We’re in the thick of the NFL offseason and it’s officially time to start fantasy football prep. I’ll be answering the biggest questions heading into the 2021 season. Click here to read the series of questions answered so far.
The rise of Patrick Mahomes has been unlike any other quarterback in recent memory. Concerns over his ability to transition from Texas Tech’s air raid offense was the only reason why the Kansas City Chiefs were in position to acquire his talents with the No. 10 overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Mahomes started just one game as a rookie — but it was a special one.
Patrick Mahomes first career game in 2017 Week 17:
-No Tyreek Hill
-No Travis Kelce
-5 snaps from Kareem Hunt
-Facing Von Miller and the Broncos at Mile High
Wins, does this lmaopic.twitter.com/qScEUiOnr0
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) May 20, 2020
All Mahomes did in 2018 was toss a league-high 50 scores while being one rather bogus offsides call away from a Super Bowl berth. Championship glory wouldn’t evade Mahomes and company for long, as even a midseason ankle injury didn’t prevent them from winning it all in 2019. Back-to-back aspirations in 2020 didn’t quite come to fruition, although only twice in 18 games did the Chiefs have to deal with losing.
Mahomes accomplished more in three seasons as a starter than most quarterbacks are lucky enough to achieve in a career. What follows is a breakdown on just how great Mahomes has been and what to make of his fantasy stock ahead of 2021.
Mahomes is on pace to be the best fantasy, maybe real life, quarterback ever
Mahomes is responsible for two of the NFL’s seven highest-scoring seasons in terms of fantasy points per game. Don’t let a Super Bowl loss distract from the fact that we still saw plenty of greatness from the game’s best quarterback at the moment.
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) February 8, 2021
Eighty-one quarterbacks have racked up at least 500 dropbacks over the past 10 years, and the Chiefs’ franchise signal-caller finds himself near the top of most meaningful metrics.
- PFF passing grade: 93.9 (No. 4)
- QB rating: 108.7 (No. 1)
- Big-time throw rate: 7.6% (No. 2)
- Turnover-worthy play rate: 3.0% (tied for No. 12)
- Yards per attempt: 8.4 (No. 1)
- Adjusted completion rate: 77.3% (No. 3)
Mahomes ripped off five separate top-five weekly finishes last season. He dudded outside of the week’s top 20 quarterbacks on just one occasion. One key factor for his underrated floor is simple: rushing volume. Overall, Mahomes averaged a career-high 20.5 rushing yards per game in 2020 and has found the end zone himself in five of his last 20 games.
Even when defenses are right, they’re wrong against Mahomes: Only Russell Wilson and Josh Allen have a higher PFF grade when working past their first read since 2019. The only quarterback to finish top-five in PFF grade in each of the past three seasons, Mahomes has been just as impressive statistically as he’s been to watch with your own two eyes.
The wild part: This offense might just be getting started.