Week 3's iteration of Monday Night Football presented arguably the most anticipated matchup of the 2020 NFL season. It not only featured two of the very best offenses in the NFL, but it also featured the top two quarterbacks taken in fantasy football drafts as well as two of the top-three tight ends.
Regardless of the position, the Kansas City Chiefs‘ fantasy players simply outperformed their counterparts from Baltimore — even Kansas City’s offensive line got one up on their opponents when left tackle Eric Fisher found the end zone with a fourth-quarter touchdown grab.
As always with the fantasy football reaction, I not only examine how the players were used but also take a look at their fantasy production. I'll look at snap counts, positional splits and target share to identify the role changes that were a one-time thing and the ones that will likely continue.
|Kansas City Chiefs||Baltimore Ravens|
|Sammy Watkins – 65 snaps||Willie Snead IV – 47 snaps|
|Tyreek Hill – 61 snaps||Miles Boykin – 46 snaps|
|Demarcus Robinson – 41 snaps||Marquise Brown -44 snaps|
|Mecole Hardman – 28 snaps||Devin Duvernay – 7 snaps|
|Byron Pringle – 3 snaps|
|Travis Kelce – 61 snaps||Mark Andrews – 44 snaps|
|Nick Keizer – 20 snaps||Nick Boyle – 26 snaps|
|Deon Yelder – 9 snaps|
|Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 52 snaps||J.K. Dobbins – 24 snaps|
|Darrel Williams – 16 snaps||Mark Ingram II – 18 snaps|
|Darwin Thompson – 6 snaps||Gus Edwards – 13 snaps|
|Total – 75 snaps||Total – 56 snaps|
Winner: QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes looked incredible, as usual, but it was more remarkable today on the big stage against a great Baltimore defense. In total, he threw for four touchdowns and ran for one more. He was also able to spread the ball around, with five different players recording four or more catches.
Heading into the season, there was plenty of debate as to which quarterback should be the first one taken in fantasy drafts; those who sided with Mahomes over Jackson were the winners tonight. The only thing that seems to stop Mahomes' outstanding fantasy performances is the Chiefs reaching garbage time too early in the game.
Loser: TE Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens obviously wanted to get Andrews the ball early and often, as they called his number on 28.6% of his pass routes. However, he was only able to bring in three catches for 22 yards.
While this could be just a bad game for Andrews, his usage is a cause for concern. Nick Boyle has played 92% of snaps in 21 personnel this season, as expected, but Andrews has only played 65% of snaps in 11 personnel, with Boyle getting the rest. This is an increase from last year, but it is not as big as you would like to see. Boyle ended up catching the Ravens' only offensive touchdown of the game, and his high playing time could continue to limit Andrews' fantasy ceiling.
Sell High: WR Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
Hardman ended up leading the Chiefs wide receivers in receiving yards (81), in large part thanks to his 49-yard receiving touchdown. While that play helped show his potential, the Chiefs are still using Demarcus Robinson as their No. 3 receiver, with Hardman remaining as their No. 4 option.
The second-year Georgia product will have more games like this — ones where he gets close to 100 yards and a touchdown or two — but he will also have others like the first two weeks, when he was held to one and two catches, respectively. The lack of playing time gives him such a low floor that it’s hard to ever start him. And if you can’t start him, you’re better off trading him.
Remember The Name: RB Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens
Edwards entered the game having played 30% of his team's first and second downs over the first two weeks of the season. Similarly to last year, the Ravens tend to play Edwards more in games they are winning and less in games they are losing. He was limited to four carries tonight but ran for 39 yards. In every game this season, Edwards has played better as a runner than Mark Ingram II. It would be surprising for the Ravens to stop giving Ingram playing time, especially because of his standing in the locker room, but Edwards would be an interesting player to watch if they ever did give him more playing time.