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Who is trending up and who is trending down as the Chiefs enter Week 2?

Your Kansas City Chiefs, especially the rookie class, got off to a very encouraging start last week in a mostly dominant performance against the Houston Texans. This week kicks off the division schedule with the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers.

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

This week’s Bulls

  • L’Jarius Sneed: The talk of Week 1 was about how stellar Sneed was in his first game with the Chiefs. Against the Chargers, he will have a taller task (pun intended) facing Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. With Charvarius Ward ruled out, the pressure is even more firmly on the shoulders on the 23-year-old fourth-round pick. We’ve seen nothing to lead us to believe he won’t be up to the challenge.
  • Tershawn Wharton: Upon further review, Wharton still looked strong in his NFL debut last week. He now has an even bigger opportunity to increase his role and production, given the injury to Khalen Saunders. “Turk” has displayed grown-man-strength and surprising pursuit speed, and he didn’t look lost in Week 1. This week, with the interior of the Chargers offensive line banged up, Wharton could really cause some trouble.
  • Patrick Mahomes: No controversy here, Mahomes is still the best player in the NFL, and that ranking isn’t changing here. But, the MVP is still getting better. He’s has a clear mastery of the offense and can execute a clean game plan, even if the big-yardage plays aren’t there. We’re predicting that the MVP numbers are coming — maybe even as soon as this week. The growth we’ve seen from Mahomes as a complete quarterback has been quite encouraging.
  • Rashad Fenton: With Ward already declared out for this week, Fenton should see an increased role. He’s been working primarily out of the slot, but he showed some ability on the outside in 2019. Watch Fenton this week. He just might show that he’s progressed and can be part of the long-term solution at corner.
  • Frank Clark: He’s healthy, happy and going up against a backup offensive tackle this week. “The Shark” might just go on a feeding frenzy this week. For anyone who doubted him last season (and maybe for the Defensive Player of the Year voters), Clark is poised to have the best season of his career at the expense of opposing quarterbacks like Tyrod Taylor.

Others trending in the right direction: Sammy Watkins, Kelechi Osemele, Tanoh Kpassagnon

This week’s Bears

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

  • Nick Keizer: It wasn’t the best debut for the Chiefs’ new No. 2 tight end, with a couple of missed blocks and no receptions. Keizer has some competition in the form of Deon Yelder and Ricky Seals-Jones on the roster. He’ll need to show more in the coming weeks to justify his role.
  • Ben Niemann: Niemann is another player who has been given a larger role but has competition breathing down his neck. The prevailing question from Week 1 was, “Where’s Willie Gay?” Perhaps we could see the rookie taking over for Niemann as soon as this week.

Others trending in the wrong direction: Alex Okafor, Damien Wilson, Darwin Thompson

This week’s value pick (sleeper candidate)

  • Mecole Hardman: Last week, Hardman’s one touch came in the early, scripted portion of the offensive game plan. Last season, one touch for Hardman often meant 60-plus yards and a touchdown. We thought he’d be a bigger part of the offense in 2020. Well, luckily for Mecole, there’s a lot of football left to be played this season. Just like his outfit ahead of last week’s game suggested, “they’re sleeping “on Mecole Hardman.

Don’t be shocked if Andy Reid has something specifically designed for No. 17 this week, and the “Jet” takes advantage with a big play or two.

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