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Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Football Preview

Mecole Hardman
Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman (17) takes the field before a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

By Craig Forrestal

Coming off a Super Bowl victory and inking Pat Mahomes to the first-ever half-billion-dollar contract you can say the expectations are high in Kansas City. The offense added highly-touted RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft, and now the question is whether or not he will follow in the trend of 1st Round backs and a heavy workload. We have seen RBs take on a heavy workload out of the gates and divisional rival Las Vegas Raiders did this with Josh Jacobs last season. Defensively, the unit returns a solid portion of what helped them win a Super Bowl. The issue remains on how to pay Chris Jones; one of the premier DL in the game.

Schedule:

  • Week 1: Texans
  • Week 2: @ Chargers
  • Week 3: @ Ravens
  • Week 4: Patriots
  • Week 5: Raiders
  • Week 6: @ Bills
  • Week 7: @ Broncos
  • Week 8: Jets
  • Week 9: Panthers
  • Week 10: Bye
  • Week 11: @ Raiders
  • Week 12: @ Buccaneers
  • Week 13: Broncos
  • Week 14: @ Dolphins
  • Week 15: @ Saints
  • Week 16: Falcons
  • Week 17: Chargers

Players To Know:

  • Patrick Mahomes-QB: This is crazy to say but Mahomes is a lock for 4500 passing yards and 35 passing touchdowns. Outside of Lamar Jackson, for his incredible rushing and passing skills combinations, there is not an argument you can make to me that will convince Mahomes is not one of the two best fantasy QB options. I’m sure some will be convinced that he got paid and will drop off but that’s not happening. Just for a reminder, he grew up taking infield practice with Derek Jeter and batting practice with Alex Rodriguez. His godfather is 20 year MLB veteran LaTroy Hawkins. And for good measure, his father was a solid MLB pitcher, Pat Mahomes, Sr., for the better part of a decade. He is way too invested in professional sports to let his payday impact his future production. If it is me, I’m picking Mahomes and not worried about it. So you can set and forget at the QB position with Mahomes.
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire-RB: CEH was taken in the first round and a lot of people in the fantasy community think he could have a Top 10 finish but I am not there. I understand that Mahomes was crucial in the team making that selection; as Mahomes is a big fan of CEH. And yes, I am aware that CEH is the only RB Andy Reid has ever taken in the first round. CEH has been compared favorably to Brian Westbrook by Andy Reid and other coaches love what he brings as well but Damien Williams is still relevant. If there are approximately 25 RB touches in a game, think each gets around a dozen touches. The beauty in all this is that CEH and Williams have skills that mirror each other. Both can catch and run meaning the defense won’t be tipped off as to what is coming with some other RB duos. I believe Damien Williams will not go away and that will not go away dampening the potential max value of CEH. I feel a more likely scenario is a situation where both backs carry high-end FLEX appeal. This means that both backs should finish, on a weekly average, in the Top 25-30 of RBs in the league with the potential to sneak into the Top 15 or so.
  • Damien Williams-RB: I think I might just copy and paste what I typed in above because it fits for Williams as well. While the deck seems stacked against Williams the coaches like him. They want to use him and they just might decide the best thing to do is beat up Williams; who is on a limited contract, has no long-term value to them and allows them to gradually bring CEH along. However, it plays out he has mentioned by coaches and figures into the gameplan weekly. I consider him to be a FLEX option as well and I have a gut feeling he will get the goal-line work, or let me say I expect him to get the first crack at that work.
  • Tyreek Hill-WR: Tyreek Hill is the biggest home run threat on this offense. Hill needs minimal touches to rack up a ton of yards. His speed and explosive playability make the connection between him and Mahomes that much more fun to watch. His season was cut short last season but he still posted strong numbers when he was available. Hill will sometimes give you the added element of rushing yards which is just a nice bonus because it shows the creativity used to keep the ball in his hands. For a look as to what he and Mahomes can do over a full season, we can drawback to 2018. Hill posted 14 total touchdowns, and also 1,479 yards on 87 catches. It wasn’t even really that close between him and the WR2. The message is clear, having as many Chiefs as possible is a solid strategy and in my opinion, outside of Mahomes, Hill is the guy you want to have on your roster.
  • Sammy Watkins-WR: To me, Watkins is the definition of average Yes, he balled when Tyreek Hill was out of action. I’m not willing to attribute that success to Watkins purely. Watkins has a lot of great tools around him from game planning, play calling, other explosive players at offensive skill positions and potentially, maybe, the best QB of this generation. Watkins is a burner and has some value still but I feel he is more of a lotto ticket at this stage of his career. The Chiefs want to bring Hardman along. Andy Reid is a fan of Gehrig Dieter. Both Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle have the talent and could start to see more snaps. While Watkins shouldn’t be in immediate danger this season, just know he will be up and down every week. As always, he will have an out of this world game only to be followed with 4 lackluster performances. Again, he’s a lotto ticket. There are other options I’d prefer on this team.
  • Mecole Hardman-WR: The 3rd WR listed could have easily been Byron Pringle or Demarcus Robinson, but Hardman is unique. We got a taste of Hardman and his Olympic like speed last season. But this year, I think Hardman could be the breakout player for the Chiefs. There have already been rumblings about how involved he will be as a kick returner; leading to the assumption of an increased role at WR. For whatever reason, a lot of people still treat Sammy Watkins like a big-time NFL WR? It baffles me. I think Hardman can leapfrog Watkins in the pecking order this season. My bold prediction is that Hardman finishes the upcoming season in the WR30 neighborhood.
  • Travis Kelce-TE: Whenever a player hits age 30 I start to look elsewhere for options. It is purely through observation that I have noticed once NFL players hit age 30 the decline started to accelerate. There are exceptions to the rule and Kelce is one of them. He has 4 consecutive seasons of 1000 yards and I don’t expect that to change. Kelce plays in what is widely considered the best fantasy offense in the NFL with the best QB in the NFL. Mahomes looks to Kecle early and often. I would consider Kelce to be high on my TE wishlist. However, just know to land Kelce you’ll need to pay a draft pick premium, but the return should be there. He has also been one of the more durable players, playing in 95 games since 2014.

Defense:

I would consider the defense to be one of the better matchup based streaming options based on talent but I’m not going out of my way to draft them. We saw Marlon Mack, Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts run up and down the field, on KC last season and that has been the biggest hole for them defensively. While they did show improvement as the season went along but it was not enough to make you a solid believer in the unit. The secondary of this unit is where they have a good collection of talent. While Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill are the headliners in the DB group it remains to be seen which player will emerge as the permanent replacement to Marcus Peters. And I think a training camp battle between Charvarius Ward, L’Jarius Sneed and Thakarius “BoPete” Keyes will emerge for that true replacement to Peters. Upfront, Frank Clark is a beast and can take over a game in a heartbeat. However, without Chris Jones inked to a long-term deal it leaves more questions than answers as to how that Front 7 will hold up against the run. The Front 7 will need to make a consistent a strong leap forward this season; if they are to be anything more than a matchup based stream.

Potential Breakout Player:

  • Mecole Hardman-WR

Rookie To Know:

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire-RB
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