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Chiefs Market Movers heading into Sunday’s Lions game

Which Chiefs players are Bulls — and which ones are Bears — as the team faces the Lions on Sunday?

Baltimore Ravens v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Writer’s note: For those of you who haven’t read the first three weeks of Market Movers, think of this as the weekly stock report but on performance-enhancing substances... or call it our own internal power rankings.

We’ve taken the entire Kansas City Chiefs roster and ranked it — top to bottom — one to 53. The player ranking is based on our overall impression of the player as compared to NFL peers and his apparent standing on the team given what we’ve seen on the field and the depth chart.

For this week’s edition, we’re eating a bit of crow. We said we wouldn’t move anyone down because of injury, and I had been very down on a certain offensive lineman who became this week’s most signiciant bullish mover.

In order to make this piece a bit more forward-looking, we’ll also include predictions of who might have a chance to make a move this weekend against Detroit.

This week’s Bulls:

Travis Kelce: Looking at the team rankings, it makes sense that if a player is the best in the NFL at his position, he should be at the very top of our list. Perhaps we’ve taken it for granted how good Travis Kelce is at the tight end position. Another week, another seven catches, 89 yards for Kelce as he continues to be a matchup nightmare and a trusted target. Kelce moves up to the second spot on our list behind only Mahomes—he’s irreplaceable.

Mecole Hardman: There’s no doubt the speedy rookie is ahead of schedule in terms of production. It doesn’t even matter that he’s not an advanced route runner or complete receiver yet. He’s a playmaker and getting better every week.

Emmanuel Ogbah: We should have predicted that some of the other defensive ends would benefit from the attention paid to Chris Jones and Frank Clark. We might not have predicted that it would be Ogbah, who was quiet all preseason. He’s not quiet anymore, playing like he wants a new deal. If he keeps winning one-on-one matchups, he should get one.

Darrel Williams: The team’s leading rusher this week went over 100 total yards. It’s of tremendous value to have multiple backs that can each play three downs as needed. Williams moved up seven spots this week. When finally given the chance, he delivered.

Ben Niemann: For the second week in a row, we noticed Niemann on the field making positive plays in coverage. Many of us thought it would be Dorian O’Daniel or Darron Lee, but it appears that Niemann has carved out the role as the nickel and dime guy, and he has moved up six spots in our rankings becoming a significant role player.

Cameron Erving: There are still a couple of ugly plays every week, and he’s certainly getting more help than Fisher needed. But,the offense really isn’t suffering with Erving. He’s the biggest mover up the charts this week, as he jumped from the bottom of the roster to the middle and is solidly in the role player category.

This week’s Bears:

Damien Williams: Williams dropped a couple of spots on this list as he continues to rehab another injury. We wouldn’t drop a player on the list simply because of injury, but when the replacements step in and shine, they deserve to move up. Said differently, the more replaceable a player is proven to be, the less value they have to the team. Williams is a very good running back, but the more time he misses, the more replaceable he appears.

Austin Reiter: The initiator of a bad snap became the receiver of Mahomes’ ire this week. We focused on the fact that Mahomes was animated and showing leadership in calling out his teammates. But it should also be a reminder that Reiter has some struggles in his first year as the unquestioned starter. With the rest of the Chiefs rookie class getting opportunities and contributing, could Nick Allegretti eventually get his shot at center?

Xavier Williams: Williams isn’t having much impact as part of the defensive line rotation thus far. He’s another guy who should be getting some one-on-one blocking, so we’d expect a little more visible results.

Other observations this week:

  • The restructured contracts are now reflected in the spreadsheet, but it didn’t change the salary cap rankings for Fisher and Hitchens. It does likely signal that both are still in the team’s long term plans, regardless of speculation to the contrary.
  • This week, the Lions will try to test the Chiefs run defense, so the linebackers will have to be at the top of their games. Perhaps we’ll see more of a ‘breakout’ game from Anthony Hitchens or the first extended action for Reggie Ragland?
  • Matthew Stafford is obviously quite different from Lamar Jackson and may prove to be a better matchup for the Chiefs passing defense. It could be a good week for Frank Clark, Chris Jones and Alex Okafor. Okafor, in particular, needs to show he can win and make plays, as he’s been overshadowed by Ogbah and even Kpassagnon in production so far.
  • The Lions’ best cornerback, Darius Slay is slowed by a hamstring injury, which could make it another big day for the Chiefs receivers. Expect Mahomes to continue to spread it around, but watch Mecole Hardman’s role continue to expand. Watkins will get his catches, as will Kelce and Robinson, but with the explosive ability of Hardman, he could move up anyway.

For those who want a complete look behind the curtain, here’s a link to the full database.

Feel free to weigh in the comment section with your own analysis of the rankings and the Market Movers you notice as the season goes on.

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