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FFL: Playoff Week 2 | NFL: Week 15

Chiefs owner Hunt touts reduced preseason, 17-game schedule

Wed Nov 13 2:56pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Players: Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs football team owner Clark Hunt leaves the NFL Fall league meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The chairman of the Kansas City Chiefs believes the NFL must “seriously consider” reducing the preseason and expanding the regular season to 17 games, giving the league additional inventory that would allow for more games internationally.

Clark Hunt, the most visible face of the Chiefs ownership family, also said such ideas have been batted around since the last round of collective bargaining in 2011. But with another round of CBA talks heating up, Hunt believes the schedule will become a crucial issue.

“I think reducing the preseason is something everybody would be in favor of,” Hunt said during a wide-ranging availability Wednesday. “If you replaced a game, perhaps two, with one regular-season game it would give you an odd number of games with 17. One thought is you could play at least some of those games at a neutral site and obviously internationally would be one way to do that.”

Hunt has long been a proponent of expanding the NFL to new markets. The Chiefs beat the Lions at Wembley Stadium in London during the 2015 season, and they face the Chargers in Mexico City on Monday night - a do-over of sorts after their game there last year was moved because of field conditions.

Hunt said the new playing surface at Azteca Stadium has allayed any lingering concerns.

“I think all the international games are important to the league, and they are important to the Chiefs from a branding standpoint,” Hunt said. “Frankly, I did not think we’d be going to Mexico City so fast. It was not something I lobbied the league for. When I looked at our schedule, I didn’t think it would work out from a scheduling standpoint.

“I guess at the end of the day,” Hunt said, “the Chargers were willing to give up a home game to play down there, even though we’re a divisional team.”

In other news, Hunt said the Chiefs hope to sign MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes to an extension that keeps him in Kansas City his entire career. But he declined to say whether that will happen after this season, when Mahomes becomes eligible to sign a deal, or after the following year.

“That’s a decision we will have to make with his representatives, if this is the right time,” said Hunt, who also declined to say whether Mahomes could become the NFL’s highest-paid player.

Hunt did acknowledge feeling a sense of disbelief when Mahomes dislocated his kneecap on a sneak against Denver earlier this season. The freak injury caused him to miss two games, though Mahomes came back to throw for 446 yards in last week’s last-second loss in Tennessee.

“I was concerned he was lost for the season,” Hunt said, “and perhaps beyond that.”

Among other topics Hunt discussed Wednesday:

PASS INTERFERENCE

Like most NFL fans, Hunt has mixed feelings about the rule changes this year allowing for pass interference penalties to be challenged. He also thinks it’s an issue that will be revisited by the competition committee and that changes are likely for next season.

“I definitely think it’s a learning experience for everyone involved,” Hunt said. “I’ve seen the statistics that show the very few times coaches are being successful in their challenges, particularly after we got past the first two games of the season.”

FEELING A DRAFT

The NFL awarded the 2023 draft to Kansas City, and Hunt predicted it could be “the biggest event ever” to take place in the city. He said most of the work on the draft will begin after this season, though the franchise is in constant communication with civic leaders.

PAYING BIG FOR HILL

Tyreek Hill spent the offseason banished from the team amid allegations of domestic abuse - he was ultimately cleared by the league and prosecutors. And when that happened, the Chiefs wasted little time in giving their star wide receiver a $54 million, three-year extension.

The deal, though, includes plenty of safeguards for the organization.

“We obviously had some level of comfort with the information we received,” Hunt said. “We looked at the season and thought it was important to get Tyreek done early in the year. We were able to reach an agreement with his representatives that rewards Tyreek for the level of play we’ve seen out of him the past three-plus years but also protects the organization.”

ALSO JONESING FOR A DEAL

The Chiefs also have been discussing a contract extension for Chris Jones, who has emerged as one of the NFL’s premier defensive tackles. Jones held out all offseason, hoping to pressure Kansas City into getting a deal done, but was left to play out the fourth year of his rookie contract.

“We’re very hopeful we can extend Chris’ contract and bring him back to Kansas City for many years to come,” Hunt said. “He’s obviously a fantastic player, great guy in the locker room, and we like what he brings to the Kansas City Chiefs.”

Player Notes
JuJu Smith-Schuster Dec 13 9:13am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) is unlikely to play in Week 15 after he aggravated his knee injury in practice Thursday, Dec. 12.

Fantasy Spin: It might be a little early for this, but aggravating the original injury that has kept him out so long could spell the end of his regular season. James Washington has been a borderline WR1 over the last five weeks, and he'll be a solid WR2 against the Buffalo Bills.

