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NFL preseason report: Kansas City Chiefs

See who’s trending up and who’s trending down throughout Chiefs training camp and preseason.    

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

This page will be regularly updated with news and analysis regarding the Chiefs’ skill position players throughout training camp and the preseason. ⬆︎ ⬇︎ Indicate which way a player’s fantasy value is trending and (R) denotes rookies.

Warren Sharp projects the Chiefs to face the 5th hardest schedule of 2018.

Quarterback

Patrick Mahomes II ⬆︎/⬇ -- Mahomes has all the arm-talent in the world, and will likely succeed as Kansas City’s long term quarterback under Andy Reid’s tutelage. However, this year will be tough for the new signal-caller. Mahomes is fortunate enough to be surrounded by elite talent at all skill positions but KC’s schedule is particularly unforgiving. They only face a handful on soft pass defenses. I like Mahomes and his supporting cast but I can’t stomach the schedule. I hate to say it, but I’m fading Mahomes at his 11th round ADP. That being said, should he fall, I would absolutely consider pairing him with a high-floor QB.

Running Back

Kareem Hunt ⬆︎ -- Hunt has a tough schedule but the talk of the offseason has centered around Hunt working on his passing game prowess. Spencer Ware is back but if Hunt can prove that he shouldn’t leave the field on 3rd down, he’ll have a monster workload that more than justifies his 1st round ADP.

Charcandrick West ⬇ -- A 3rd down back who must overcome both Hunt and Spencer Ware (superior all-around backs) for playing time. Avoid in drafts.

*Update: 8/22/18: Charcandrick West has been cut.

Spencer Ware ⬇ -- There seems to be a lot of buzz about Ware stealing touches from Hunt and I just don’t get it. Ware’s coming off tearing both his MCL and PCL in 2017 and still wasn’t cleared for contact as recently as August 13th. Similarly, he was forced to restructure his contract, turning guaranteed money into incevtive-based pay. That’s not an endorsement by the team. Ware is a talented football player (and I wish the Seahawks had never cut him/tried to turn him into a fullback) but he has to compete against last year’s rushing champion. What am I missing? As long as he makes a full recovery, Ware will play an important role on the team, but count me out on believing in Ware as having standalone value.

*Update 8/22/18: West’s release implies the team feels comfortable with Ware’s progress. However, given the aforementioned information, I advise exercising caution on the backup RB. Let’s wait and see what he does in the upcoming preseason game.

Wide Receivers

Tyreek Hill ⬆︎/⬇ -- JJ Zachariason sums up the Hill conundrum succinctly in this piece. This main issues are that Hill’s TDs all come from an unsustainable distance from the endzone and he’s barely targeted in the redzone. Should redzone usage increase, I’d feel much more comfortable taking him at his 3rd round ADP. Keep an eye on him in Week 3 of the preseason to see if Reid tips his hand on Hill’s usage.

Sammy Watkins ⬆︎ -- I’m all in on Watkins this year. Drafters at-large are letting him fall to the 7th round -- which is criminal. The guy put up 593 yards and 8 touchdowns with the Rams last year, after being acquired a month before the season. He had no time to learn the play book and still tied for the 8th most receiving touchdowns in 2017. Graham Barfield recently pointed out that Watkins has been lined up all over the formation so far this preseason. My bold prediction of 2018 may end up being that Sammy Watkins outscores Tyreek Hill in standard fantasy scoring.

Chris Conley ⬇ -- I was high on Conley coming out of college, but there are too many mouths to feed above him in KC -- not to mention he’s coming off a torn Achilles.

Demarcus Robinson ⬆︎ -- Robinson may actually be the next man up after Watkins and Hill. He’s shown very well in camp thus far.

Marcus Kemp ⬆︎ -- Kemp has similarly performed well this summer. The Chiefs appear to have an embarrassment of riches at receiver this year.

Tight End

Travis Kelce ⬆︎ -- Kelce is a monster and you should draft him aggressively at the end of the 3rd round. It’s hard to find a true difference-maker at tight end but Zeus is one of them.