Kansas City Chiefs: Top 5 Fantasy Players to Target

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Top Five Fantasy Targets: Kansas City Chiefs

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Denny-Medley-USA-TODAY-Sports

Yes, there are five fantasy football targets worth owning on the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, the same Chiefs team that didn’t have a lead until Week 10 in 2012, and the same team that was dead last in the NFL with 13.2 points per game. Fortunately for Kansas City fans, they aren’t exactly the same team this season. They have made positive changes in all major areas of concern, and the Chiefs are ready for more than an occasional visit to the end zone in the upcoming season.

The most fantasy relevant changes are at head coach and quarterback, where the word failure just doesn’t seem strong enough to describe the performances of 2012. Andy Reid was brought in as the head coach, and his pass-happy ways will bring immediate changes to the Chiefs offense. Last season was the first time in 10 years that a Reid-coached team finished outside the top-10 in passing yards, finishing 13th — not too bad considering the less-than-ideal quarterback situation in Philadelphia last season.

The “one-two punch” of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn had the Chiefs dead last in passing yards and touchdowns last year, which is why they are no longer in Kansas City. The first move Reid and new GM John Dorsey made was grabbing the best free-agent quarterback available in Alex Smith.

From a fantasy perspective, the additions of Reid and Smith mean the passing game will be relevant again. I don’t usually like to make guarantees about things I have no control over, but I guarantee the Chiefs' passing game will improve from last season. It has to. There is nowhere to go but up. I believe it will be a pretty drastic improvement as well, as the talent is definitely there.

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5. Alex Smith

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Denny-Medley-USA-TODAY-Sports

Smith has yet to be fantasy-relevant in his career, but this could be his breakout season. His role with the Chiefs will be much larger than it was with the San Francisco 49ers. Smith’s career-high in pass attempts was 445 in 2011. The last five teams coached by Reid averaged 578.

The Chiefs have no shortage of weapons and also own a great running attack to keep pressure off of Smith. He has also been incredibly efficient in his past two seasons, throwing for 30 TD, 10 INT while completing 64.3 percent of his passes. Smith is by no means a fantasy starter, but he’s a solid backup with some upside. Projected as around the 25th overall quarterback, you could easily snag him at the end of the draft.

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4. Chiefs D/ST

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Kevin-Hoffman-USA-TODAY-Sports

Projected as about the 24th defense, the Chiefs' D/ST is another option you could pick up at the end of your draft. They were 20th in total defense and 25th in points allowed last season, but should see major improvements from that this season.

With four returning Pro Bowlers on defense, some nice additions in free agency and hopefully an offense that won’t hand the other team the ball so often, they should make a good value pick. If nothing else, they will make decent spot starts against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders (twice).

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3. Jon Baldwin

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John-Rieger-USA-TODAY-Sports

If you have ABBA’s “Take a Chance on Me” handy, it will be the perfect song to play while reading this slide. Baldwin will be a pure guess at upside. He has been a sleeper pick for the last two seasons and failed miserably both times. The former first-round draft pick has the talent to succeed but maturity issues and incredibly weak supporting casts have marred his first two seasons.

Reid and Smith should be exponentially better at utilizing Baldwin’s talents, and with Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery on the field, Baldwin is sure to see a lot of one-on-one coverage. His 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame should make those matchups very attractive for Smith. Unless you’re in a 20-team league, he will probably go undrafted and his upside makes him worth picking up in the last round.

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2. Jamaal Charles

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John-Rieger-USA-TODAY-Sports

Charles is projected to go around sixth overall, but I would take him as high as third. In an absolutely pathetic offense where opposing defenses could zero in on him, he still rushed for 1,509 yards. There were a lot of career lows in Kansas City last year, but Charles’ career low of 5.3 yards per carry is nothing to be ashamed of.

The main reason he isn’t valued higher in fantasy drafts is his lack of touchdowns, but I believe he will see a major increase in scoring opportunities this season. In 2012, nobody in Kansas City got to see the end zone regularly because the quarterback play was a joke. Before that, Thomas Jones would steal a lot of his goal-line carries. This season, it should be all Jamaal.

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1. Dwayne Bowe

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Flickr-Creative Commons

Bowe has very high expectations for himself with predictions of leading the league in both touchdowns and receptions. I don’t know about all that, but I do think he will be one of the biggest steals in the draft. Projected to be around the 20th to 23rd wide receiver taken, I predict he will end up in the top-10.

In 2010, Bowe finished second among wide receivers in fantasy scoring. With a pass-first philosophy and a huge upgrade at quarterback, he can definitely approach those numbers again. Keep your eye on him because a lot of people have him as a sleeper. You may need to reach for him a bit, but he will be worth it.