From TheHuddle

Da'Shawn Hand Dec 13 2:13am ET

Detroit Lions DE Da'Shawn Hand (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Thursday, Dec. 12.

From TheHuddle

Miles Boykin Dec 13 1:30am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Miles Boykin caught his only target for a five-yard touchdown in Thursday night's Week 15 win over the Jets. Boykin is just one of the several receivers that quarterbackLamar Jackson chooses to throw touchdowns to in any given week and can't be trusted as a fantasy playoff asset. Baltimore faces the Cleveland Browns in Week 16. Boykin caught all three of his targets for 32 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 against the Browns.

From RotoBaller

Willie Snead Dec 13 1:20am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead caught his only target for 15 yards in Week 15's win over the Jets. Snead's numbers are too erratic to be trusted as a starting option at this point. He has failed to put up more than 15 yards in a game in his last eight games played, although he did catch two balls for 61 yards and a touchdown against the Browns in Week 4.

From RotoBaller

Robby Anderson Dec 13 1:13am ET

New York Jets WR Robby Anderson had four catches for 66 yards in a Week 15 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Fantasy Spin: After consecutive weeks of 100-plus yards, Anderson played second fiddle to Jamison Crowder on Thursday night. Still, after a pretty disappointing season, Anderson has turned it up recently, averaging 5.5 receptions, 92.5 yards and 0.5 TDs per game. He may not offer the same level of consistency as Crowder, but Anderson has a higher upside. He's a possible WR3 in Week 16 against the Steelers.

From TheHuddle

Jamison Crowder Dec 13 1:03am ET

New York Jets WR Jamison Crowder had six receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Dec. 12.

Fantasy Spin: Crowder continues to see heavy involvement in the passing game as he was targeted 11 times, nearly double that of Robby Anderson, and he caught a pair of TD passes to erase the stink of an inexplicable drop in the end zone. Crowder has been targeted seven or more times in six of the last seven games, and he's a much steadier play than Anderson or Demaryius Thomas (hamstring), who was down Thursday night with a strained hammy. Heading into Week 16, Crowder should have steady WR3 value.

From TheHuddle

Marquise Brown Dec 13 1:00am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown caught all four of his targets for 45 yards and a 24-yard toe-tap touchdown in Thursday night's Week 15 win over the Jets. Brown was the second-highest targeted receiver in the game, trailing tight end Mark Andrews, who had seven. Hollywood plays a Cleveland Browns Defense in Week 16 that he caught four balls for 22 yards against in Week 4. Despite the good game on Thursday night, the rookie doesn't play many snaps and is a touchdown-dependent deep threat as a WR4 for fantasy owners.

From RotoBaller

Tyrell Williams Dec 13 1:00am ET

Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said that wide receiver Tyrell Williams (foot) is still bothered by his plantar fasciitis. "Plantar fasciitis, its a pretty significant injury, but hes battling through it. Hes taking medication before every game trying to manage the pain," Olson said. The first-year Raider opened the year like gangbusters with five straight games finding the end zone. He predictably fell off from there and has just six catches for 62 scoreless yards the last three games against the Jets, Chiefs and Titans. He hasn't gone over 100 yards in a single game this year and also doesn't have more than seven targets in a game in 2019. Williams is a low-upside, low-volume, touchdown-dependent WR3/4 for fantasy owners. Throw in his lingering foot injury and you have a player to avoid.

From RotoBaller

Mark Andrews Dec 13 12:50am ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews caught four of seven targets for 52 yards and a one-yard touchdown early in the second quarter in Thursday night's win over the Jets. Andrews' eighth touchdown broke the Ravens franchise record for touchdowns by a tight end in a season. He at least doubled all other receivers in targets except for receiver Marquise Brown. QuarterbackLamar Jackson's highly coveted tight end will have a rematch against the Browns in Week 16. Andrews caught four of eight targets for 31 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 against the Browns. He's a high-end TE1.

From RotoBaller

Le'Veon Bell Dec 13 12:43am ET

New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell carried the ball 21 times for 87 yards against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15. Bell also had two receptions for one yard.

Fantasy Spin: Yep, you read that headline correctly. Bell, who accounted for 1,946 total yards during his final season in Pittsburgh, hadn't topped 70 rushing yards in a game this year until Thursday night when he ran for 87 in a 21-point loss to the Ravens. Obviously some of Bell's early-season struggles can be traced to Sam Darnold's absence, but he simply hasn't been the same player for the Jets. He'll doubtless be motivated in Week 16 in his first meeting with the Steelers. That motivation runs both ways, though, and Bell could have some really boom-or-bust potential in that one.

