Game-By-Game Projections: Patrick Mahomes (2020 Fantasy Football)
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Arguably the single most talented player in the entire NFL, reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have the schedule to post more than 14 wins on the season. Patrick Mahomes will be looking to take a step forward from his 2018 MVP campaign in which he threw for 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. He took a step back in most categories in 2019, partly due to injury, but also due to the lack of consistency in the running game. He threw for 4,031 passing yards and 28 touchdowns to just five interceptions.
He managed to improve in touchdown-to-interception ratio and also cut down on his fumbles but had lower yards per attempt, completion percentage, and yards per game. While reaching 50 touchdowns again may be difficult, he does seem to have a clearer path to exceeding his career-high in passing yards. He once again has an excellent pass-catching running back, and with speed demons manning the wide receiver position, he should lead the league in touchdowns of 40+ yards.
Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
The Kansas City Chiefs will square off against the Houston Texans in what should be a strong candidate for game of the week. The defense will likely be a little sloppy, which should provide for extensive fireworks from both offenses. Both teams would prefer to go run-heavy to keep the opposing quarterback off the field, but the offensive explosion should start midway through the second quarter. This contest should go well over 50 points and will see both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson finish as QB1’s to open the season.
Predicted stat line: three rushing attempts, 22 rushing yards, 388 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, one interception (28.72 fantasy points)
Week 2: Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Kansas City Chiefs appear likely to lean on the run and short passing game in Week 2. They will still be shaking off some rust after a shortened offseason, and Mahomes will look to get the ball out of his hands quickly against the still improving defensive unit of the Los Angeles Chargers. Tyrod Taylor will not be able to keep up with the Chiefs in Week 2, so the Chiefs will not need to be overly aggressive in this contest. Patrick Mahomes should complete close to 70 percent of his passes en route to a top-10 QB finish for the second week of the fantasy football season.
Predicted stat line: six rushing attempts, 47 rushing yards, 326 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (25.47 fantasy points)
Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens
Patrick Mahomes should have his toughest battle of the season in Week 3. This contest between two teams that everyone expects to be the top two seeds in the AFC, should be a barn burner. Both teams may look to rely on the run but will need to air it out in between the 20s to keep the opposing defense off balance. Mahomes is projected to set his season-high watermark for interceptions in Week 3 and may be more inefficient than we are used to from him due to facing one of the deadliest cornerback trios in football. Ex-Chief Marcus Peters will be especially motivated in this contest and is projected to jump a route and pick Mahomes off at least once.
Predicted stat line: three rushing attempts, 15 rushing yards, 322 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, two interceptions (24.38 fantasy points)
Week 4: Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots defense was historically good to start the 2019 season, but as their schedule got tougher, their points allowed per game went up. Now dealing with the loss of several starters, the Patriots defense, much like the team as a whole, appears to be in a transition year. The secondary is relatively unaffected, and they have drafted well enough in the last three seasons to fill most of their gaps, but they will likely not have the type of pass rush needed to slow Patrick Mahomes down. Tyreek Hill may have a slow day at the office due to facing off against Stephon Gilmore, but Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire should both have field days. Mahomes’ 23.44 projected fantasy points should leave him right on the QB1 periphery.
Predicted stat line: one rushing attempt, four rushing yards, 301 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, one interception (23.44 fantasy points)
Week 5: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders
While the Kansas City Chiefs could probably get away with running the ball for most of the game, Patrick Mahomes will choose to air it out against the largely unproven Las Vegas Raiders secondary. Mahomes should be relatively error-free for most of the evening but is projected to see a tipped ball interception. His 32.26 projected fantasy points should make him a top-seven finisher at the position.
Predicted stat line: four rushing attempts, 21 rushing yards, 379 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, one interception (32.26 fantasy points)
Week 6: Kansas City Chiefs @ Buffalo Bills
While the Kansas City Chiefs will still be four-plus point favorites in this road contest, this projects one of their toughest matchups of the season. Buffalo’s defense is good on all levels, and they now have the offense to theoretically score enough points to win most games. Kansas City will likely lean on the run in this contest in order to avoid Tre’Davious White and Josh Norman in coverage. They will still be able to move the ball up the seams, and the short passing game should also be relatively effective. 21.58 fantasy points may put Mahomes right on the QB1 borderline.
