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2016 Fantasy Football Team Outlook - Kansas City Chiefs


This article continues off our team outlook series where we will breakdown each NFL team from a fantasy football perspective. We will cover the major changes on each team in the offseason and project what the team will do in the upcoming season.

Today we take a look at the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Offseason Moves

Offseason Acquisitions: QB Nick Foles, WR Rod Streater, WR Mike Williams

Offseason Departures: WR Fred Williams, QB Chase Daniel

 

Quarterback

Alex Smith is a likable quarterback; a safe suitor to bring home to mom and dad, simply because of how conservative he is. But that translates to boring in the fantasy world, and a quarterback that leaves owners waiting and waiting and waiting for a big performance. His 6.6 average yard depth of throw was worst in the league, according to ESPN.com, while he finished 2015 with only 20 touchdowns through the air. Smith did come close to tallying 500 rushing yards and found the end zone twice with his feet. It's just unrealistic to bank on his legs to produce for a lineup.

Andy Reid has also been heavily favoring the run game. Whether it's Jamaal Charles or Charcandrick West, the man has a way with his lead backs. The same will likely be the case this season, especially if they're both healthy. The Chiefs have also recently signed Nick Foles, who likely won't threaten to take Smith's starting gig. It's just important to note that Foles was drafted by Andy Reid. It would be wise to fish elsewhere for a QB2.

 

Running Backs

Jamaal Charles had his eyes set on another solid season in 2015. Nearly through five games, Charles had accumulated over 500 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns. In that fifth game, Charles attempted to cut and twisted his right knee in a disturbing angle. Torn ACL. Season over. But the talented running back appears to be healthy and on track to start the regular season, despite the unlikelihood of him playing in Kansas City's next preseason contest. Charles is undoubtedly still a RB1, but he is coming off of his second ACL surgery and climbing in age.

Charcandrick West filled in admirably when Charles went down last season, but is battling an elbow injury of his own. Regardless, West is handcuffed to Charles. He would still likely share carries with Spencer Ware if Charles went down again. West averaged 8.8 yards on four carries in Kansas City's preseason opener but averaged a mediocre 4.0 yards per carry in 2015 (34th overall in the league).

 

Wide Receiver

There's always a hesitation in drafting Chiefs receivers simply because of the conservative play of Alex Smith. But Jeremy Maclin made sure that wouldn't be the case for him in 2015. Maclin finished the campaign with 1,088 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. The issue with Maclin is his health and the inconsistency of having him on your squad. Maclin caught less than five passes six times, including four straight games of only three receptions. Also, he is now battling a groin injury. Maclin's boom-or-bust ways makes him risky, but he is still a WR3.

Albert Wilson and Chris Conley are two other interesting names stirring in Kansas City's pot of receivers. Wilson improved in his second full season in the league with 451 receiving yards and two touchdowns. When active, Wilson was also on the field for 80.7% of the team's pass plays in 2015, according to ESPN.com. If he can claim the number two receiver spot and stay on the field, he's worth a glance in deeper leagues. The same goes for Conley, who stands at 6-foot-2 and is crazy fast. Both guys can burst onto the scene, just as long as their quarterback throws them the ball.

 

Tight End

Our guys at RotoBaller have Travis Kelce ranked fifth overall among tight ends entering the 2016 campaign. He's no Gronk or Jimmy Graham, but Kelce is safe considering the short nature of Kansas City's passing attack. Smith enjoys the short throws, those in Kelce's direction even more. Kelce was targeted 100 times last season and reeled in 72 of them. He finished sixth in total receiving yards out of the tight end position in 2015 and should teeter around the top five again in 2016. Kelce is a TE1 and should be targeted in the middle rounds of standard league drafts.

 

Kicker

Cairo Santos missed seven field goals last season, even if four of the misses were from 50+ yards. Santos' value is handcuffed to the Chiefs ability to move the ball. In 2015, Kansas City was ranked 27th in total offense. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Santos won't get his opportunities. Last season, he went 7/7 and 5/6 respectively, and could provide a huge boost to a lineup because of his streakiness. Santos is a last-pick-in-the-draft type kicker and shouldn't be held onto too tightly. He's replaceable.

 

Defense

Last season, the Chiefs defensive unit accumulated 47.0 sacks, 22 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, and six total touchdowns. They're currently ranked eighth according to RotoBaller's average ADP and could very well jump the rankings if they once again post big numbers for owners. There is no reason to believe that their defense weakened in the offseason. Keep an eye on them in the later rounds of your draft.
 


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.