Fantasy Football Today

Is Jamaal Charles the only Chiefs player worth drafting?

By Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamaal Charles could use a little help from Alex Smith and Dwayne Bowe in making the Chiefs more Fantasy relevant this year. (USATSI)
Jamaal Charles, center, could use a little help from Alex Smith, left, and Dwayne Bowe in making the Chiefs more Fantasy relevant this year. (USATSI)

The Chiefs don't have a lot of great Fantasy options this year when looking at their preseason outlooks. In 2013, only Jamaal Charles finished as a starting Fantasy option in the majority of leagues for their skill players.

We'll take a look at four players for the Chiefs this season in Charles, Alex Smith, Dwayne Bowe and Travis Kelce. Charles is obviously awesome, but is he the only Kansas City player who will be started in Fantasy leagues this season?

  • Alex Smith: Andy Reid just might make Smith into a credible Fantasy quarterback. Now imagine if he had some better receivers. He was the No. 14 Fantay passer in 2013, but he showed plenty of promise. When Smith was given the chance to throw with 35-plus pass attempts, which happened 11 times, he had 20-plus Fantasy points in eight games, including the playoffs. He's also a quality rusher with 431 yards, which was No. 6 among quarterbacks behind Cam Newton, Terrelle Pryor, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III. Smith's receiving corps actually looks worse now than last year with Dexter McCluster, who was No. 3 in receptions for the Chiefs in 2013, gone to Tennessee. If Bowe can bounce back and Kelce or A.J. Jenkins can emerge -- or, even better, if a receiver is added in the draft -- then Smith could have another quality season. You're not going to draft Smith as your No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, but he is a solid backup option in all leagues. Smith is worth drafting with a late-round pick, and if he starts off playing well like he did last season then consider him a potential starter if your No. 1 option struggles.
  • Jamaal Charles: He enters this season as the projected No. 1 overall pick, and we're expecting another outstanding year. He set career highs in rushing touchdowns (12), catches (70), receiving yards (693) and receiving touchdowns (seven) along with 1,289 rushing yards. Reid now has coached running backs in his career to seven 1,000-yard rushing seasons, eight 1,500 total-yard seasons, 10 seasons with at least 50 catches and six seasons with at least 10 touchdowns. The last three times Charles played a full season, which was 2010, 2012 and 2013 (he suffered a torn ACL in 2011), he had at least 1,700 total yards and six total touchdowns. We're expecting Charles to have another big year, and make sure when you draft him No. 1 overall you handcuff him with Knile Davis with a late-round pick.
  • Dwayne Bowe: Let's hope the Bowe who showed up after the bye week through the playoffs in 2013 is here for a full season. So far, he's saying all the right things. Bowe recently said he's hired a nutritionist and a personal trainer for the first time in his career. That's a positive. And he closed last year with double digits in Fantasy points in four of his final seven games, including the playoffs when he had eight catches for 150 yards and a touchdown against the Colts. But Bowe was a dud in his first year playing for Reid, who isn't know for spotlighting one receiver. He had just 57 catches for 673 yards and five touchdowns, and that will be hard for Fantasy owners to forget. We would draft Bowe as a low-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best with a late-round pick. He will improve this season, but just how much is hard to gauge. If the investment is minimal then all he can do is reward you, otherwise just release him and move on.
  • Travis Kelce: The Chiefs are expected to give Kelce a bigger role this season if healthy. He missed his rookie year after having microfracture on his knee, but all reports this offseason are positive. Still, before Fantasy owners can be excited about Kelce, keep an eye on his progress during training camp. Kelce had 45 catches for 722 yards and eight touchdowns in his final season at the University of Cincinnati, so he has plenty of potential. Anthony Fasano will remain the starter, but Kelce could do enough to get noticed as a waiver wire addition if his knee is OK. He's someone to monitor early in the season, especially in dynasty leagues, and he could definitely provide some life for this passing game.
 
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