KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 31: Jonathan Baldwin #89 of the Kansas City Chiefs is congratulated by Le'Ron McClain #44 after Baldwin caught a pass for a touchdown during the game against the San Diego Chargers on October 31, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
From Vince Verhei of Football Outsiders:
Our official projection: 54 catches, 813 yards, five touchdowns. We also put him in the "red" risk category, which makes him a bit of a gamble for fantasy purposes. Kansas City has a lot of new and returning pieces, and it's hard to project who will get how many pieces of the pie.
Subjectively-and this is just my opinion-I can see Baldwin catching only two or three balls per game, but I think his yards per catch could soar.
The Chiefs seem to have about two dozen guys who are good at catching short passes. Charles had 40 catches in 2009 and 45 in 2010. Peyton Hillis caught 61 passes in 2010. Cyrus Gray was catching 30 passes a year for the
Longhorns Aggies. Dexter McCluster, even if he permanently moves to wideout, figures to be more of a slants-and-flats guy. So does Devon Wylie. Bowe and Steve Breaston are reliable veterans, but neither is going to take the top off a defense.
Baldwin is the best bet to be their home-run weapon this season. Sixteen percent of his targets came at least 25 yards past the line of scrimmage last year, compared to seven percent for Bowe and six percent for Breaston. If the Chiefs want to run a bubble screen or a quick hitch, they've got plenty of guys who can do that. But if they want to run a deep post, Baldwin's their only option.