Pennel originally signed with the Chiefs nearly two years ago as a midseason addition during the team’s championship run of ’19. His addition immediately helped to solidify the run defense as the entire unit took a turn toward the better under Steve Spagnuolo in his first season as the team’s defensive coordinator (after the team let go of Bob Sutton).
Pennel was then brought back for a second season along the defensive line, but wasn’t as impactful of an element. The development of Turk Wharton and the presence of other options like Derrick Nnadi and Khalen Saunders returning for another season allowed the Chiefs to move on with a younger core. The Chiefs also signed Jarran Reed which made for a crowded room.
1. Travis Kelce
It wasn’t the speedy Tyreek Hill, it was actually Kelce who has led the Kansas City Chiefs in receiving over the past two years. Blocking, catching, creating the big play, saving the broken play — Kelce can basically do it all. A big reason he tops our list is because he just doesn’t slow down. Even after four straight seasons of posting more than 1,000 yards receiving, Kelce turned in his best campaign ever in 2020. In 15 games last year, he caught 105 passes for a record-breaking 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns. All three figures set career highs. Kelce then took his game to another level in the postseason, as he caught 31 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns in three games. He set the record for most receptions in a conference championship game with 13, and passed Rob Gronkowski for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single-season in NFL history including playoffs.
A pro through and through, Kelce told us this offseason he’s more motivated than ever to win a Super Bowl in 2021. So don’t expect any drop-off.
Hill told reporters Wednesday that the Chiefs are aiming to finish 20-0, echoing comments teammate Patrick Mahomes made last month.
“The future is what Patrick Mahomes said, 20-0,” the wide receiver said, according to ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “That’s what we’re shooting for.”
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Key additions: OT Orlando Brown Jr., OG Joe Thuney, DT Jarran Reed
Key rookies: C Creed Humphrey, LB Nick Bolton
It would’ve been nice to see the reigning AFC champions pull off another Clyde Edwards-Helaire (i.e. adding a new luxury weapon). But they had one priority after the Super Bowl: improve Patrick Mahomes’ protection. Even if one or two of their additions up front doesn’t pan out, they’re already better off than they were. Acquiring Brown via trade was a creative way to fill the long-term left tackle need. The only thing they could really use is more pass-rushing help, as evidenced by their attempt to use Chris Jones on the edge.
Top Stacks — The Crème de la Crème
Kansas City Chiefs | Fantasy Football Best Ball
QB Patrick Mahomes ADP 36.1, WR Tyreek Hill ADP 8.9, TE Travis Kelce ADP 7.3
The Kansas City Chiefs stack is the the best available, but it will cost you and it will likely require a bit of luck to make happen. You will need to spend your first pick on Travis Kelce, who has an ADP of 7.3 on Underdog Fantasy currently, then come back with Tyreek Hill in the second round. Patrick Mahomes is currently going at 36.1, so if you are able to secure his top two targets, you may have to reach a little to ensure you can complete the stack with the best fantasy QB in the game. If you can draft this stack, this is a great foundation for your team, with the weekly upside each provides.
Around the NFL
Beasley, 32, placed equal blame on the NFL for prioritizing money over its players’ freedom and the NFLPA for not supporting the players it represents.
“This is crazy. Did we vote on this?” he wrote in response to the list of protocols. “I stay in the hotel. We still have meetings. We will all be together. Vaccinated players can go out the hotel and bring covid back in to where I am. So what does it matter if I stay in the hotel now? 100 percent immune with vaccination? No.
“The players association is a joke. Call it something different. It’s not for the players,” he added. “Everyone gives me the 98 percent of people who are vaccinated don’t get covid again. The odds of me getting in the NFL and playing for 10 years are lower than that and I’m here.”
“If I don’t believe in it, it’s not going to work out,” Fields said on Thursday. “My job is strictly [to] get better and be the best quarterback I can be and hope my team wins. That’s what I’m going to do whether it’s starting, whether it’s sitting, I’m going to do whatever is going to help us win.”
From the forefront of an organization in Washington to the background in Pittsburgh, Haskins said Thursday morning that he’s just looking for any opportunity to earn a job.
“Just coming here to Pittsburgh, I just wanted to prove to the coaching staff and my teammates how much I love football. And just grateful for the opportunity to be here and just show them that my mind’s in the right place and that I’m willing to work to be able to show my talent and be able to work and earn a spot here.”
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“You can see it in his eyes that he’s ready to go, and I think a big part of that is him understanding that we’re going to need him,” Mathieu recognized. “He’s got a big responsibility on his plate. It’s going to take the leaders and the guys in the locker room to encourage him and uplift him cause he’s still a young guy. He’s still a baby in this league, but we need him to play big, and we expect him to do that.”
There’s a learning curve for first-year players in the complex scheme that head coach Andy Reid runs. Reid believes the wide receiver position primarily benefits from the experience.
“The wide receiver position is one that... years help improvement at that position,” Reid explained in his Thursday press conference. “There’s a whole lot that goes into the learning process and production, a bit hard to measure, but I believe that. I like the guys that we have; it might be by committee, but we’ve got a good nucleus of wide receivers there, and I feel comfortable with those guys.”
A tweet to make you think
Do you think Brady agrees to do the cover with Mahomes if he had lost Super Bowl 55?— Tom Childs (@tomchilds56) June 17, 2021
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