two minutes remaining. It looked like the game was won when Charvarius Ward intercepted Tom Brady, only for a penalty to void the play. It then went to overtime and the Pats scored a touchdown on their first drive to advance to the Super Bowl.

Prospects: KC will be expected to contend for the Super Bowl again. If the offense is as good as last season and the defense, which gave up the second-most yards in the NFL in 2018, improves under Spagnuolo, then they have every chance of going all the way.

Prediction: 12-4 (1st) and Super Bowl winners

Chiefs, Chargers will fiercely battle for AFC West crown | Fan Sided

The Case for the Chiefs

The proof, as they say, is in the proverbial pudding, and the Chiefs have all the results on their side in this debate. Three consecutive division titles have only furthered a franchise record (that started with 2), and it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs not winning another title in 2019 given how Patrick Mahomes looked in his first tour of duty.

Speaking of Mahomes, any argument for the Chiefs begins there, on the shoulders of a 23-year-old the likes of which the NFL has never seen. He’s got Favre’s moxie, Manning’s understanding, Marino’s arm, Montana’s heroics, and Wilson’s athleticism. It’s a cyborg comprised of the best comparisons of numerous signal callers before him—all of them Hall of Famers, present or future. As long as he is healthy, the Kansas City Chiefs will be contenders.

Most impressive rookies of the 2019 NFL preseason: QBs surprise, Patriots draft class dominates | CBS Sports

RB Darwin Thompson and WR Mecole Hardman, Chiefs

We know what you’re thinking: The one thing the Chiefs’ offense needs is more playmakers. Hardman, a second-rounder out of Georgia, was insurance against a Tyreek Hill suspension. But Hill won’t miss time and in Hardman, who ran a 4.33 at the combine, Kansas City has another downfield weapon for Patrick Mahomes.

Thompson, a sixth-round pick out of Utah State, is explosive coming out of the backfield. Through three preseason games he’s averaging 5.0 yards per rush (12 carries, 60 yards) and 12.7 yards per catch (3 receptions, 38 yards).

Fantasy Football 2019: TE Rankings and Tiers | SI.com

Superstars

If drafting a tight end early is your thing, these are the three that are worth your consideration.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs—Kelce is so good that he needs to be looked at more like a wide receiver than a tight end. He plays on the best offense with the best quarterback in the NFL, which increases his draft stock greatly.

Bold Predictions for the 2019 Fantasy Football Season | Bleacher Report

Damien Williams Won’t Live Up to His High ADP

On one hand, he hasn’t been overworked. But on the other, he’s likely looking at a massive jump in total touches, which is wear and tear to which his body isn’t accustomed. Even though he played in the team’s third preseason game, Williams already missed time in August with a hamstring injury.

While he was impressive last season, playing a lead role for the entire season is a big ask, even if this is an ideal situation in a great offense. Sitting at an average draft position (ADP) of 25 (RB12), he has major bust potential considering the investment you must make to get him.

Raiders center Rodney Hudson signs 3-year extension | NFL.com

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Friday that the Raiders are signing center Rodney Hudson to a three-year, $33.75 million contract extension that will make him the highest-paid center in the NFL, per a source informed of the deal. Hudson gets $24.4 million in guarantees. The team later confirmed the extension.

Pelissero adds that Hudson’s existing $8.25 million salary for 2019 now becomes fully guaranteed, and another $16.5 million of his deal becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 waiver period.

All this numerical jargon is to say: The Raiders locked down their starting center.

A 2011 second-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, Hudson has been the Raiders’ starting center the past four seasons after switching sides of the division rivalry.

The latest

6 winners from the final week of the 2019 NFL preseason | SB Nation

Demaryius Thomas, who may not be cooked yet

Thomas finished the 2018 season — his ninth as a pro — on injured reserve after suffering a torn Achilles. He signed with the Patriots this offseason in an effort to rehabilitate his career, which came with its own caveats. That path failed to revive aging All-Pros like Reggie Wayne and Chad Ochocinco in the past. After missing the bulk of the preseason while getting healthy, he made a long-awaited debut for a needy position group in Week 4.

Thomas’ first game in a New England uniform made him part of a star-studded Patriots receiving corps who stood out like a sore thumb against a backdrop of reserves. He, Josh Gordon, and Julian Edelman have 24 seasons, six Pro Bowl appearances, and five Super Bowl rings between them. On Thursday night, they teamed up to face a Giants secondary led by players like Terrell Sinkfield, Henre’ Toliver, and Ronald Zamort in the first half.

Needless to say, they fared well as the Pats ran out to a 29-10 halftime lead. No one did more than Thomas, who hauled in seven of his eight targets from rookie Jarrett Stidham for 87 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Real Blown Call: How the Pass Interference Replay Rule Could Explode in the NFL’s Face | The Ringer

There is a rich history of NFL rule changes being forecast to ruin football only to have a far smaller impact than anticipated, and Riveron is quick to explain that this doesn’t even technically count as a rule change.

“The no. 1 main thing we have to stress to all of our fans is that it’s not a rule change per se for the way that pass interference, both offensively and defensively, will be called or administered on the field,” Riveron told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on Wednesday. “All it is is that pass interference has been added as a reviewable aspect of the play.”

But that’s a massive change. In the past replay was reserved for the objective aspects of the game, like whether a runner stepped out of bounds or whether the ball crossed the plane of the goal line. The penalties that are reviewable, 12 men on the field and whether the quarterback crossed the line of scrimmage before throwing a pass, are black-and-white issues. Pass interference exists almost exclusively in the gray.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs 53-man roster projection 3.0

Running backs (3): Damien Williams, Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson

As the preseason went on, we watched as Carlos Hyde was downgraded from a first-string player (when Damien Williams began training camp in the injury tent) to almost a certain cut (after he started the fourth preseason game against the Green Bay Packers). With the season-long injury to Lamar Miller, it seems obvious the Houston Texans may have interest in Hyde. I mentioned in my last piece that Hyde’s most significant obstacle to making the team might be offensive convert Tremon Smith, but now I’m not sure either player makes the team. I’d guess that rookie Darwin Thompson begins the season as the RB2 but may find his way to the starting role by the end of the season.

Five notes from Andy Reid ahead of Chiefs roster cutdown day

Reid also called the tight end room a “good situation.”

Entering training camp, the Chiefs were not sure who their tight end behind Travis Kelce would be. But during the past month, Blake Bell emerged. Now it is a matter of figuring out who else, if anyone, the Chiefs keep on Saturday.

“I liked what (Deon) Yelder did in Pittsburgh before he got hurt,” said Reid, referencing Yelder’s night that included a 27-yard catch from Chad Henne. “I liked what Bell’s done also, and (Nick) Keizer went out and had a nice night last night, so that’s a pretty good situation right there.”

With all three top tight ends sitting, Keizer had five receptions for 33 yards and a score, and that effort could push him to the 53-man roster. Keizer’s case is helped by Yelder’s sprained ankle. Reid wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Yelder lands on the injured reserve list.

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