Predicted stat line: five rushing attempts, 31 rushing yards, 287 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception (21.58 fantasy points)
Week 7: Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
Week 7’s battle between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos could turn into a bit of a shootout. Denver will be playing at home, and will likely be looking to try their hand at outscoring the Chiefs on offense while attempting to limit their points per drive with their pass rush. Partick Mahomes’ 29.36 projected fantasy points should make him a QB1 for Week 7.
Predicted stat line: four rushing attempts, 16 rushing yards, 344 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, zero interceptions, one two-point conversion (29.36 fantasy points)
Week 8: Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Jets
Outside of Jamal Adams and C.J. Mosley, the New York Jets defense is a bit of a joke. They simply do not have the talent to contend with any facet of the Chiefs offense and should be at their mercy throughout this contest. With the running game taking on the brunt of the workload in this contest, Patrick Mahomes is projected to have a clean low volume 300+ passing yard, three-touchdown performance.
Predicted stat line: three rushing attempts, 17 rushing yards, 303 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (25.82 fantasy points)
Week 9: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Carolina Panthers
Another week, another plus matchup for Patrick Mahomes. The Carolina Panthers are dealing with some major defensive losses and will be a defense to target all season. Mahomes could have a much bigger game than the 299 passing yards and three passing touchdowns we have projected, but it is highly likely that the Chiefs lean on the run when possible in this contest. This game shouldn’t be competitive and should feature a double-digit point spread.
Predicted stat line: two rushing attempts, eight rushing yards, 299 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (24.76 fantasy points)
Week 11: Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs should have a relatively easy time with their divisional rivals in Week 11. While their Raiders have a number of playmakers on defense, they are relatively unproven at cornerback behind recent signing Prince Amukamara. Mahomes is projected for just two passing touchdowns but is projected to have a couple 10+ yard runs on broken plays. Kansas City will likely lean on the run in this road contest.
Predicted stat line: seven rushing attempts, 62 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown; 268 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (24.92 fantasy points)
Week 12: Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs should come out firing on all cylinders against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As good as the Buccaneers defense is upfront, at safety, and at linebacker, their cornerbacks present nothing but question marks. While they should improve as a unit this season, they will not be able to contend with the otherworldly ability of Patrick Mahomes. Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Damien Williams should be more effective than most backs have been against Tampa Bay up to this point of the season, but the Chiefs will be looking to simply outscore them through the air due to their elite run defense.
Predicted stat line: two rushing attempts, -1 rushing yards, 454 passing yards, five passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (38.15 fantasy points)
Week 13: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
This should be a hard-fought battle against a Denver Broncos team with one of the best edge-rushing duos in the entire NFL. The Broncos should keep their foot on the gas on the offensive end, forcing the Kansas City Chiefs to do the same. The Denver Broncos cornerbacks do not induce much fear, but that could lead to a reckless pass attempt or two from Mahomes. Kansas City will likely look to lean on the pass in this contest due to the strength of the Broncos run defense when healthy.
Predicted stat line: three rushing attempts, 10 rushing yards, 328 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, one interception (25.12 fantasy points)
Week 14: Kansas City Chiefs @ Miami Dolphins
While this looks like an easy matchup on paper, there is a very good chance that Tua Tagovailoa will be under center in Week 14. Tua starting at quarterback projects to make the Miami Dolphins much more competitive than they would have been with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the quarterback. Kansas City is likely to focus on running the ball and completing passes at or behind the line of scrimmage in order to actively avoid the Dolphins talented cornerback duo of Byron Jones and Xavien Howard. This projects to be Patrick Mahomes’ lowest passing yardage output of the season.
Predicted stat line: two rushing attempts, seven rushing yards, 242 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (18.38 fantasy points)
Week 15: Kansas City Chiefs @ New Orleans Saints
Excluding the projected interceptions, Week 15 could present one of Patrick Mahomes’ best stat lines of the season. While both teams may open the contest with a run-heavy game plan, once a couple of touchdowns are on the board, this game is going to turn into a shootout. Mahomes is projected to match his season-high in interceptions against a tough New Orleans Saints cornerback group but should have no problem getting his weapons the ball, whether it be on short passes or downfield. Marshon Lattimore is projected to pick off a deep pass intended for Sammy Watkins, while Chauncey Gardner-Johnson gets one of his own in slot coverage. Based on our settings, Mahomes loses just two points for the interceptions. The negative points are made up for by the projected passing yards and rushing yards. 4.5 points are projected to be accrued from his rushing production, which from a fantasy perspective makes up for the interceptions by itself.
