KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches a pass against pressure from defensive back Aaron Williams #23 of the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter on September 11, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Bills beat the Chiefs 41-7.(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
It's nearing fantasy football time so we need to get the conversation going on players from the Kansas City Chiefs who could interest you. If you're like me, you somehow, someway end up with a Chiefs player on your roster.
QB Matt Cassel: Eh, wouldn't consider him much of a fantasy quarterback. Even his best career season, 27 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, is good but not great in the fantasy world. The Chiefs are built to run the ball so I wouldn't spend much time evaluating Cassel as a fantasy player. There's not much there that suggests he will be a star for your fake football team.
RB Jamaal Charles: Duh. Charles may not care about your fantasy football team but he can be productive if he's on it. The big question is whether he's healthy which through one preseason game we can say he is. The next question is just how healthy he is. When you come off an injury like this, sometimes you lose your burst, or your next level. We haven't seen enough from Charles to determine whether that's the case. Get him in the open field running with a defensive back and I can have a better idea. Another question with Charles is just how many carries he'll see. In his two big seasons, he's had 190 carries (1,120 yards) and 230 carries (1,467 yards). I think he'll be close, if not higher than 230 carries. He's splitting the rock again which means he's not going to be a 300-carry guy but the Chiefs will recognize that sometimes you just have to feed your best player the ball again and again. The final question with Charles comes because of the guy below, Peyton Hillis. How many TDs will Hillis swipe from Charles? In last Friday's game, the Chiefs got near the goal line and Hillis, not Charles, scored one. Kinda makes me wonder how that red zone offense will look once the regular season hits. I could see Charles ending around 1,000-1,200 yards for the season, a little less than his breakout 2010 season and right around his 2009 season.
RB Peyton Hillis: Another intriguing option. He's not a homerun hitter like Charles but there are plenty of areas where he can contribute. He will receive a decent amount of rushes, in the same ballpark as Charles. He'll catch passes, something he's very good at. He will also see some goal line work, which means more points for your fantasy team. Hillis isn't a No. 1 running back but the way the Chiefs offense is looking he's going to have opportunities to put points on the board. I could see Hillis ending up with around 600-800 yards rushing and several hundred receiving yards as well.
WR Dwayne Bowe: He'll report, eventually. But how good will he do? Probably not great early on. That's just a guess. I think Bowe staying away from camp will affect him early in the season. This is a new offense which he doesn't know so we shouldn't be thinking that Bowe is going to step right in and be Bowe. He'll need an adjustment period (which means lower stats...which means lower money...which means his holdout is pretty stupid). In the end, I'd think Bowe's stats will be what they normally are -- somewhere around 1,000 yards and 5-10 touchdowns. The problem with evaluating Bowe is that the guy below has made it considerably harder to project this season...
WR Jon Baldwin: He looked terrific in camp but didn't do anything in the Chiefs first preseason game. I'm not really sure what to make of him. I don't see 1,000 yards right away but he's too talented not to make a difference. I go back to the day he was drafted and GM Scott Pioli specifically noted the red zone when talking about Baldwin. I think that's where he makes his mark. I can see Baldwin doing well in the red zone but his yardage should be lower than Bowe.
WR Dexter McCluster: In points per reception leagues, he looks even better. He contributes in a few different ways but he's not elite at any of them so from a fantasy standpoint he's good at racking up points but he's not going to be your knockout punch. He'll be in the slot this year and I can see 4 catches a game out of him. He rarely scores touchdowns.
TE Tony Moeaki: I'm not as high on him as I once was. He's coming off the injury and the Chiefs have seemingly been more cautious with him than others. That makes me think they're concerned about injuries. He has a higher ceiling than TE Kevin Boss but with the history of injury his floor is lower. There are too many weapons on the Chiefs offense for me to predict a year bigger than his 47-catch, 556-yard rookie season.
Chiefs Defense: I'd definitely consider them. KC's defense has a chance to be very good. We know they can create turnovers but over the last few years a major question mark has been sacks and on Friday night's preseason game they started answering that question with seven sacks. Chiefs defense is on track to be a top 10 unit this season.
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