Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
Outcome: Chiefs win 42-27
Fantasy Player of the Game: Kareem Hunt, RB KC – 17-148-1 rushing, 5-98-2 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment of the Game: Tom Brady, QB NE – 16-36, 264 yards, 0 TD passing
The myth of a low-scoring Thursday night affair has officially been debunked as this was the highest point total of all the games played through Sunday night. Despite the loss of Julian Edelman, the Patriots still had a vast array of weapons and the Chiefs were certainly ready to take the reins off their big play-makers. Early on it looked as if the Patriots were going to cruise to victory, but following a fumble by Hunt, a crucial 4th-and-1 stand by the Chiefs defensive unit on their own 10-yard line helped take the crowd out of the game and allowed their offense to maintain the original game plan and put some points on the board.
Obviously, the big story was the performance of Kareem Hunt. He rebounded extremely well following a fumble on his first carry and it was refreshing to see Andy Reid stick with him immediately after it happened. We’ve talked about what Reid likes to do with his running backs and Hunt’s usage in this game was the perfect example. You should expect Charcandrick West to get some share of the workload, but this looks like Hunt’s backfield.
Let’s pump the brakes on the Alex Smith love here, people. He is still the same quarterback he’s always been and just because he had a strong debut this season doesn’t change who he is as a player. Simply enjoy his 368 passing yards and four touchdowns and hope you had him in a best-ball format because it’s highly doubtful any sane fantasy player had him in their lineup.
The final stat line of 7-133-1 for Tyreek Hill was fantastic, but just remember that 75 of those yards came on one play in which there was some busted coverage and the Patriots defensive backs had given up on the play. That’s not to say he can’t be incredibly effective each week, but there’s no need to elevate him to top-five wide receiver status.
It was kind of a lame duck day for Travis Kelce who caught five of his seven targets for a total of 40 yards. Bill Bellichick was very focused on stopping Kelce and the Chiefs knew it as they tried to get him involved on some gimmick run-plays throughout the game. Just focus on the fact that he had the second-most targets behind Hill and should continue down that path all season long.
The Chiefs lost safety Eric Berry to a ruptured Achilles tendon late in the game and it’s going to be real tough for them to replace him. Daniel Sorenson is likely the first one up and he actually saw the third-most snaps of all the safeties, including some playing time even when Berry was on the field.
It was a tough game for Tom Brady, but obviously nothing you need to get your panties in a twist over. He’s still working out the kinks with his receivers, much like we saw a few years ago when he was trying to get Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins on the right track. It shouldn’t be long before he and Brandin Cooks, who had a fairly quiet debut, are locking down big games together.
It looks like Danny Amendola is going to be that guy coming out of the slot to replace Edelman. Only problem now is that Amendola is in concussion protocol, so we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens before we really dive into what the Pats might need to do to get Brady some help.
Looks like Chiefs DC Don Sutton did a real nice job of neutralizing Rob Gronkowski, though we did see a couple of drops that shouldn’t have happened. Credit the Chiefs here, but it’s going to be tough for any team to replicate the scheme, especially once Brady and his receivers land on the same page.
The real issue this week, at least for fantasy owners, was the Patriots backfield. All of you who fell for that Boston Herald column that stated Rex Burkhead was in for a big night kind of got what you deserved. Mike Gillislee has always been tabbed as the team’s short-yardage back, so who else was going to see the goal line touches. James White handles the third-down work and Gillislee takes it between the tackles. Burkhead and Dion Lewis take a back seat to them in fantasy. Bellichick is notorious for mixing it up, but still, folks should have known.
The Patriots lost middle linebacker Dont’a Hightower to a knee injury; a sprained MCL to be exact. His status for Week 2 is still up in the air, but losing him would be a big blow for the Patriots defense. Kyle Van Noy will fill in for the time being.