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Patrick Mahomes took the NFL by storm in 2018, flashing a rocket right arm and an advanced ability to lead a team in just his sophomore season. The reigning NFL MVP tallied 50 touchdown passes, 5,097 passing yards and completed 66.0 percent of his attempts in his first season as the Kansas City Chiefs' starting quarterback.
While conventional wisdom would suggest Mahomes is likely to improve after getting his first NFL season under his belt, one crucial stat could suggest otherwise.
Since 2008, nine of the NFL's 10 passing touchdown leaders saw their TDs regress in the following season. The lone exception is New England Patriots' QB Tom Brady, who increased his touchdown total by three.
Even so, this stat is troubling for Mahomes' 2019 outlook, especially since the regression has been particularly severe over the past six seasons. Since 2012, every QB that led the NFL in TDs the prior season saw their TD total regress by at least 12.
We should note that injuries played a key factor in many of these instances, but it's something to monitor regardless.
Another factor that could point to potential regression for Mahomes is the Chiefs' skill position group. Kansas City cut ties with Kareem Hunt, and the Chiefs could be without Tyreek Hill for the foreseeable future. Mahomes was also notably less productive after Hunt was released last season.
Still, it's hard to get too worked up about this. Even if Mahomes throws 12 fewer touchdowns in the upcoming season, he'd still be looking at 38 scores, which is an elite figure.
Realistically, it's hard to imagine Mahomes topping his monster 2018 season numbers, so some regression was always possible. But even if he takes a step back, as the numbers suggest he might, Mahomes still projects as an elite fantasy QB.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.