Kansas City Chiefs Helmet

Fantasy Football Projections: Kansas City Chiefs

When it comes to young passers in the NFL who come with a lot of hype, Patrick Mahomes has to be a fixture on that list. Mahomes was a draft process darling in 2017 that lead to the Chiefs mortgaging the future to trade up and take him. After a playoff run last season that saw KC get bounced in the Wild Card round (again), the front office at Arrowhead Stadium decided the future is now. Alex Smith was sent packing to the Washington Redskins and the Chiefs put their hopes and dreams on the back of the Texas Tech gunslinger.

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Mahomes is not afraid to throw the ball and he proved that by lobbing up 35 attempts in his lone start during his rookie campaign. Throwing the ball a lot, and throwing the ball well are not necessarily the same thing but he did complete 63% of his passes for an 8.1-yard average. The good news for Mahomes is that he has a stellar supporting cast with Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins. The Chief’s aging defense may also regress a bit in 2018 forcing the offense to air the ball out a bit more but with Kareem Hunt, the expectation is they’ll lean heavily on the breakout star at running back to take the pressure of the 2nd year QB. Mahomes is a bit of a wild card given the lack of success that Texas Tech, “air-raid” style colleges have had at the NFL level. The reality is that the weapons are here for Mahomes so he must be tracked in all formats and must be owned and started in all 2 QB leagues. This one could be a sleeping monster or just plain sleeping.

Hunt, on the other hand, is as sure a bet as they come. The back broke out for 1320 yards, 8 rushing TD and kicked in 53 catches with another 3 TD for good measure and he was wildly under-used. At several points in close games during the 2017 campaign, Alex Smith routinely kept the ball out of Hunt’s hands and went to the air, crippling the overall damage Hunt could do. Part of that comes from Andy Reid and his penchant for getting a little too cute on offense by dialing up trick plays and sub-packages on a regular basis. All of that said, Hunt’s ability to dominate on all downs in all phases of an offense make him a Top 5 contender for fantasy points and will force the Chiefs to feed him. Spencer Ware is your best handcuff here with Charcandrick West lingering in the shadows but neither are rosterable. Take Hunt in the first round and be glad you did.

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Tyreek Hill headlines a somewhat unheralded, yet talented fleet of pass catchers in Kansas City. Hill’s role as a “do everything” Swiss Army Knife makes him a rock-solid WR2, though perhaps not the shoe in as a WR1 that many are drafting him at. He’ll have a little extra competition for the ball with Sammy Watkins now in the fold. Watkins has been a maddening fantasy player – as well as real player – during his first four seasons in the NFL due to his frustrating drops and constant injury issues. Despite only managing 39 catches for the Rams in 2017, Watkins showcased his scoring ability by finding pay dirt 8 times. His 15.9 yard per catch rate will make him a big threat outside while Hill and All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce work underneath and handle to the possession throws. Kelce is really the #1 option in this passing game and arguably the #1 fantasy tight end in the league, that won’t change at all with Mahomes under center. Chris Conley and Demarcus Robinson are both talented, big-bodied receivers who can split out opposite Watkins with Hill in the slot and either could emerge as a solid 4th man here. Draft Kelce as the #1 tight end, take Hill as a Top 20 WR and leave the rest of this group on the wire for now.

2018 Projections

NAME POSITION CMP ATT PASS YD PASS TD INT RU YD RU TD
Patrick Mahomes QB 345 560 3750 27 19 420 4

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Kareem Hunt RB 295 1380 10 50 430 2 1
Spencer Ware RB 60 255 1 15 120
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NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Tyreek Hill WR 15 85 1 70 1020 6 2
Sammy Watkins WR 65 735 4
Demarcus Robinson WR 30 315 1
Chris Conley WR 25 275 1
Travis Kelce TE 80 1015 8
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Ben Stecker

Ben Stecker

Author SportsTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
Writer, sports connoisseur, Pacific Northwesterner. Rarely met a sport I couldn't be great friends with. Follow me on twitter @Softball_Guy
Ben Stecker