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Arrowheadlines: Richie James is the Chiefs' secret weapon

Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, August 16

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

One thing we learned about every NFL team in Week 1 of 2023 preseason: Chiefs, Patriots have secret weapons | CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs

It’s Richie James season. The former Giants wideout was already an underrated addition to Kansas City’s shuffled WR corps. His success downfield against the Saints proved he’s got the tools to have a breakout alongside Patrick Mahomes in 2023.

Flaws, weaknesses for 2023 NFL playoff contenders: 14 teams | ESPN

14. Kansas City Chiefs

Chances to make the playoffs: 77.3%

Chances to play in the Super Bowl: 21.6%

Biggest flaw: Dependence on Travis Kelce

If a team is going to be dependent on someone, it’s probably a good idea to pick a future Hall of Famer who hasn’t missed a game to injury since 2013. Kelce remains the picture of health at a position in which nobody has ever been this productive into his mid-30s. As I wrote last season, Kelce is probably one season from being the greatest tight end in NFL history and just became the first tight end 33 or older to put up 1,000 receiving yards since 1965. Nothing about Kelce or his performance suggests he is about to fall off a cliff.

History tells us that even the best players in football history eventually fall subject to Father Time. Tom Brady took a step backward last season. Jerry Rice couldn’t make the Broncos out of training camp in 2005. Those guys were in their 40s, but Julio Jones had a 1,394-yard season in 2019 and has barely topped that mark over the three ensuing seasons combined. Greg Olsen didn’t miss a game for nine seasons, had a 1,073-yard season at age 31 and then averaged 330 receiving yards across four injury-hit seasons to end his career. We’re not good at spotting the end before it happens.

Top league winners by position for the 2023 fantasy football season |

Kadarius Toney

Kadarius Toney has drawn a target on 29.7 percent of his routes in the NFL, which ranks fifth among wide receivers behind only Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Drake London and Cooper Kupp since 2021. His 2.3 yards per route run ranks 13th in the NFL in that span, as it got a boost after being traded to Kansas City last fall. His 3.0 yards per route run with the Chiefs in Weeks 9-17 is on par with Hill, who led the league with 3.3 last season. Toney is extremely explosive and is constantly praised by both Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. Playing with the best play-caller and QB on the planet, on a team in need of WR production, Toney offers far too much upside to pass up in fantasy drafts. And yes, he is banged up, but that only lowers his ADP (into the double-digit rounds) and raises his value.

2023 NFL MVP odds: Joe Burrow leads Patrick Mahomes despite calf injury |The Athletic

Burrow and Mahomes opened the offseason tied at +650 to win the top NFL individual award. But Burrow (+600 currently) is a slight favorite over Mahomes (still +650) despite Burrow sustaining a calf injury during a training camp practice in late July with no concrete timetable for a return.

1 Player Each NFL Team Should Put on the 2023 Trade Block This Preseason | Bleacher Report

Kansas City Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Trading a running back in this market?

Yes, the position’s value is arguably lower than it’s ever been in the NFL, but the Kansas City Chiefs should at least see what they can get for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

With Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon emerging in Kansas City’s backfield last season, Edwards-Helaire, 24, is expected to serve as the offense’s third back in 2023. Seeing as this is the last year of his rookie deal, that’s not a good situation for him or the Chiefs.

A veteran player or even a late-round pick would be more valuable for Kansas City, especially since it has undrafted free-agent signing Deneric Prince as an insurance policy for the third spot on the depth chart if Edwards-Helaire gets traded.

At worst, the 2020 first-rounder costs the team that trades for him a low draft pick; and at best, he proves to be the dynamic threat he was in college for LSU with a bigger opportunity than he’ll get with the Chiefs this season.

NFL all-hype team: Which players have stood out in training camps, preseason? | FOX Sports

Kahlef Hailassie, Chiefs — The undrafted rookie out of Western Kentucky picked off New Orleans Saints quarterback Jake Haener in the second half of his team’s loss on the road. The 6-1 cornerback is competing for a roster spot in Kansas City’s secondary.

Around the NFL

Rookie Anthony Richardson named as Colts’ starting QB | ESPN

Richardson, this year’s fourth overall draft pick, will be the Colts’ starter this season, coach Shane Steichen announced Tuesday. The news comes days after Richardson’s preseason debut against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. Richardson never saw it coming.

“Honestly, I was shocked,” he said.

Richardson had been in a competition with veteran Gardner Minshew, but now that a decision on a starter has been reached, the Colts can dig into their preparation and tailor their offense to their new franchise quarterback.

“Anthony’s just been progressing,” Steichen said. “The growth he’s shown, then, obviously, going into Buffalo, playing against a lot of their starters, he showed great signs of improvement. I like the things he did, and it’s an opportunity now for him to get a lot more with the [starters] moving forward, and we go from there.”

Packers OT David Bakhtiari on QB Jordan Love: ‘His baseline for me is way higher’ than usual first-year starter |

His blindside protector, David Bakhtiari, has been impressed with the overall showing since camp began, though, even as he’s intent on a grading curve that takes into account Love’s years of learning behind Aaron Rodgers.

“Definitely a higher standard,” Bakhtiari told The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday when asked if he was evaluating Love as a first-year quarterback or something more. “He’s had three years to understand the math of the offense, which is very fortunate for any first-round quarterback to get to watch and see how a first-ballot Hall of Famer and generational talent and a guy who borderline changed the quarterback position and how it’s played. And even the mechanics of even throwing the football. You’re able to see that for three years and then now coming in, so yeah, his baseline for me is way higher.

“I’ve been very pleased with what I’ve seen from him. And I think he’s also understanding that he’s not going to be judged, either, by a first-year quarterback, which is great. I think he’s going to be competitive right out of the gate. I’ve seen his development in practice. I’m really excited to see it translate into the game, and him to get those game time and hours logged in. And really see how he adapts and corrects himself mid-game and game to game.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs Roster: 53-man roster projection 3.0 for the 2023 NFL season

Wide receivers (7): Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, Justin Watson, Richie James, Rashee Rice, Justyn Ross


A recent report suggested that the organization feels Toney will be ready for Week 1 against the Detroit Lions after having preseason surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus. But I still believe that, when it’s time, Kansas City ends up staying conservative, and Toney will make the 53-man roster only before the team adds him to injured reserve with a designation to return the following day. I continue to think the Chiefs field six receivers for Week 1, with a cautious Toney return set for Week 5.

With Toney missing all of training camp, Kansas City has turned to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore and Justin Watson as its top receivers, though Richie James made the greatest case to push into that mix with his game against the Saints. James showcased speed, tracking ability and reliability in his two-catch, 44-yard effort — and his touchdown came on a tough ball to catch. James already looked to have more snaps with Mahomes during Tuesday’s workout.

I thought Rice and Ross had good showings, as well. I believe Ross’ red-zone touchdown helps build the case of what he can provide for the Chiefs (more on what I mean in the tight end section).

We’ll have to see about Nikko Remigio, who led the Chiefs in receiving yards (71) in the first preseason game. Remigio dislocated his shoulder in Tuesday’s practice. I have liked Remigio for the practice squad since July, but perhaps it is injured reserve instead — all depending on the severity of his injury.

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