While there is no debating the talent of Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, the team’s recent moves this offseason have had a noticeable impact on how some dynasty fantasy football managers view him for the 2022 season. Is this warranted, or will we see more of the same from Mahomes as one of the top QBs in all of fantasy?
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Patrick Mahomes’ dynasty profile for 2022
What Mahomes has done since joining the NFL is borderline laughable. No one is supposed to come in and have the impact he has had on the league. Just look at the AFC West. Teams made these moves largely due to Mahomes and the Chiefs‘ reign of dominance. That’s quite the compliment.
Dynasty fantasy managers are well aware of Mahomes’ capabilities. Since 2018 (62 games), Mahomes has finished as a QB1 in 69% of his games and inside the top 24 in 98% while averaging 26.7 points per game. It gets nuttier the deeper you dive.
In those 62 games, Mahomes has 45 finishes inside the top 12 (72.5%) and 18 inside the top four (29%). If you remove games in which Mahomes didn’t finish due to injury or because it was the end of the season, his rolling four-year average is QB7.9. Josh Allen is the only QB in the same realm, but Mahomes has done it twice as long.
Mahomes is a top quarterback, but there are questions remaining
Mahomes is a top-two quarterback in dynasty. That is nothing new. What has changed is the order — Allen has passed him in the eyes of many, mine included. There is no overlooking the elephant in the room, or in this case, the one missing. That is Tyreek Hill, the most dangerous playmaker in the NFL. No player has meant more to Mahomes’ upside than Hill. He has speed which, no matter how much planning goes into the game plan, defenses cannot account for.
Kansas City has done its best to bring in more talent, adding JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. They could add even more via the NFL Draft with someone like Jameson Williams, who would be a dream scenario. With that said, there is no replacing Hill. You are simply trying to redistribute the targets. In dynasty, you’re still betting on Mahomes’ otherwordly talent. He is just that good. It’s just his ceiling has been reduced.
Fantasy projection for Mahomes
A down year for Mahomes is a career year for others. The baseline we would even consider for a realistic projection for Mahomes would still keep him inside the top five in most cases.
No question the loss of Hill will impact his upside. It will really be felt on plays where Mahomes extends the play, something he’s turned into a deadly skill. Rather than Hill simply running away from his CB, he’ll turn to Travis Kelce. Combined with Mecole Hadman, Smith-Schuster, and Valdes-Scantling, Mahomes is one of the few QBs who I feel have a realistic shot of leading the league in passing.
If not for maybe Tom Brady, Mahomes is likely to lead the NFL in passing attempts as he is the Chiefs’ offense. Despite the draft capital invested, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been disappointing. Opting not to re-sign Darrell Williams or Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City added Ronald Jones. Head coach Andy Reid stated Jones would have a significant role, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their ability to establish the run.
Then, we add in a rather questionable defense that lost CB Charvarius Ward to San Francisco. The Chiefs opted not to re-sign Tyrann Mathieu and still have Melvin Ingram floating in free agency. Not to mention, playing in a gauntlet of a division that is the AFC West will force Mahomes to bring his best week in and week out. That’s not a bad thing for fantasy managers looking for an elite quarterback option in 2022.