1 of 6

Top Five Fantasy Targets: Kansas City Chiefs

fff
Denny-Medley-USA-TODAY-Sports

Yes, there are five fantasy football targets worth owning on the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, the same Chiefs team that didn’t have a lead until Week 10 in 2012, and the same team that was dead last in the NFL with 13.2 points per game. Fortunately for Kansas City fans, they aren’t exactly the same team this season. They have made positive changes in all major areas of concern, and the Chiefs are ready for more than an occasional visit to the end zone in the upcoming season.

The most fantasy relevant changes are at head coach and quarterback, where the word failure just doesn’t seem strong enough to describe the performances of 2012. Andy Reid was brought in as the head coach, and his pass-happy ways will bring immediate changes to the Chiefs offense. Last season was the first time in 10 years that a Reid-coached team finished outside the top-10 in passing yards, finishing 13th — not too bad considering the less-than-ideal quarterback situation in Philadelphia last season.

The “one-two punch” of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn had the Chiefs dead last in passing yards and touchdowns last year, which is why they are no longer in Kansas City. The first move Reid and new GM John Dorsey made was grabbing the best free-agent quarterback available in Alex Smith.

From a fantasy perspective, the additions of Reid and Smith mean the passing game will be relevant again. I don’t usually like to make guarantees about things I have no control over, but I guarantee the Chiefs' passing game will improve from last season. It has to. There is nowhere to go but up. I believe it will be a pretty drastic improvement as well, as the talent is definitely there.

2 of 6

5. Alex Smith

aaa
Denny-Medley-USA-TODAY-Sports

Smith has yet to be fantasy-relevant in his career, but this could be his breakout season. His role with the Chiefs will be much larger than it was with the San Francisco 49ers. Smith’s career-high in pass attempts was 445 in 2011. The last five teams coached by Reid averaged 578.

The Chiefs have no shortage of weapons and also own a great running attack to keep pressure off of Smith. He has also been incredibly efficient in his past two seasons, throwing for 30 TD, 10 INT while completing 64.3 percent of his passes. Smith is by no means a fantasy starter, but he’s a solid backup with some upside. Projected as around the 25th overall quarterback, you could easily snag him at the end of the draft.

3 of 6

4. Chiefs D/ST

sss
Kevin-Hoffman-USA-TODAY-Sports

Projected as about the 24th defense, the Chiefs' D/ST is another option you could pick up at the end of your draft. They were 20th in total defense and 25th in points allowed last season, but should see major improvements from that this season.

With four returning Pro Bowlers on defense, some nice additions in free agency and hopefully an offense that won’t hand the other team the ball so often, they should make a good value pick. If nothing else, they will make decent spot starts against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders (twice).

4 of 6

3. Jon Baldwin

sss
John-Rieger-USA-TODAY-Sports

If you have ABBA’s “Take a Chance on Me” handy, it will be the perfect song to play while reading this slide. Baldwin will be a pure guess at upside. He has been a sleeper pick for the last two seasons and failed miserably both times. The former first-round draft pick has the talent to succeed but maturity issues and incredibly weak supporting casts have marred his first two seasons.

Reid and Smith should be exponentially better at utilizing Baldwin’s talents, and with Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery on the field, Baldwin is sure to see a lot of one-on-one coverage. His 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame should make those matchups very attractive for Smith. Unless you’re in a 20-team league, he will probably go undrafted and his upside makes him worth picking up in the last round.

5 of 6

2. Jamaal Charles

fff
John-Rieger-USA-TODAY-Sports

Charles is projected to go around sixth overall, but I would take him as high as third. In an absolutely pathetic offense where opposing defenses could zero in on him, he still rushed for 1,509 yards. There were a lot of career lows in Kansas City last year, but Charles’ career low of 5.3 yards per carry is nothing to be ashamed of.

The main reason he isn’t valued higher in fantasy drafts is his lack of touchdowns, but I believe he will see a major increase in scoring opportunities this season. In 2012, nobody in Kansas City got to see the end zone regularly because the quarterback play was a joke. Before that, Thomas Jones would steal a lot of his goal-line carries. This season, it should be all Jamaal.

6 of 6

1. Dwayne Bowe

www
Flickr-Creative Commons

Bowe has very high expectations for himself with predictions of leading the league in both touchdowns and receptions. I don’t know about all that, but I do think he will be one of the biggest steals in the draft. Projected to be around the 20th to 23rd wide receiver taken, I predict he will end up in the top-10.

In 2010, Bowe finished second among wide receivers in fantasy scoring. With a pass-first philosophy and a huge upgrade at quarterback, he can definitely approach those numbers again. Keep your eye on him because a lot of people have him as a sleeper. You may need to reach for him a bit, but he will be worth it.


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