Often-Passed-Over Kansas City Chiefs Boast Sleeper Potential This Fantasy Football Season
Andy Reid Has The Chiefs Poised To Be Noticed This Season
The Kansas City Chiefs had a down year last season. Marred by poor quarterback play, a lack of a No. 2 wide receiver to compliment Dwayne Bowe, 17 fumbles by the offense and no running game outside of Jamaal Charles, the season went from bad to worse pretty quickly in Kansas City. Even though the Chiefs sent five players to the Pro Bowl in 2012, fantasy managers constantly look past pretty much every Chief with the exception of Charles.
This year’s Chiefs team has sleeper potential all over them. Since most leagues don’t allow for drafting of a punter, most owners ignore the position outright. This is a mistake. A solid punter can set your players up for success, just as a bad punter can put your players in a bad, back-to-the-wall situation. Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt is one of the best punters in the game, with a booming rocket-mega-blaster for a leg, he will help set up the field position chess match. The defense will have plenty of opportunity to pin the opposition’s offense back to their own goal line. With a better offensive situation (such as longer possession times and less three-and-outs), the defense should also have more to play for and more in the tank to make plays with.
That field game chess match will also reap benefits for the Chief offense. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that needing to go 60-40 yards to hit the end zone is much better than needing to go 90-80 yards. With that shorter field, and a new up-tempo offense, the Chiefs should not be ignored. Here are five other reasons why the Chiefs boast sleeper potential this season.
Justin Houston Leads Underrated Chiefs Defense
Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are both constantly underrated in fantasyland, despite combining for 19 sacks and getting Pro-Bowl nods. Both linebackers are obviously capable of getting to the quarterback often. Derrick Johnson was also a Pro Bowler last year with 109 solo tackles, four defended passes and three forced fumbles. Third-year safety Eric Berry was the Chiefs other defensive Pro Bowl selection and at 24 should be entering his prime years. With a new offensive system in place, it’s completely possible for the Chiefs to have a lead more often this season, forcing the opposition to throw more, leading to increased opportunity for the defense to force their opponents into turnovers and mistakes.
Andy Reid is An Outstanding Coach
While we can’t draft coaches in fantasy (yet, but how cool would that be?), Andy Reid’s record speaks for itself. Reid boasts a .583 lifetime winning percentage, seven division titles and an NFC title. His 2005 Philadelphia Eagles went punch for punch with the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, and came an interception short of a chance to hoist the trophy. Reid’s had three sub-.500 seasons in 14 years. The fact that he accomplished most of that with Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick, both talented quarterbacks armed (no pun intended) with flaws, I believe Alex Smith seems poised to continue on the success he built the last two seasons with the San Fransisco 49ers. Reid turned LeSean McCoy into a legit threat, and now has inherited a much more talented Jamaal Charles. Through camp and into the preseason, Reid has the Chiefs moving at a much faster tempo than they have traditionally known. Simply put, this is a great coach who will elevate everyone in the organization.
Dwayne Bowe Has The Potential To Be A Top End Wide Receiver
Dwayne Bowe has three 1,000-plus-yard seasons in his first six years, and missed out on making that four of six by five yards his rookie year. The fact that he averages 65 yards a game when his QB parade included Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn doesn’t seem impressive, remember the ball was being thrown by Croyle, Thigpen, Quinn and Cassel. With Ried’s system and Smith’s clear upgrade on those quarterbacks, watch for Bowe to easily clear the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth time in his career. He is the clear No. 1 receiver, and has a legit shot to rack up seven-to-nine TDs. With an ADP of 89, grab this guy a pillow because he has sleeper written all over him.
Jamaal Charles Might Be The Second Best Back In The League
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Charles is not a fantasy sleeper. Don't let the injury scare you, Charles is fine, and has a solid case for the No. 2 overall draft spot in standard formats. While some will balk at the thought of passing on the Houston Texans Arian Foster, let me make a case for why Charles belongs at No. 2. I had a chance to get down to St. Joseph and watch training camp, and that man can straight-up run. The Chiefs have a solid offensive line, with two selected in their respective first rounds, two in the second and a third round pick as well. Needless to say, they have talent there. It’s still early, but that line looked impressive, as all the backs, not just Charles, were able to consistently hit the second level at training camp. If rookie Knile Davis can move the ball and give Charles a breather every now and again, Charles could surpass last season’s numbers, including his career best 1,509 yards. On top of that, opposing defenses will learn they now need to account for…
Alex Smith Is Better Than You Think
It’s no secret that the Chiefs' quarterback situation last season was bad on top of awful wrapped in horrendous. Exit Cassel and Quinn with their 8:20 TD/INT ratio. Enter Smith (13:5 TD/INT). Lost in all the hype surrounding the Colin Kaepernick situation was the fact that Smith had a 104.1 passer rating, and was completing over 70 percent of his passes before that concussion derailed his season. Although Jim Harbaugh's system made it look like Smith was simply a game manager, the trained eye knows he has the tools to be much more than that. Reid likes to throw the ball, so Smith will have plenty of opportunity to air it out. Bowe has looked great through training camp and Charles will force opposing defenses to respect the run, both of which will open up the air attack for Smith. Currently holding an ADP of 150 and ranked near the bottom of the QB barrel, Smith could sneak into QB2 territory.
As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.
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