Market Drivers Heads To Week Three

After a 2-0 start – where the Kansas City Chiefs looked unbeatable against a supposed team and fought back for a brave victory over another – we’re right to be optimistic. But given all the statements about the difficulty of the team’s schedule (and the division’s improvement), staying undefeated (and in the AFC driver’s seat) isn’t a sure thing.

With their poor start (0-1-1) and injury issues, facing the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in their Week Three game could look like trap game. Despite all their current woes, the Colts still boast the best comeback in the league and some other well-known names on the offensive and defensive lines. Chiefs can’t afford to take their feet off the gas.

Here are some players who might be popular this week:

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Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Brown Jr.: Kansas City’s left-handed tackle into training camp came late – and this season will end basically where it started: with a franchise tag and long-term contract negotiations looming. So he needs the kind of season that forces the boss (or another team) to pay him what he thinks he deserves. The season opener wasn’t a huge test – but week two against the likes of Khalil Mack and Joey Bossa in prime time? This is the kind of game that players can get Pay. Brown responded well, only allowing two presses, hitting one quarterback and no bags against the Los Angeles Chargers. In fact, during two games, no suitcase was allowed. Meanwhile, all Kansas City debutants are finding some measure of success behind Brown and his teammates. Against the Colts, they will face two other big-name passing forwards (Yannik Njakwe and DeForest Buckner), but neither is likely to threaten Brown’s strong start. Although his PFF scores haven’t caught up with him, a solid performance on Sunday should leave us feeling good about where Brown is headed.

Nick Bolton: The sophomore full-back looked like a superstar, doing everything he showed last season – and then some. Over the course of two games, he made 20 tackles – 13 of them alone – which put him on his way to being among the league leaders this season. But it has also demonstrated improved capabilities in space and in coverage, allowing for a completion rate of only 62.5% for eight targets so far. Indianapolis facing back-to-back Jonathan Taylor without Willie Jay Jr. means he’ll be asked to take on more of the load – but so far, Bolton looks set to take on the challenge. He looks more and more like the triple-back that the chiefs were hoping to get.

Jaylene Watson: It’s not just that he had a 99-yard pick-up to change the rules of the game Thursday night. Watson was also named Asian Defensive Player of the Week with a consistent performance in coverage, clean tackles and good ball skills. It doesn’t look (or sound) like a freshman pick in the seventh round. His confidence should continue to grow as he faces the ponies receiving unit. Watson should have more chances to make plays this week, keeping the centre-back while Trent McDuffie is on the team’s reserve/injured (injured reserve) roster.

Others are heading in the right direction: Wide receiver Justin Watson, defensive end George Karlavtis and Mike Dana, fall back on Clyde Edwards-Hilaire, defensive tackle Chris Jones and attack Tommy Townsend.

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NFL: Washington captains the Kansas City Chiefs

Denny Medley USA Today Sports

Marquis Valdes-Scantling: Against the Arizona Cardinals, the former Green Bay Packers managed to capture all four goals—three of them for first touchdowns—but against Los Angeles, those results weren’t there. He caught only two of his seven goals for a total of thirteen yards. It was a disappointing performance for the man who is usually considered the number one quarterback for Patrick Mahomes. The Indianapolis defense isn’t quite as loaded as the Chargers unit, so Valdes-Scantling will have a chance to put a more efficient performance in the books. If he doesn’t, how long will it last until another receiver (like Justin Watson, Skyy Moore, or Mecole Hardman) starts seeing more of his size?

Andrew Wylie: In the training camp, the right intervention was the situation where we expected the competition to come out the best – and hopefully the young player would step up and win a job. Instead, the Chiefs went with the versatile veteran who served them well last year. But after seeing him struggle against Bossa and the Charger, it’s clear Wiley may not be up to the challenge of speeding passes in the section. As long as Willie gets to work, Kansas City will need to keep helping him — and Mahomes will have to deal with more pressure in his face. Since ponies don’t present the same kind of scroll rush issues, Wylie will probably look a little better on Sunday. But it’s fair to ask: Once he’s off the Reserve/PUP list (physically unable), could Lucas Niang get a chance to start?

Others are heading in the wrong direction: Back Corner Rashad Fenton and Salameh Brian Cook

Value Choices (Sleeper): Two Offensive Playmakers

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs

Denny Medley USA Today Sports

Judy Fortson And the Sky More: On Thursday night, the Los Angeles defense made life difficult for the Kansas City offensive, so the team stuck with the attacking veterans for victory. Lost in the dribble are two young playmakers who saw few chances. They both still have a lot of fruitful games ahead – perhaps as soon as Sunday. The tight Fortson saw only 10% of the shots and only one target: a poorly thrown ball into the end zone. Moore was wide on the field for only 4% of his attacking shots and had no passes thrown his way. But this season, the Chiefs’ pass-keeper stories may be on a pendulum swinging in opposite directions every week. In one match it could be JuJu Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling – but the next one could belong to the youngsters. Perhaps the Colts’ defense is more gracious towards these two young playmakers. In Indianapolis, one (or both) of them can find space to run—and maybe run into some dirt.

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