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Kansas City Chiefs Team Preview

Is Travis Kelce a late round value at tight end? Will the D/ST be taken too early in drafts following an impressive 2013 campaign? Jacob Adler breaks down the Chiefs for fantasy purposes.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

QB: Alex Smith

Finishing as QB15 on ESPN standard scoring in 2013, Smith gave fantasy owners what they were looking for and nothing more. With three offensive linemen now gone and a mediocre receiving corps, there certainly isn’t much upside for everybody’s favorite game manager, but it doesn’t explain why he is going undrafted in Fantasy Football Calculator mock drafts. 22 passers have ADPs, including the likes of Josh McCown and Eli Manning, and Smith is just lying in the bargain bin waiting to be picked up.

RB: Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis

This is one of the easier previews I’ll write. Jamaal Charles is good. If one can, one should draft him. To most, he is the #1 overall pick, and playing in an offense that enhances his fantasy stock. As we saw late last year, Davis is immensely talented, but I’m not drafting him or even adding him unless I see some indication he’ll be used while Charles is healthy. I don’t buy into the handcuff strategy, especially not after two years of healthy play from Charles.

WR: Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins

Cecil Shorts, Marlon Brown, and Rod Streater all finished above Bowe in 2013, who was drafted as a WR2 and ended up as a WR5. On the bright side, he attracted 103 targets last season and the Chiefs didn’t add a receiver to challenge him, so he could have the volume necessary to achieve flex value. Avery, a slot receiver and Jenkins, the team’s best deep threat, aren’t worth looks in 10 team leagues, but I’d think about Avery in a deep PPR and Jenkins in deep standard leagues.

TE: Travis Kelce

Brandon Gdula of numberFire wrote a great piece explaining why Kelce is an interesting tight end lottery ticket. Since Kelce missed the 2013 due to injury, receiving stats aren’t used, but his combine measurables rank favorably to the elite tight ends of recent years. He might end up in the streamer class, but there is upside here.

Defense/Special Teams

As last year’s surprise team, the Chiefs are bound to be overdrafted this season. While it is true that Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Eric Berry, and all the other talented players return, most of the success in 2013 derived from a stunningly easy schedule to open the season which allowed the unit to tack on sacks, turnovers, and scores. Not only did production fall off in the second half, but the Chiefs will no longer have the services of Brandon Flowers and Tyson Jackson. Essentially, the studs must compensate for the lack of depth and perform even better than they did last season, just to put up similar numbers.