It's time to start thinking about fantasy football, and we have started going team by team to let you know what each NFL franchise can do for your fantasy squad. You can click here to see if your team has been previewed yet. If it isn't there, chances are it's coming soon. We have finished the NFC West and are moving on to the AFC West.
*Rankings are based on a 12-team, standard scoring format.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
2012 RECORD: 2-14
2013 BYE WEEK: 10
TOP DRAFT PICKS: (1) Eric Fisher- LT- Central Michigan
(3) Travis Kelce- TE- Cincinnati
(3) Knile Davis- RB- Arkansas
QUARTERBACK: The Matt Cassel experiment clearly didn't work out in Kansas City, and now they find themselves with a former #1 overall pick at the helm in Alex Smith. Smith finally showed he was a worthy starter in the league in 2011, and started off strong in 2012. An injury derailed him though, and when Collin Kaepernick took over, San Francisco found Smith dispensable. Considering that the Chiefs were 2-14 last year, Smith finds himself in a decent situation there. New head coach Andy Reid has a track record of success with quarterbacks, and if top overall draft pick Eric Fisher can live up to his draft status Smith could be behind a very strong offensive line. Smith has a strong #1 WR with Dwayne Bowe, and one of the better running backs in the league with Jamaal Charles. Everyone in Kansas City has been raving about his impact on the team, and I think he is worth drafting as your QB2. Chase Daniel is the backup, and undrafted rookie Tyler Bray looks like he is going to beat out Ricky Stanzi for the 3rd string job.
RUNNING BACK: Jamaal Charles, who missed most of 2011 with an ACL tear, came back and performed well last year. He broke the 1,500 yard barrier for the first time in his career, but his touchdown total was only 5. He also was less of a factor in the receiving game than he was in his 2010 season. With all that said, the addition of Alex Smith should only improve Charles' stats, and he could be poised for his best season yet. Consider him a strong RB1, and you will probably need at least a top 6 pick if you want him on your squad. Do keep in mind that Charles is injury prone, and draft accordingly. Knile Davis, a 3rd round pick out of Arkansas, would be the man if Charles did go down. He has impressed so far in the preseason, and with his speed at over 200 lbs., he makes for a very intriguing backup option. If I end up with Charles on my team, chances are good I am using a later pick to lock up Davis. Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray round out the depth chart. Neither should be drafted.
WIDE RECEIVER: Dwayne Bowe's statistics fell off fairly dramatically last season, as he was only able to rack up 801 yards and 3 touchdowns. Like the rest of the offense, he should receive an automatic bump from Smith's presence, but his 15 touchdown season in 2010 looks to be the outlier. Most experts have him as a bottom half WR1, but I feel a lot more comfortable with him as a WR2. Jonathan Baldwin is the #2 receiver, but his statistics don't add up to a fantasy relevant player. A QB boost could help him though, and his big frame makes him an ideal red zone target. If you play with a flex spot or carry two WRs on your bench, Baldwin is worth a pick. Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster round out the receiving corps, and until one of them starts to get consistent looks, they should stay on the waiver wire in standard leagues.
TIGHT END: The Chiefs have a couple of options at tight end. They brought in Anthony Fasano from Miami, who put up his typical 330+ yards and 5 touchdowns last season. They used a 3rd round pick on Travis Kelce, a 6'6"-260 lb. pass catcher out of Cincinnati. He has impressed with his hands and his blocking in training camp. He will be an impact player down the road, but I don't think it will be this year. Both have their usefulness, but I am not using a draft pick on either guy.
KICKER: Ryan Succop was 28 of 34 field goals last year, and only had 17 extra point attempts. Kansas City should be better on offense this year, but you can still do much better for your fantasy kicker.
DEFENSE-SPECIAL TEAMS: The Chiefs have some playmakers on defense with Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston, but overall they are just not very good right now. They finished last in the league in interceptions, 28th in sacks and 26th in points allowed. You can do much better, even on a bye week.