As the lockout ends, we wonder what to expect from our Chiefs. Who is going to improve, and who is going to fall? Whether you are reading this for fantasy football, or for some insight on what this season will look like, let this guide give you an idea about what our team is going to be like in 2011. This is part one of the Chiefs Player Stock.
1. Jamaal Charles: UP
Coach Todd Haley promised us that Jamaal Charles would be getting more carries this season. He is a running back on the rise. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry last season, only just short of a record. With more carries, and a hopefully improved line, Jamaal should pass that mark. Don't be worried about the tough schedule either. In the Pro Bowl, Jamaal Charles clearly proved himself the best back in the AFC, rushing for more yards than Foster or Johnson. That was against the best defense the NFC could offer. He isn't going to slow down.
2. Thomas Jones: DOWN
Thomas Jones has just about come to the end of his football career. He saw significant breakdown at the end of the season, only averaging a little more than 3 yards per carry. With Jamaal Charles and Dexter Mccluster getting more carries this season, KC is oviously preparing for Jone's departure. Look for Thomas Jones to get a significant decrease of carries this year, and much less production. As a locker room leader, he is priceless, but his time on the field is about to come to an end. Jones is not the type of player you want to invest in.
3. Dexter Mccluster: UP
Dexter Mccluster is also in line for more carries this season. Dexter averaged 4 yards per carry last season (more than Thomas Jones). After a year watching and learning from Jamaal Charles, Mccluster may be in the perfect position to become a dominate rusher. If Charles goes down with an injury, look for McCluster to take his place, and make a statement. Oh, and don't forget. With Mccluster healthy again, look for his stats to shoot up, and look for the special teams to prosper. I believe by the season's end, Mccluster will become the #2 running back. He has so much potential, and was one of the only backs that made me go "Wow" in college.
4. Chris Chambers: DOWN
During the Baltimore playoff game, Chambers was benched in favor of Kevin Curtis, a veteren WR taken from off the street. He ranked last in the league for a #2 WR in receiving yards (240) as well. Look for Chambers to be cut this year. He is no longer needed, as Jon Baldwin is almost guaranteed to be better (Jon Baldwin: NFL.com fantasy football predicts 647 yards receiving). Chamber's time in Kansas City is over.
5. Kevin Curtis: DOWN
I don't know if you can get much worse than 2 yards receiving. Kevin Curtis was only hired for one game, and was a disappointment. I don't think KC will resign him. They will likely go for a younger slot WR, such as Steve Breaston this free agency. Kevin Curtis is also a free agent, so he may leave on his own free will. I just don't see Curtis and Kansas City together. No stats=down stock.
6. Dwayne Bowe: DOWN
Stock going down isn't always a bad thing. Dwayne Bowe's production will go down due to the new WRs entering Kansas City. That doesn't mean he will become any worse. It justs means the ball will be spread out more, which is what the Chiefs want. Bowe's TDs will also go down, since Baldwin has red zone target written all over him. With Breaston, Moss or Smith in the slot, Kansas City is going to have a triple WR threat, which will scare defenses more than ever.
7. Tony Moeaki: STEADY
Make that a 4 man receiving threat. Unlike Dwayne Bowe, Tony Moeaki didn't have astronomical stats (500 yards receiving). For a rookie though, he was excellent. As the WRs get better, Moeaki won't be able to burst out in the receiving department. But, I believe the TE will make such huge strides that the WR plethora will not make a difference in his stats. Look for him to play nearly identical to last year (That doesn't mean he hasn't improved).
8. Ryan Succup: UP
Ryan Succup will have many more opportunitys to kick field goals this year. As the defenses get better, the touchdowns will decrease, which usually means more field goals. Succup will have to be prepared to kick more game winners (He already has 2) than ever before. I think he is almost ready for the task. He has consitant in the last two years, and should continue to do so.
9. Brodie Croyle: DOWN
For those of you who remember my other post (Quarterback Free Agency Predictions) I thought Brodie Croyle would become unemployed, also known as cut. After horrific performances last seasons, KC is ready to move on with Stanzi and Palko for backups. Brodie Croyle may never take a snap in the NFL again.
10. Matt Cassel: UP OR DOWN
This was perhaps the toughest to decide, so I didn't decide on anything. I don't know what will become of Cassel. With WR improvement, signs say that he will have a outstanding season. But, his more recent debuts were horrific. Against Baltimore, he threw 3 interceptions. Against Oakland, and in the Pro Bowl, he threw 2 picks in both games. That is not a good sign. All of those defenses are simular to what he will be seeing this year. Can he improve without Charlie Weis? Can Jim Zorn be the answer?. I don't want to throw Cassel in the dark yet, but he is close to falling low. Let's just hope Kansas City's new WRs will help Cassel improve.
11. Barry Richardson: DOWN, THEN UP
Many rumors have it that Barry Richardson may be put off of the starting lineup in favor of a better OT . I'm not so sure about that. Richardson is a great run blocker, and will greatly help Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. But, he can't pass block very well. I think these next two years Richardson is going to break out and become a decent pass blocker. If he gets benched behind someone such as Matt Light, he can learn some valuable lessons on pass blocking, and benfit from it. This guy could improve greatly with veteren help. Perhaps he is not ready to be invested in yet, but in the future he could become a great player.
12. Jon Asamoah: UP
Asamoah was injured most of 2010. But, that won't stop him from becoming someone special. Some rumors have it that Brandon Waters is ready to be cut, and in his place would be Jon Asamoah. I don't know if this is true, but regardless, Asamoah's stock is going up. If the Chiefs would even consider cutting Pro Bowl guard Brandon Waters, that would tell you a lot about this kid. I expect him to have much more playing time, and sometime in the near future, replace Waters. The jewels of the 2010 draft continue to sparkle.
13. Casey Wiegmann: DOWN
Lastly, we have Wiegmann. His fate is in limbo, because, 1. We don't know if he will resign and 2. We don't know if Rodney Hudson will start. I'm guessing that this year will be Wiegmann's, but it could be easily taken away. Casey stock will fall since he is getting older, and may lose his starting job at any time. The fact that he even considered retiring tells you all you need to know.
As you can see, most of KC's players are dropping in stock. Is that a reason to be alarmed? Absolutely not, since the extra depth coming in should propel us forward. They may get less playing time, but will still be improving. The offensive line looks as though it will be soon remodeled, and the WR unit looks to take giant steps. We have an exellent season ahead of us.
-I didn't include rookies since you can't really judge whether or not a rookie improves or not. Sorry to disappoint some of you.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.