From TheHuddle

Seth Roberts Dec 13 12:40am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Seth Roberts led the team in receiving in Thursday night's win over the Jets. Roberts caught all three of his targets for a season-high 66 yards and a 33-yard touchdown pass just before the end of the third quarter. Roberts now has 19 receptions for 248 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. It's tricky to predict who quarterbackLamar Jackson will throw a touchdown pass to in any given week, making it too difficult to trust Roberts as a fantasy asset against the Browns in Week 16.

From RotoBaller

Ty Montgomery Dec 13 12:40am ET

New York Jets running back Ty Montgomery had two rushes for five yards while catching his only target for an additional five yards. Montgomery's biggest impact in the game came returning kicks as he took a backseat to Le'Veon Bell in the backfield. With Bell healthy and Bilal Powell (ankle) working his way back there's no reason to own Montgomery in fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

Sam Ficken Dec 13 12:30am ET

New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken missed his only field goal and made just one of two extra points in a loss to the Ravens Thursday. Ficken was the hero last Sunday with a walk-off field goal, but had a night to forget in Week 15. To be fair, the kick Ficken missed was a 49-yarder, but this is also the second week in a row he's missed an extra point. The career journeyman doesn't get enough scoring opportunities and will likely have to contend with the swirling MetLife Stadium December winds next week in a home date with the Steelers. Look elsewhere when filling the kicker spot.

From RotoBaller

New York Jets Dec 13 12:30am ET

The New York Jets Defense was unable to slow down MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson and the high-flying Ravens offense Thursday night. Baltimore's offense couldn't have done much better playing against practice cones as Jackson had all day in the pocket to do whatever he wanted, which was usually throwing to wide-open receivers running free in the secondary. The Jets defense did put up a touchdown off of a blocked punt but could get nothing else going on a night to forget. The matchup gets a little better next week with a home date with the Steelers, fantasy managers playing for a championship, however, should still have better options than this unit.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Dec 13 12:23am ET

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold completed 18 of his 32 passes for 218 yards, 2 TDs and an INT against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Dec. 12. Darnold also ran for 11 yards.

Fantasy Spin: Darnold played reasonably well against a tough Ravens defense but came up short in a few spots, most notably throwing an interception late in the first half and turning the ball over on downs, that kept the Jets from adding on to their score. The USC product closes the season against a couple of tough defenses and should probably be benched until 2020 in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Mark Ingram Dec 13 12:20am ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram put up his fifth multiple touchdown performance of the season in Thursday Night's Week 15 win over the Jets. Ingram rushed for 76 yards on 13 carries and a rushing touchdown on the first drive of the game. He added a reception for a 10-yard stretch touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The veteran back will look to keep his momentum moving as he heads into a Week 16 matchup with the Cleveland Browns. Ingram rushed for 71 yards without a touchdown in Week 4 against the Browns.

From RotoBaller

Daniel Brown Dec 13 12:20am ET

New York Jets tight end Daniel Brown caught just one pass for four yards in a loss to the Ravens Thursday. Brown got just two targets while filling in for the injured Ryan Griffin (ankle) who was filling in for the injured Chris Herndon (hamstring). Brown is a serviceable blocker, so there's that, but the third-string tight end won't have any appeal in fantasy football.

From RotoBaller

Gus Edwards Dec 13 12:20am ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards rushed for 35 yards on five carries in Thursday Night's Week 15 win over the Jets. Edwards was able to break free for a 28-yard gain during garbage time, but he doesn't get enough touches to push him over the hill of being Ingram's handcuff. Leave him on your bench for now.

From RotoBaller

Paul Richardson Dec 13 12:10am ET

Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson (hamstring) has been limited the last two days in practice. Richardson has been out since Nov. 24 against the Lions, but it's looking like he might be active again in Week 15's divisional tilt against the Eagles. In the season opener against Philly, Richardson had four catches for 36 yards. On the season as a whole, he's predictably disappointed in this weak offense for 28 catches (42 targets), 245 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins isn't being asked to do much in a lost season, so it's hard to trust any receiver on this squad in fantasy outside of impressive rookie Terry McLaurin. If Richardson returns, avoid him in the fantasy semifinals.

From RotoBaller

Jamison Crowder Dec 13 12:10am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder was one of few bright spots for the Jets Thursday, going for 90 yards and two touchdowns on a team-high 11 targets. Crowder got off to a hot start, making five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown in the first half. He cooled down after that but found the end zone on his only catch of the second half to score some garbage-time points for his fantasy owners. Crowder had been quiet three games in a row but had been getting plenty of targets so it was just a matter of time before he found his rhythm again. He'll be a WR3 in a tough matchup with the Steelers in Week 16.

From RotoBaller