Focusing on the Kansas City Chiefs and fantasy can be a frustrating endeavor in 2023. Since Tyreek Hill's departure, the team lacks many legitimate fantasy options outside of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Harrison Butker.
Isiah Pacheco and the defensive unit have been pleasant fantasy surprises this season, but most fantasy leagues already have them rostered. There is a great divide between the five options above and anyone available on most waiver wires.
But, it is still worth looking at trends, what players are seeing more work and which players are not being noticed by the fantasy community at large. The Chiefs have an interesting fantasy matchup this week against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are off to a 1-3 start after winning last week's game against the Carolina Panthers. The NFC North felt like theirs to lose this season, but an 0-3 start has them in a deep hole.
From an overall game perspective, the Vikings are probably the league's best 1-3 team. They have a negative-5 point differential this season, the smallest among any team with the same record. The team still has a competent quarterback in Kirk Cousins and a top-five receiver in Justin Jefferson, so counting them out of any game doesn't feel right.
Back to fantasy football. Here are two fantasy options who are likely not only available but still have fantasy value as the Chiefs offense looks to rebound.
1. Rashee Rice
Bringing up Rice as a fantasy waiver option seems like a broken record at this point. But his potential is still there, as he is the most targeted wide receiver on the Chiefs roster. Did anyone have a rookie leading the Chiefs in wide receiver targets through the first four weeks? History says no.
The rookie has exceeded his fantasy production predictions twice so far this season and should do the same against the Vikings. Minnesota has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, according to FantasyPros.
Rice is averaging 5.8 targets per game this season, and that is trending higher in recent weeks. FantasyPros projects him as WR39 this week, good enough for consideration in many leagues. His lead in targets overall is valuable, but he also leads all Chiefs with six red zone targets this season. Mahomes is looking to get Rice the ball in the money zone, and they could link up again this week in Minnesota. Let's see if Rice benefits from a Mahomes bounceback game.
2. Jerick McKinnon
Enter broken record #2: picking up Jerick McKinnon on the waiver wire. The 31-year-old veteran has been largely a fantasy disappointment this season, outside of his two-touchdown performance in Week 3. His usage rate is holding steady but is not high enough for fantasy consideration.
Like Rice, McKinnon does have value for his work within the red zone. He leads all Chiefs running backs in red zone targets this season and the season before.
I wish I had a good reason for putting McKinnon on this list again. Most of his fantasy production came after Week 11 in the 2022 season, but his second-biggest performance before that was in Week 5. Maybe history can repeat itself.