AFC West Offseason Recap and Power Rankings

by Christopher Buonagura · NFL

In the few short weeks since the conclusion of Super Bowl 55, the NFL landscape has changed drastically, with many teams taking entirely new forms. PlayerProfiler is a one-stop shop for all major moves, power rankings, and honest expectations for all 32 NFL teams heading into the NFL Draft and training camp. 



Each team will be broken down as follows:

  • -Overall Power Ranking and Tier – the team’s Power Ranking relative to all 32 NFL teams
  • -Notable Additions – new additions that move the needle
  • -Notable Losses – lost talent that matters
  • -Summary 
  • -Expectation – the minimum we should expect in 2021 to consider the season a success
  • -Expected Wins – based on a 17-game season
  • -Fantasy Implication – a broad spectrum look into each team’s seasonal fantasy value

Kansas City Chiefs

Overall Ranking and Tier: No. 1 (Elite)

Notable Additions: OG Joe Thuney, OG Kyle Long, Re-Signed OT Mike Remmers 

Notable Losses: LT Eric Fisher, OT Mitchell Schwartz 


The Kansas City Chiefs remain the league’s most difficult team to beat. Their Super Bowl loss and offensive line reshuffle do not change that. They will remain dominant until Patrick Mahomes’ annual salary increases 40-plus million per year and limits roster construction. Retaining Eric Bieniemy for another year also helps. No need to overthink it on this one.

Expectation: Super Bowl or Bust 

Projected Wins: 12+

Fantasy Implications: Draft anybody in a Chiefs jersey, especially in Best Ball.

Los Angeles Chargers 

Overall Ranking and Tier: No. 13 (Average, Upper)

Notable Additions: HC Brandon Staley, OC Joe Lombardi,  DC Renaldo Hill, TE Jared Cook, OL Corey Linsley

Notable Losses: TE Hunter Henry, CB Casey Hayward, OG Trai Turner , LB Denzel Perryman, EDGE Melvin Ingram  


The Chargers are early risers after Justin Herbert had an Andrew Luck-adjacent rookie season. Teams with healthy, electrifying, young quarterbacks surrounded by talented playmakers win games. This offense is loaded and addressed its weak offensive line through free agency. The biggest problem over Anthony Lynn’s tenure was the abundance of losses in one-score games. With new coaching coming from the Rams and the Saints, it is a solid bet to assume that discipline improves and this team finishes tough games. Positive regression in one-score games coupled with Herbert’s growth will yield a strong improvement from 2020’s seven-game win total. This offense projects to be fantasy friendly thanks to a weakened defensive unit and a shootout-friendly division. 

Expectation: Finish above .500 

Projected Wins: 7-10

Fantasy Implication: Target whoever you believe in on this team and don’t overthink it.

Denver Broncos

Overall Ranking and Tier: No. 22 (Average, Lower)

Notable Additions: CB Ronald Darby, CB Kyle Fuller, Franchise Tagged S Justin Simmons, Re-signed DL Shelby Harris,

Notable Losses: DB coach Renaldo Hill, CB A.J. Bouye, NT Kyle Peko


The Broncos enter 2021 with a well-built roster. The offense is loaded with weapons and the offensive line play made a leap forward in 2020. Vic Fangio’s defense has talented playmakers at all three levels. The roster losses are made irrelevant by the additions of Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller. The return of most significant starters and coaching personnel suggests good year-to-year consistency by this organization. Team and coaching personnel that have years to develop together have an edge on Sundays.

This team is a quarterback away from moving up the board. Drew Lock is fine, but he is yet to demonstrate an ability to elevate his team. If Lock takes a step forward, or Denver adds a new quarterback, then I will move them up. Betting on Lock to make a Year 3 leap appears to be a bad bet.

Expectation: Finish above .500

Projected Wins: 5-8

Fantasy Implication: Players on this offense will slide down draft boards. The key will be separating the sleepers (Courtland Sutton) from the busts (Melvin Gordon).

Las Vegas Raiders

Overall Ranking and Tier: No. 31 (Bottom of the barrel) 

Notable Additions: WR John Brown, RB Kenyan Drake, Re-Signed OG Richie Incognito and OG Denzelle Good, C Nick Martin, DE Yannick Ngakoue, Re-signed DT Johnathan Hankins and LB Nicholas Morrow

Notable Losses: OT Trent Brown, LB Lamarcus Joyner, OG Gabe Jackson, C Rodney Hudson 


The Raiders organization has become stale. Stagnant teams tend to be bad teams. They remind me of the Falcons with Dan Quinn, the Bengals with Marvin Lewis and the Cowboys with Jason Garrett. Those teams had talent, but stale coaching and low-value offseason moves. They all failed to meet their potential. Jon Gruden has made poor moves seemingly so people will say “only Gruden could have thought of that” when he succeeds. Drafting Clelin Ferrell (1.04) in 2019 and Henry Ruggs (1.12) in 2020 are perfect examples. The weak direction here is reflected by poor defensive play despite their talent. Gruden is likeable, an entertainer and a former Super Bowl-winning coach. However, the process to this point has not been successful, and the win total will suffer after two subpar seasons around .500.

Expectation: Finish the season with a winning record 

Projected Wins: 3-5

Fantast Implication: Avoid this offense if possible in 2021 outside of Darren Waller or late-round best ball values. 

Bold Take

A more speculative opinion of the Raiders is that a tank job in 2021 is by design. The moves this offseason are inconsistent with Gruden’s previous message. His justification for selling Khalil Mack was to clear funds needed to bolster the offensive line. Yet, the Raiders opened free agency in 2021 by gutting his offensive line. They buckled after extreme backlash and decided to ease some tension by bringing back Richie Incognito. Next, they sign Kenyan Drake to a bloated contract, possibly to protect Josh Jacobs with a lighter workload in a lost season. Lastly, Gruden has been vocal over the years about his discontent with Derek Carr‘s play style. However, now in 2021, the organization is all in on Carr.

Gruden is here to stay for at least two more years because ownership needs their hire to pay off. There are rumor mills that believe Mike Mayock will begin having a stronger influence on roster construction moving forward. The Raiders have a young nucleus that may improve if an early draft pick is obtained in 2022 and spent on a top quarterback prospect. When this team tanks in 2021, Gruden and Mayock can throw Carr under the bus and blame their shortcomings on the quarterback play.


The AFC West is the all-offense division. The Chiefs and Chargers are high-powered offenses with electric young quarterbacks. Drew Lock will air it out while playing from behind every Sunday. The Raiders need to pray for offense because they don’t plan on playing defense anytime soon. Drawing the dominant AFC North and average NFC East in inter-division play, expect average strength of schedules for these AFC West teams.