Predicted stat line: seven rushing attempts, 45 rushing yards, 427 passing yards, four passing TDs, two interceptions (35.58 fantasy points)
Week 16: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Atlanta Falcons
Patrick Mahomes could have a massive day in store for fantasy managers if the Atlanta Falcons can keep this contest competitive. They have the offensive firepower and pass rush to feign a battle, but do not have the cornerbacks to deal with Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, and Mecole Hardman for four quarters. Still, the Falcons’ ability to keep it a contest at least for the first half should force Mahomes to air it out in the second quarter. Kansas City’s backfield is projected to have multiple scores in this contest, which will in effect ‘limit’ Mahomes to three passing touchdowns. While with Mahomes we all know 358 passing yards and three touchdowns is far from the ceiling of what he can accomplish in any given game, this type of stat line will be well received by his fantasy managers still alive for fantasy football’s finals week.
Predicted stat line: two rushing attempts, seven rushing yards, 358 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (27.02 fantasy points)
Week 17: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Kansas City Chiefs may still be in a battle with the Baltimore Ravens for first place in the AFC when Week 17 rolls around, so we are projecting the Chiefs starters to play the whole contest. The Chargers have enough pass-rush juice to force a quick-strike offense that relies on the run, but the Chiefs are perfectly fine with that game script, especially at this juncture of the season. The Chargers are one of the better defenses that the Chiefs will play this year, but Patrick Mahomes is projected to have his way with them once again.
Predicted stat line: three rushing attempts, 31 rushing yards, 279 passing yards, two passing TDs, zero interceptions (22.26 fantasy points)
2020 Season Totals
Full Season Projection: 5,305 passing yards, 47 passing touchdowns, nine interceptions, one two-point conversion, 57 rushing attempts, 342 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown (433.4 fantasy points)
Now that the Kansas City Chiefs once again have a credible run game, and with a bit more injury luck than 2019, Patrick Mahomes appears set to have a more consistent season than his incredible sophomore campaign. Sammy Watkins is back to line up across from superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill, and the Chiefs offense still has one of, if not the most talented tight end in all of football in Travis Kelce. Mecole Hardman will never be a high volume receiver but should be able to be more consistent in terms of offering his explosive playmaking ability to the passing game.
Patrick Mahomes followed up his record-setting 2018 season with what for him, is considered a down season. After posting a 5,097 passing yards, 50 passing touchdown, 12 interception line in 2018, Mahomes ‘regressed’ to a 4,031 passing yards (279.8 per game), 28 touchdown, five interception line in 14 2019 contests. He is projected to surpass his 2018 career-high with 5,305 passing yards this season but is not expected to match his 50 touchdown passes. The 5,305 projected passing yards will be the harder to reach of our projections but based on the ease of the Chiefs schedule, and the game continuing to slow down for Patrick Mahomes, it is attainable.
While Mahomes is a mobile quarterback, he generally prefers to utilize his mobility to buy time for plays to develop rather than picking up yards with his legs. He flipped the switch on during the Chiefs playoff run, totaling 135 rushing yards in three contests (45 yards per contest), but has peaked at 17 rushing yards per game in his sophomore season. He is projected to set a new career-high with 21.375 rushing yards per game for a total of 342 rushing yards this season.
One season after setting the fantasy football world on fire with 417.08 fantasy points, Mahomes followed it up with a 292.04 fantasy point performance in 2019. This made Mahomes the QB9 on the season, something that is still an accomplishment for someone who missed 2.5 games and played just weeks after suffering a dislocated knee cap. He was the QB1 on a points per game basis in 2018 with 26.07 fantasy points per contest, and the QB6 in 2019 with 20.86 fantasy points per game.
Our 433.4 fantasy point projection would put Mahomes at 27.0875 fantasy points per game, an output they would have made him the QB1 in total fantasy points in 2019, but the QB2 in fantasy points per game. His 2020 projected fantasy points should put him in a two-man battle with Lamar Jackson for top fantasy players on the planet honors. Currently the second quarterback, and 23rd overall player off the board based on consensus ADP, Patrick Mahomes should be able to far exceed expectations this season.