It’s that time of year again; fantasy football season is finally here. Many of you may have already had your fantasy draft; most of you will have yours within the week. I will be making selections from my war room later tonight. As Kansas City Chiefs fans we often find ourselves drafting our favorite players usually higher than we should, but come on… we’re homers. Fortunately, there are a handful of Chiefs players that can add value to your fantasy team. The important thing is knowing when to draft them. I’ll be using this post today to breakdown and give fantasy projections and advice regarding your Kansas City Chiefs as you prepare for your draft. All draft projections will be based on redraft leagues with 10 to 12 teams. For those hardcore fans that like to use individual defensive players I apologize in advance as I don’t dabble in that.
I was extremely high on Jamaal Charles especially after his strong performance at the end of the 2009 campaign. I was lucky enough to get him of waivers and he was a monster for me during the playoff push. I knew entering the next season he would be among the top backs taken, that was until the Chiefs signed Thomas Jones. The presence of Jones means that the Chiefs running game will be the dreaded “running back by committee” that all fantasy owners hate. Charles went from a 1st tier RB to a 2nd tier RB with the signing of Jones. I still believe that Charles will be a solid addition to your fantasy team, just make sure you handcuff him with Jones. The advantage that Charles will have with the presence of Jones is that he will be able to get some relief and not get too fatigued. Charles is also valuable in points per reception leagues as he is often the number two option for Matt Cassel. I don’t see Charles getting more than 20 carries a game, but he will be a top 20 fantasy running back. I wouldn’t draft him any higher than round 3.
Projections: 1100 rushing yards, 7 TDs, 40 receptions for 340 yards.
Besides LaDainian Tomlinson, Thomas Jones is probably this year’s most important running back handcuff. Owners who select Charles should make every attempt possible to also draft Jones. Jones will be a change of pace back and used mainly on short yardage and goal line situations, giving him many opportunities to score some cheap touchdowns. He put together back-to-back 1300+ yard seasons before becoming a Chief, but at age 32 his skills are diminishing. Jones is also nonexistent in the passing game. Jones is a 3rd tier RB and shouldn’t be drafted any higher than round 7.
Projections: 550 rushing yards, 8 TDs.
Possibly one of last season’s biggest disappointments in fantasy football was Dwayne Bowe. This season he seems to be out of Todd Haley’s doghouse and hopefully won’t be facing any suspensions. If Bowe can stay healthy and play all 16 games he could be fantasy football’s comeback player of the year. With a year working alongside Matt Cassel under his belt, the both should gel better on the field resulting in better numbers for Bowe. I would put Bowe right outside the top 25 for fantasy wide receivers, start looking for him in about round 4.
Projections: 75 catches for 980 yards, 8 TDs.
Chris Chambers is a solid possession receiver and usually has good yards after catch numbers. He found his role fast last season filling in for Dwayne Bowe, as Bowe served a four game suspension. He showed flashes of his ability, but often was ignored in the passing game. Now that the Chiefs have a real offensive coordinator and Chambers has had a full training camp with the Chiefs he shouldn’t be ignored by Matt Cassel anymore. However, I’m afraid that Chambers could be the 3rd or 4th option in the passing game. He is a 4th tier receiver and shouldn’t be considered until round 8.
Projections: 50 catches for 700 yards, 3 TDs.
Unless you have 32 teams in your fantasy league, then Matt Cassel has no fantasy value. Cassel’s numbers will improve over last season, but not enough to be an impact fantasy player. If someone has already drafted the backup quarterback you were targeting, then you might take a late round flier on Cassel. If you’re a homer looking to add a Chief to your roster then start looking for Cassel after round 10.
Projections: 3100 passing yards, 18 TDs, 16 INTs.
The speedy five foot nothing converted running back could be a sleeper, not only for the Chiefs but for fantasy owners as well. I’m not expecting huge numbers from the rookie, but he is a player that can be used in many formations and could see several touches a game. He’ll be playing primarily from the slot position and could develop into a safety net for Matt Cassel. He is worthy of a late round flier.
Projections: 45 catches for 460 yards, 5 TDs.
I wouldn’t consider Ryan Succop a top 20 kicker, but if you have to have a Chief on your roster and have missed out on all the guys mentioned previously, then use your last pick on Succop. He has the ability to kick the long ball and has remained relatively accurate. However, a miss or two seems to get to him mentally and he has a hard time getting back on track.
Chiefs Special Teams/Defense
The addition of Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas has finally given the Chiefs a solid return game. There is a chance that the duo could score a few touchdowns this season on kickoff and punt returns reminiscent of the Dante Hall days of old. However, with a defense that was dead last in getting to the quarterback and stopping the run, I would not draft this defensive unit. If the defense starts to put up decent stats on a week-to-week basis then they might be considered as a waiver pickup if the matchup is favorable. There is no reason to draft the Chiefs Special Teams/Defense.
There you go Chiefs fans; I hope you have found this pre-draft information useful. In the coming weeks I will be giving breakdown and projections of the fantasy impact your Kansas City Chiefs will have in the week’s matchup. Later posts will also spend some time dealing with other fantasy football related issues. My ear is always open if you need any advice on who to start or sit in a given week.
See you next Thursday!