Thursday, August 7, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football Augury: Kansas City Chiefs

When Alex Smith was picked first overall in 2005, the Forty-Niners expected filet mignon.

Instead, they got peanut butter and toast.

But it's difficult to order the correct meal when you don't have the right menu.

In seven seasons in San Francisco, Smith went through four head coaches and six offensive coordinators.  And folks wondered why Smith could never get comfortable in 49ers scarlet and gold?

Fantasy owners quickly saw the writing on the subway walls (and tenement halls) and avoided Smith like some sort of hemorrhagic JaMarcus Russell fever.

But last year, his first in Chiefs red and gold, and his first with Andy Reid (a stinkin' football genius),  Smith was... competent.  Shucks, you could even say he was pretty good.  It was easily his best season in his eight year career; in fact, ironically, he put up numbers comparable to his replacement in San Francisco, Colin Kaepernick.

He finished with 3,300+ passing yards, 23 touchdowns (only seven interceptions); he also rushed for 431 yards and a touchdown.  In 15 games, he passed for multiple touchdowns nine times, including torching the Raiders for five touchdowns in week 15.

Yes, we are talking about that Alex Smith.

Use caution if you target Smith in your draft, however; the Chiefs have the weakest wide receiving corps in the entire league and they've done little nothing to improve the situation.  Smith remains peanut butter and toast; a nice snack, but hardly a meal.


Since 2001, the Chiefs have been a breeding ground for superb fantasy running backs.  Priest Holmes was simply the best running back in fantasy football in the early 2000's.

His successor, Larry Johnson, was dominating in the mid-2000's.

Jamaal Charles now continues that K.C. tradition.

Charles is on the fantasy endangered species list.  In the last two seasons combined, he's touched the ball more than 600 times, rushed for 1,800 yards, caught 900+ receiving yards and scored 25 touchdowns.  He led the league with 12 rushing touchdowns last year alone.

He has virtually no one to challenge him for carries.

He is among the elite running backs in fantasy football.  He shouldn't be available in your draft after pick #3.  If he is, I want to join your league.


Dwayne Bowe is a mishmash of fantasy frustration.  He's got so much potential, but fantasy owners have seen it realized just a handful of times.

He's a fantasy tease who disappoints more often than not, and you never know when he's going to do something bone-headed.  He's been arrested.  He's been suspended.  He's held out of training camp more than once.

For fantasy owners, he's a migraine with legs.

Last year he was, at best, disappointing.  He never topped 69 yards receiving in a game and he ended up with just 57 receptions and five touchdowns.

He's exactly the kind of player I do not want on my fantasy squad.

Yes, Bowe has had some successful seasons.  He's even led the league in scoring receptions (15 touchdowns in 2010), but he hasn't come anywhere near that total before or since.

This is the kind of statistical aberration that keeps fantasy owners hanging on for years (Joe Jurevicius, Braylon Edwards, Kevin Walter, Drew Bennett... the list goes on and on).  It's time to get wise to it.

Bowe is no more than a low second tier/high third tier fantasy wide receiver.  But I will be honest: you can have him.  I will look elsewhere.

Donnie Avery is projected to start opposite Bowe.  This is Avery's fourth NFL team in six seasons.  He's a journeyman who has never caught more than 781 yards or five touchdowns in a season.  Last year (his first with the Chiefs) he didn't break 600 yards and only managed two scores.  He is no more than fourth tier, back-up material.

A possible diamond in rough is receiver A.J. Jenkins.  He is a former first round pick by the 49ers (like teammate Alex Smith) and is entering his third year.  If Bowe continues to regress, the Chiefs will give him a long look.  Keep him on your watch list.  He's a deep, deep dark horse.


Speaking of dark horses, Travis Kelce could be a very interesting fantasy tight end product if he could ever get healthy.  He was the Chiefs third round pick last season, but never saw action because of a knee injury which required microfracture surgery in the off-season.  He's got a ton of potential, but potential is meaningless on the trainer's table.  The good news is Kelce was given a clean bill of health at the start of training camp.

If Kelce is healthy, he could be a pleasant surprise; keep an eye on the waiver wire.  He should be available.

Anthony Fasano is the projected starter at tight end right now, but last year's 33 targets and 200 yards receiving make him untouchable as a fantasy player.

Draft Well!
That Damn Sam