AFC West Divisional Breakdown Recap for 2021 (Fantasy Football)

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The Fantasy Footballers are going through divisional breakdowns now that we’re getting into fantasy draft season!  Andy and Jason broke down the AFC West division on Thursday’s episode!

We’ll recap each team highlighting their offensive & defensive statistics from 2020, the story behind their record, ADPs for each player, and leave you with some of the biggest fantasy questions entering the season.

Editor’s Note: Looking for full statistical projections for the players on these teams? From Josh Jacobs’ projected target share to the outlook for the 2021 Raiders, every team is statted out in full in the 2021 Ultimate Draft Kit!

Kansas City Chiefs

Head Coach: Andy Reid

Offensive Coordinator: Eric Bieniemy

Offense

The Chiefs finished the 2020 season 14-2 and won EVERY SINGLE one-score game last season (7 in a row, starting in Week 9).

  • 6th in pts/g.
  • 1st in total yards.
  • 1st in passing yards.
  • 3rd in passing touchdowns.
  • 23rd in rush attempts and 22nd in rush touchdowns.

Defense

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  • 21st in rush yards allowed.
  • 14th in passing yards allowed.
  • 10th in points allowed.

Schedule

  • First Four Matchups: vs CLE, @ BAL, vs LAC, @ PHI
  • 2021 Projected Vegas Win Total: 12.5

Current ADP

The Cheifs are as close to a sure thing as you can get.  Since Patrick Mahomes took over, the Chiefs have been an offensive powerhouse.  Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce have been consistent and elite year-in and year-out.  Last year, rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire (CEH) joined the team and had a mediocre season…disappointing many fantasy managers with high hopes.  In reality, the Chiefs are a passing offense and don’t need to lean on CEH to win.  CEH is in an interesting predicament because he is on an elite offense…but they can still be incredibly successful while limiting his workload.  CEH could easily take a step forward, but he doesn’t have a guaranteed workload.  Meanwhile, are the Chiefs going to produce a fantasy-relevant WR2?  They didn’t last year, and Mahomes still threw for 4,740 yards.  Assuming health, the major players on the Chiefs offense should once again be difference makers in fantasy this season.

Biggest Fantasy Questions

  • Will CEH take a step forward to become a difference-maker?
  • Can a WR2 emerge behind Hill that becomes an every-week flex play?
Las Vegas Raiders

Head Coach: Jon Gruden

Offensive Coordinator: Greg Olson

Offense

The Raiders were surprisingly good on offense last season, in part due to playing catch up.

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  • 10th in pts/g.
  • 8th in total yards.
  • 11th in passing yards.
  • 6th in rushing TDs.

Defense

  • 30th in points allowed.
  • 24th in rush yards allowed.
  • 26th in pass yards allowed.

Schedule

  • First Four Matchups: vs BAL, @ PIT, vs MIA, @ LAC
  • 2021 Projected Vegas Win Total: 7

Current ADP

The Raiders were surprisingly good on offense last season.  During the offseason, they blew up their offensive line and made some strange moves on offense like shipping away Nelson Agholor (their leading receiver) and adding Kenyan Drake and John BrownDarren Waller is going to feast again this season, but behind him…there are a lot of question marks.  The addition of Kenyan Drake likely means that he’ll take the passing down work while Josh Jacobs remains a plodder on early downs, limiting the upside of both players.  Jacobs is coming off a season where he saw the 3rd most goal-line carries in the NFL…but Drake saw the 2nd most goal-line carries.  Both should have productive games but will likely be game-flow dependent.  The receiving work is up for grabs behind Waller.  John Brown is the most talented receiver on the roster right now, but sophomores Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards have an opportunity to take a step forward.

Biggest Fantasy Questions

  • Will either Josh Jacobs or Kenyan Drake be valuable this season?  Who is the better value at their ADP?
  • Will any of the receivers take a step forward and become a consistent fantasy producer (i.e. WR2/flex)?

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Los Angeles Chargers

Head Coach: Brandon Staley

Offensive Coordinator: Joe Lombardi

Offense

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  • 11th in pace of play.
  • 18th in pts/g.
  • 5th in pass attempts and 6th in pass yards.
  • 9th in rush attempts and 18th in rush yards.

Defense

  • 23rd in points allowed.
  • 9th in passing yards allowed.
  • 18th in rush yards allowed.

Schedule

  • First Four Matchups: @ WSH, vs DAL, @ KC, vs LV
  • 2021 Projected Vegas Win Total: 9

Current ADP

The Justin Herbert hype is real.  He had a tremendous 2020 season and looks like a good real-life quarterback.  Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are solid receivers along with pass-catching specialist Austin Ekeler.  Oh and Ekeler is a good rusher too!  Herbert’s price is steep in the 6th round, where there are plenty of receivers on the board.  He might take a slight step backward this season now that Ekeler is fully healthy and additionally…And keep in mind that opposing defenses now have more film to study and scheme against Herbert.  The ballers feel that Ekeler could have an elite year, which would be a steal at the beginning of the second round of fantasy drafts.

Biggest Fantasy Questions

  • Will Herbert be able to keep it up again for a second season?
  • Is Ekeler going to be elite this season?
  • Can Mike Williams become a more reliable fantasy option?
Denver Broncos

Head Coach: Vic Fangio

Offensive Coordinator: Pat Shurmur

Offense

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  • 5th in pace of play.
  • 28th in pts/g.
  • 26th in passing yards, 25th in passing touchdowns.
  • 13th in both rushing attempts and rushing yards.
  • 22nd in rushing TDs.
  • Ranked 30th in number of first downs.
  • 31st in completion percentage allowed.
  • Dead last in Warren Sharp’s total offensive efficiency metric

Defense

  • 25th in rush yards allowed.
  • 16th in pass yards allowed.
  • 25th in points allowed.

Schedule

  • First Four Matchups: @ NYG, @ JAX, vs NYJ, vs BAL
  • 2021 Projected Vegas Win Total: 8.5

Current ADP

The Broncos brought in Teddy Bridgewater, who the Ballers think will win the starting QB job over Drew Lock.  Eh… Not much to be excited about outside of 2QB leagues.  Meanwhile, the backfield has a lot of question marks.  Melvin Gordon is like the day-old milk that you leave in the fridge…Do you try to smell it?  Just leave it in there for another week?  Meanwhile, rookie Javonte Williams is poised to take over and could be productive if given the opportunity.  Williams led the NCAA in broken tackle rate and also scored 19 TDs last season.  Mike is a big fan of Javonte, who should continue to rise in ADP as we get closer to the season.  Both Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy are skilled receivers and could take a step forward with competent QB play.  Note that in 2020, only 63.7% of Denver wide receiver targets were deemed “catchable” per PFF.  That’s the lowest in the NFL.  Bridgewater should be an improvement, assuming he wins the starting job.  Can he support both Sutton and Jeudy?  If not, who becomes the better draft day value?

Biggest Fantasy Questions

  • Who’s the starting QB?
  • When will Javonte Williams take the lead role?  How high will his ADP rise by the end of August?
  • Can QB play improve enough to support Sutton and/or Jeudy?

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