Chiefs Fantasy Football Outlook


January 24, 2013; Honolulu, HI, USA; AFC running back Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs (25) catches the ball during practice for the 2013 Pro Bowl at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The following is a guest post from our friends at Fantasy Knuckleheads. -PA

Andy Reid’s adaptation of the West Coast offense should provide the perfect elixir for a Chiefs attack that was beset with inadequacies in recent years. Chiefs fans are acutely aware that their team ranked 24th in total offense last season, and were dead last in scoring after managing a paltry 13.2 points per game. Those deficiencies exemplify the precipitous statistical plunge that has taken place since Kansas City led the NFL in total offense during  2004 and 2005, as their offense has ranked 24th or worse in that category five times since 2007.

During that same six-year span, Reid’s Eagles assembled four top ten rankings in total offense, providing legitimate reason to expect a vastly improved attack. It will be tailored to maximize the strengths of Alex Smith, who is not in high demand among fantasy owners. His average draft position (ADP) of 176 places him just 25th among all quarterbacks, although it’s difficult to dispute that assessment of his value. He has thrown less than 15 touchdowns passes in four of his seven seasons, and his career high is just 18. Despite his limitations, Smith supplies the Chiefs with a proven starter, and upgrades a position of serious weakness in recent years. His highest level of efficiency was achieved in 2011 and 2012, which should continue within Reid’s offensive approach.

That helps cement Jamaal Charles as the team’s most enticing fantasy option. He has been underutilized frequently during his tenure, yet has generated 5,818 total yards. He’s also rushed for 1,100+ three times. That includes 2012, when he established a new career high of 1,509. It will be difficult to replicate that total, but Reid’s previous usage of running backs suggests that another 1,100-yard season is likely. Reid’s history also indicates that Charles should stockpile fantasy points as a receiver. LeSean McCoy averaged 55 receptions from 2009-2012, including a whopping 78 in 2010. Plus, Brian Westbrook averaged 75 catches from 2004-2007, highlighted by the 90 that he garnered in 2007. Charles’ reception total could approach 80, and his potential to compile massive yardage both rushing and receiving makes it understandable why fantasy owners are selecting him sixth overall.  To see where Charles ranks in your league scoring, whether PPR or non-PPR, make sure to check out our Customizable Fantasy Football Draft Guide for 2013.

Dwayne Bowe should also thrive in Reid’s strategic approach, albeit to a lesser degree. He has produced three 1,000-yard seasons, and collected 80+ receptions twice. Last season was his worst since an injury-shortened 2009: he finished just 34th among all WRs with 801 yards, 49th with 59 receptions, and only scored three times. But he still led the team in each category, and his 114 targets were 36 more than any other Chief. Considering the enormous drop-off in talent that exists between Bowe and the remaining weapons at wide receiver and tight end, he will garner a sizable percentage of targets once again. His ADP of 49 is realistic, as Reid’s system will supply Bowe with frequent opportunities to display his big play ability. This should help him amass over 70 catches, generate 950 yards, and produce seven TDs.

Beyond Bowe, there is a dearth of viable options. Dexter McCluster’s potential to amass yardage through deployment in assorted formations is intriguing, making him worthy of a late round flier. But neither Jon Baldwin nor Donnie Avery merit attention during the draft process. That also applies to Anthony Fasano, Tony Moeaki and Travis Kelce, whose combined presence will make it exceedingly difficult for any one member of the trio to accumulate sizable numbers.   

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