There have been countless debates about whether or not Spencer Ware or Kareem Hunt was the superior option in Fantasy. They may all prove moot after Spencer Ware was carted off the field with an apparent knee injury on Friday night. Initially the concern was that Ware had torn his ACL, but it now sounds like he suffered both a PCL & an MCL injury. Ware hasn't been ruled out for the season but it wouldn't be surprising if he starts the year on the IR. This is a look at expectations for the Chiefs if Ware is not a factor in 2017.
Hunt is not someone I viewed as a spectacular talent but he would suddenly find himself in a spectacular situation. The Kansas City Chiefs have given more than 500 touches to their running backs each of the past three seasons. Even if Hunt gets 60 percent of those touches he immediately becomes a contender for the best rookie running back in fantasy.
Hunt profiles as a good receiver and should be efficient on the ground. I have questions whether he can hold up to full season as a No. 1 back, but he should get the opportunity. Charcandrick West becomes relevant again as the No. 2 back in Kansas City and could see an increased role in the passing game if Hunt struggles with pass protection. This should not have a noticeable impact on Alex Smith and the passing game.
Here are the updated Fantasy expectations for the Chiefs:
*Rankings expressed below are in terms of expected Fantasy points. This is a part of our actual Fantasy Football rankings but not a direct correlation to my rankings. Things like injury risk, upside, etc. factor into rankings but they're not being talked about here. This is simply an expectation as the team is currently constructed.
|Player||Expected FP||Position Rank||Expected PPR FP||Position Rank|
Travis Kelce KC TE
Kareem Hunt KC RB
Tyreek Hill KC WR
Chris Conley KC WR
Alex Smith KC QB
Breaking down the touches
One benefit of Smith and Reid having a history is that there's more reliability in projecting how the offense will run. The Chiefs are likely to throw the ball about 55 percent of the time, with slightly more than a quarter of those targets going to tight ends and less than 60 percent going to receivers.
The interesting part of this offense is in the running projections. Last year Alex Smith and Tyreek Hill combined for 72 carries. That's a chunk of the team's projected 420 carries that Hunt won't even get a shot at. Here's a more detailed look at my expectations:
- I'm trying to be conservative with Kelce's touchdown expectation. To be clear, a season with seven or eight scores would be less surprising than if he continues to disappoint in that category with another 1,000 yard season.
- Hill becomes a No. 1 wide receiver in leagues that count return yardage.
Conley will have competition for targets from both Demarcus Robinson and Albert Wilson. I don't think either is very likely to be Fantasy relevant, but they could muddy up the water enough to where Conley isn't either.
Finally: Yes Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback of the future in Kansas City. But don't expect a controversy this season. I would expect Mahomes to start the season third on the depth chart and I wouldn't expect him to take a meaningful snap in 2017 without Smith getting hurt.