2019 Fantasy Football Team Previews: With Tyreek Hill active, Chiefs are a juggernaut again

With the NFL announcing that Tyreek Hill will not be suspended in 2019, the Chiefs entering the season with the same cast they featured en route to a razor-thin loss to the Patriots in the AFC championship game. That offense was one of the best the NFL has ever seen, with first-year starter Patrick Mahomes putting up one of the greatest performances any quarterback has ever had. There weren't enough superlatives to use to write about them, and now they bring that whole team back with another year of experience under their belts. That's scary.

2018 Review

Record: 12 - 4 (3rd in NFL)
PPG: 35.3 (1)
YPG: 425.6 (1)
Pass YPG: 309.7 (3)
Rush YPG: 115.9 (16)
PAPG: 36.4 (9)
RAPG: 24.2 (23)

2018 Fantasy finishes

QB: Patrick Mahomes - QB1
RB: Kareem Hunt* - RB11; Damien Williams - RB48; Spencer Ware* - RB64
WR: Tyreek Hill - WR2; Sammy Watkins - WR63; Chris Conley* - WR78; Demarcus Robinson - WR91
TE: Travis Kelce - TE1; Demetrius Harris* - TE43
*No longer with team

Number to know: 1

The Chiefs were No. 1 in yards per game (425.6) and points per game (35.3) in 2018. This offense is explosive, and with Hill back, Williams is really the only "new" face; and he was a Fantasy stud as a starter toward the end of 2018. 

2019 Offseason

"These cut-ups will be invaluable for him on the different plays that he's run this past year, study those and see where he can get better in those areas. And I think it's a great growing period from Year 1 to Year 2, and he'll handle it the right way. A lot of guys don't. They get complacent. He won't do that." - Andy Reid, on Patrick Mahomes

Head Coach: Andy Reid (7th year)
Offensive Coordinator: Eric Bieniemy (2nd year)  

Draft Picks 

2. (56) Mecole Hardman, WR
2. (63) Juan Thornhill, S
3. (84) Khalen Saunders, DT
6. (201) Rashad Fenton, CB
6. (214) Darwin Thompson, RB
7. (216) Nick Allegretti, G

Additions

RB Carlos Hyde, TE Blake Bell, DL Frank Clark, DL Alex Okafor, LB Damien Wilson, DB Tyrann Mathieu, DB Bashaud Breeland

Key Departures

RB Spencer Ware, WR Chris Conley, OL Mitch Morse, DL Dee Ford, LB Justin Houston, DB Eric Berry, DB Steven Nelson  

Rankings and Projections

Player
Patrick MahomesQB1QB1QB1
Damien WilliamsRB18RB12RB14
Carlos HydeRB38RB37RB52
Darwin ThompsonRB49N/AN/A
Tyreek HillWR7WR7WR5
Sammy WatkinsWR28WR32WR26
Travis KelceTE1TE1TE1
Harrison ButkerK4K4K6
Chiefs DSTDST18DST17DST25
 
Heath Cummings' projected offensive stats
QBPatrick Mahomes4,559 YD, 34 TD, 12 INT, 279 YD, 2 TD
RBDamien Williams167 ATT, 751 YD, 6 TD; 52 REC, 400 YD, 5 TD
RBCarlos Hyde109 ATT, 435 YD, 5 TD; 13 REC, 117 YD, 1 TD
WRTyreek Hill134 TAR, 88 REC, 1,327 YD, 10 TD
WRSammy Watkins110 TAR, 64 REC, 901 YD, 7 TD
WRMecole Hardman35 TAR, 19 REC, 289 YD, 3 TD
WRDemarcus Robinson35 TAR, 23 REC, 265 YD, 3 TD
TETravis Kelce144 TAR, 100 REC, 1284 YD, 8 TD
Dominate your draft with our free Draft Strategy Guide, which gives you must-have sleepers, rookies, and quarterbacks. Plus see the top players at each position, complete with winning projections. Get your guide now!

Biggest Question

Is Damien Williams for real?

"He sure looked like the real deal in his last six games of 2018 when he averaged 17.5 touches and 100.3 yards in total with eight combined touchdowns. The only threats to his playing time are veteran Carlos Hyde and rookie sixth-rounder Darwin Thompson, but the reality is that pretty much any rusher in this iteration of Andy Reid's offense is going to do well. Williams is a top-35 pick." - Dave Richard

One sleeper, one breakout, and one bust

Sleeper: Carlos Hyde or Darwin Thompson

I like Damien Williams, but should he struggle or get hurt, we could see Hyde or Thompson in a featured role. And they are definitely worth taking in all leagues on Draft Day. Hyde would likely get the first crack at replacing Williams as the veteran, but Thompson could be explosive in a big role. I'm targeting both Chiefs running backs with mid- to late-round picks, whether I draft Williams or not.

Breakout: Damien Williams

Williams is the only player who qualifies for this category since Mahomes, Hill and Kelce are all established stars. The biggest reason to like Williams this year is Andy Reid, who has been a head coach in the NFL for 20 years with Philadelphia and Kansas City, and 11 times he's had a running back finish in the top 10 in PPR. Williams looked the part when he took over for Kareem Hunt last season. Starting in Week 14 and through the playoffs, a span of six games, he was a dominant Fantasy option with either 100 total yards or a touchdown in each outing. Hopefully that translates to this season, and Williams is worth drafting in early Round 3 in all leagues. 

Bust: Patrick Mahomes

I love Mahomes, you love Mahomes -- we all love Mahomes. But please don't draft him in the first round of a one-quarterback league, which is his Average Draft Position as of the middle of July. And please don't expect him to replicate his lofty stats from 2018 when he had 5,097 passing yards, 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, as well as 272 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Those stats will regress, even with Hill around. Mahomes is worth drafting as the No. 1 quarterback this season, but just do it in Round 3 at the earliest. And have realistic expectations of about 4,500 yards and 37 touchdowns. He'll be great. He just won't be superhuman like he was in 2018.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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