Kadarius Toney’s week 1 performance has fantasy owners questioning if they should move on from the young receiver. Toney struggled mightily in the Chiefs’ loss to the Lions, catching just 1 pass for 1 yard on 5 targets. Should you cut bait on Toney after one bad game? Let’s analyze his background, Week 1 showing, and rest-of-season outlook.
The New York Giants drafted Toney 20th overall in 2021 after a stellar senior season at Florida (70 catches, 984 yards, 10 TDs). He flashed big-play potential as a rookie despite battling injuries. Toney recorded 39 catches for 420 yards in just 10 games.
During the 2022 season, the Giants traded Toney to the Chiefs. He was expected to take on a key role in Kansas City’s offense alongside Travis Kelce. However, Toney dealt with another injury in training camp, leading to questions about his week 1 availability.
Week 1 Disappearance
Toney ultimately suited up against Detroit, but made almost no impact. He saw 5 targets from Patrick Mahomes but reeled in just one short pass. Toney appeared visibly frustrated on the sideline. Meanwhile, Mahomes connected with Justin Watson and Skyy Moore.
Tipped Pass Led to Pick 6
Toney’s struggles extended beyond the stat sheet. Early in the 3rd quarter, he tipped a catchable Patrick Mahomes pass right into the hands of Lions cornerback Brian Branch. Branch took the interception back 50 yards for a pick-6 touchdown. This instantly swung momentum back in Detroit’s favor, tying the game at 14-14 after the Chiefs led 14-7 at halftime.
Toney’s lapse in concentration directly resulted in a Lions defensive touchdown that got them back into the game. Plays like that will surely frustrate the Chiefs coaches and could lead to even less playing time for Toney moving forward.
As redditor mentions, after today’s game, Kadarius Toney now has a career drop rate of 9.7% (8 drops on 82 targets).
Tonight, he dropped four out of the five targets thrown to him. Giving him a career drop rate of 9.7%.
Mahomes Speaks Out
When asked about Toney’s lack of production, Patrick Mahomes said “I’m gonna keep firing it to him…just misconnections.” Mahomes expressed confidence they will “learn from it and try to be better.” He reiterated that Toney “has a ton of talent” and can “make a lot of big plays happen.”
While Mahomes says the right things, it’s clear Toney is not yet on the same page with his QB. Reid also doesn’t fully trust the injury-prone receiver yet. Toney realistically projects as a boom-or-bust WR4/5 in fantasy moving forward.
Projected 2022 Season
It’s only one game, but the Week 1 usage and production for Toney are concerning. If he maintains this pace over 17 games, he’d finish with:
Receiving Yards: 17
Those numbers would be flat-out dreadful for any fantasy WR. Right now, it looks like Toney is no higher than 4th in the receiving hierarchy in KC. Barring injuries, his upside seems severely capped.
Should I Drop Kadarius Toney?
Toney is difficult to trust as anything more than a bench stash in redraft leagues at this point. He’s clearly still working his way back from injury. On a team with a complex playbook, Toney is not ready for a substantial role. Don’t make any rash moves dropping him after Week 1, but temper expectations for Toney as a fantasy contributor in 2023.