When you write many words daily on a certain topic, the feeling of deja vu — indeed, a glitch in the matrix — is a common one. Something feels familiar and common, because you’ve been here before.
Often I ignore it, because the thoughts now are fresh, and generally any overlap serves to build onto a larger analysis. But today as I began to explore the fantasy trade value of the Kansas City Chiefs defense, the force was strong.
We had this talk, and we did it exactly one year ago.
In early November last year as the fantasy trade deadline was approaching, the Bears were easily the most dominant fantasy defense in all the land. They were at or near the top of nearly every defensive metric, but the driver of their fantasy production was a remarkable seven interceptions that had been returned for touchdowns. At the time that was already just one pick six away from the single-season record, meaning there was a very real chance they could shatter said record. Of their 141 fantasy points through eight games, 30 percent of them came through those defensive scores.
How many defensive touchdowns did they score in the second half of the season? One.
This is the difficulty of owning an elite defense, and especially now one like the Chiefs which you grabbed off the waiver wire early in the season and you’ve since become attached to them. Defensive fantasy scoring has also been and will remain volatile, especially when it’s often achieved through touchdowns.
The Chiefs have played one more game than the 2012 Bears at this point, but they’re still on an even more torrid pace. A year ago Chicago had 25 sacks to the Chiefs’ 36, and they were allowing 15 points per game to the Chiefs’ 12. Most importantly for our purposes here, the Bears were averaging 17.6 fantasy points per game, and currently the Chiefs are clipping along at a vicious pace of 19.1. In standard scoring leagues, their 172 overall points is ahead of every position player not named Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
All of that has lead to consistent weekly joy in your life. which is swell, and we should always remember the good times. But you should still trade the Chiefs defense.
There are always appealing weekly defensive streaming options (chill with me every Friday afternoon for suggestions and predictions that may or may not fail), and as freakshow-ish as it is with two of the league’s top pass rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, history will be a tough foe for the Chiefs defense going forward. Specifically, the sort of crappy history bestowed upon us by those Bears last year.
The Chiefs currently have six defensive touchdowns through only nine games, which accounts for a quarter of their fantasy scoring. Again, we know how that trend ended last year for the Bears.
But the truly troubling factor is a far more difficult schedule, particularly against quarterbacks who aren’t turning the ball over much. After their Week 10 bye the Chiefs have two games against the Broncos and Peyton Manning, two more against the Chargers and Philip Rivers, and mixed in are clashes with the Colts, Redskins, and Raiders.
With most self-respecting fantasy leagues ending in Week 16, that means three of the Chiefs’ final six games will be played against two of the top five passing offenses in the league (San Diego and Denver). Currently the Chargers and Broncos are two of only four teams averaging 300 or more passing yards per game, and two of just three teams averaging 8.4 or more yards per attempt.
It gets worse, as Rivers and Manning have turned the ball over just a combined 17 times thus far over their 651 drop backs. That’s only a turnover once ever 38.3 drop backs, as the Chargers offensive line has surprised after a poor preseason, and while he’s chucked a few lately, Manning’s supreme pocket sense leads to few wayward throws (he didn’t throw an interception until Week 5).
That gauntlet (and I glossed over Andrew Luck doing Luck things against these Chiefs, and the mobility/speed of Robert Griffin III and Terrelle Pryor) presents a stark contrasts to what KC has defended thus far.
I’ve done this a few times, but let’s roll it once more for good measure: Jeff Tuel, Case Keenum, Jason Campbell, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Blaine Gabbert are among the cream puff opposing quarterbacks the Chiefs have pranced through. That’s two undrafted rookies making their first career starts, two veteran journeymen, and Blaine Gabbert.
Sell high while you still can, because this could be you…
— C.D. Carter (@CDCarter13) November 6, 2013
More notes, stray thoughts, and other such randomness
Hey, if you don’t take my word for it…
First of all, screw you man (kidding, we’re all friends here). Second, know something that will shock you: the “trade the Chiefs defense now dammit” isn’t exactly an original idea, and has been discussed by a fair number of brave souls on my Twitter dot com timeline over the past day or so.
Most notably by Denny Carter, the smiling gentleman above, who notes this about the Chiefs’ remaining schedule:
Kansas City’s remaining schedule is a murderer’s row that includes Denver and Peyton’s Perfect Machine in Weeks 11 and 13, along with the Colts and Chargers. All three offenses are among the 10 stingiest to opposing defenses. Indianapolis has held opposing defenses to less than three points in five games.
Glorious news for Bills fans and quarterback streamers alike
Welcome back, E.J.
.@RussBrandon on EJ Manuel: “Unless he has a setback, he should be ready to go on Sunday”
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 6, 2013
The Bills visit Pittsburgh this weekend, making Manuel a mid-range QB2 option if he does indeed remain healthy.
This actually happened
Toronto is the place where I live, work, and generally exist. And yesterday the mayor of my city admitted to smoking crack sometime in, oh I dunno, the past year or so during a drunken stupor. I mean really, who among us hasn’t done that, amirite? He’s not stepping down or even stepping aside, and said that he’ll let democracy decide his fate in the 2014 election.
If that wasn’t enough, there was an extra bit of comedic relief. Note the tie Ford is wearing as the mayor of Canada’s largest city is telling us that a drunken night ended in crack smocking. It’s an NFL tie, and also please note the most visible logo, one associated with a team and a name that’s been the subject of some discussion of late.
— Dave Kaufman (@TheKaufmanShow) November 5, 2013