WR: Tyreek Hill
WR: Sammy Watkins
WR: Mecole Hardman
WR: Demarcus Robinson
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
TE: Travis Kelce
Who other than the Legion of Zoom could top this list?
Travis Kelce is the NFL’s best pass-catching tight end. Hill may not have the NFL’s fastest 40-yard dash time, but he clearly looks like the league’s fastest player on the field, and Hardman is also in the top five. Their speed tilts defenses and perfectly complements Kelce. Watkins, a former top 10 draft pick, is the team’s overqualified third option and just made a crucial play to win the Super Bowl. Running back Damien Williams opted out of the season, but rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the last pick of the first round, is the perfect addition to the offense as a receiving back and detailed route runner who excels in open space and has the balance to stay on his feet after contact. Football has morphed into a game in which every inch of the field must be defended, and this group of pass catchers makes that harder than any other.
Passing touchdowns: 37
Kansas City Chiefs · QB
Mahomes earns more than 35 passing touchdowns in 57.5 percent of 16-game simulations. Forecasting the 2018 NFL MVP and reigning Super Bowl MVP to lead the league in passing touchdowns is admittedly quite unsurprising, so let’s unload the touchdown algorithm here for three other QBs: Seattle’s Russell Wilson throws for more than 30 touchdowns in 55.5 percent of simulations, Buffalo’s Josh Allen tops 22 in 57 percent of simulations and Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill matches or exceed his 22-touchdown total from last season in 54.9 percent of simulations. One player whose projection surprised me? Bengals No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow. His median projection is to throw 21 touchdowns. (I use all median projections to order players in fantasy rankings, but there is always a ceiling and a floor.) Last season, Giants rookie Daniel Jones threw 24 touchdown passes. In fact, 14 quarterbacks threw 24-plus touchdown passes. When I look to see how many times in the model Burrow reaches or exceed 24 touchdowns, it happens in 53.6 percent of the simulations. Interesting.
Months after watching his former team take home the Lombardi Trophy over the 49ers, Morse discussed how it felt watching that go down over the weekend while talking to reporters via video conference from Bills training camp. Even though things happened the way they did, there’s no hard feelings and more importantly, no regrets.
“You know, I have some really good friends on that team and I was happy for them. But like you said, I’m in the place I’m meant to be. I couldn’t be happier where I’m at,” Morse said. “Watching that game, I was happy for my friends, I know all the work they had put in… couldn’t be happier for them, but I couldn’t care less at the same time because I know where I was and I’m happy to be there.”
Kansas City Chiefs: Week 6 at Buffalo
The Chiefs return most of their Super Bowl roster in 2020, including their top four wideouts and star defensive tackle Chris Jones. Of course, it’s Patrick Mahomes that leads the way, and he will face some early challenges from Houston, the Chargers, Baltimore, New England, and Las Vegas. If he gets through those tests, the Week 6 tilt at Buffalo could be a stumbling block, as the Chiefs have to travel to a tough opponent on a short week for the Thursday night game. The Chiefs have had some nightmares in Thursday night games recently, including Mahomes’ dislocated kneecap at Denver last year and a late-game loss to the Chargers in 2018.
On the Tuesday night he arrived in Kansas City, he asked his new center, Tim Grunhard, to grab a beer at a spot called Kelly’s. The place was empty. These were the days before cellphones and social media geotags. Within a half hour, Grunhard remembered, the place turned into “St. Patrick’s Day,” with Montana graciously mobbed, at home and in love with his new lot in life.
Stink bombs aside, Montana did not barrel into his new locker room in Kansas City, but integrated himself slowly through a series of small gestures. Grunhard said that Montana was the first and only quarterback he saw to take the blame for a botched QB-center exchange. Montana would spend the week after wins taking his teammates out to dinner, position group by position group, to thank them for keeping him upright.
10 | Tyreek Hill
DeAndre Hopkins might be more complete, but who’s taking him over Hill at his most explosive? Cooper Kupp is 1C here.
Around the NFL
During his three active seasons in Houston, Miller ran for 2,934 yards and 13 touchdowns on 716 carries. He also caught 92 passes and scored five touchdowns. Miller’s best season for the Texans came in 2018, when he averaged 4.6 yards per carry.
Before Miller tore his ACL, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien praised Miller’s ability in pass protection.
During the 2019 offseason, Miller focused on dropping his body fat and continuing to work on his speed and his lower body strength. He said he felt quicker during training camp and he felt the agility work he had done in the offseason had paid off.
1. Philip Rivers throws over 30 touchdown passes
The Colts took $25 million of their ridiculous amount of cap space this offseason and put it into Rivers, who had a poor interception percentage of 3.4 last season — which had plenty to do with the Los Angeles Chargers moving on from him in the first place. Indianapolis believed the 38-year-old Rivers still has some gas left in the tank, bringing him in to replace Jacoby Brissett at quarterback.
While there could be a quarterback replacement at some point in 2020, Rivers will make sure that doesn’t happen. Having a much better offensive line than the one in Los Angeles over the past few seasons and a legitimate running back tandem in Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor, Rivers will have a resurgence with the Colts. What will also help Rivers is Reich was his quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator with the Chargers while offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni was also his quarterbacks coach in San Diego, so there’s plenty of familiarity with the scheme.
Rivers has all the tools needed for his second 30+ touchdown season in three years. He’s not finished yet.
A corner by trade, it’s smart for Ryan to shop himself as a multifaceted chess piece to defenses. In a year where depth and versatility could prove massively beneficial, Ryan’s ability to play multiple positions could prove worthwhile for several clubs.
Last year, Ryan 855 snaps at slot corner, including playoffs, 243 at wide corner, 180 in the box and 22 at free safety, per Pro Football Focus. Obviously, Ryan’s stats would be different, given that he lined up in a different location than most free safeties that were on the comparison list.
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In his rookie year, Hardman amassed 538 receiving yards at an absurd 20.7 yards per reception. He showed a lot of ability as a big-play vertical stretch — making an impact on several games during the season with explosive play. The nature of his season was high variance — hence the high yards per reception. In fantasy football terms, Hardman was the definition of a boom-or-bust player on a week-to-week basis.
In researching this question, I came across some interesting numbers on Hardman’s season. 69.5% of his receiving yards in 2019 came in the first half of the season. What’s more is that 45.7% of his receiving yards on the season came in the four games that top receiver Tyreek Hill missed.
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