It was not that long ago when the Chiefs had players that were the envy of most fantasy drafts. Trent Green was good for somewhere around 3,750 passing yards and 20 touchdowns, Priest Holmes had some of the best fantasy seasons ever seen after that Larry Johnson became a fantasy stud. Up until this season you could at least count on Tony Gonzalez to represent the Chiefs in fantasy drafts but after the Chiefs traded Gonzalez the question becomes does anyone have fantasy value for the Chiefs?
The first candidate most people will think of is the 63 million dollar man new QB Matt Cassel. Last season Cassel had a productive fantasy season but he was also accompanied by one of the best offensive lines in football, not to mention two of the best receivers in Wes Welker and Randy Moss.
This year Cassel has a new offensive system to learn, a shaky at best offensive line and only one legitimate threat in the passing game. Expect Cassel’s numbers to be somewhere around 3400 passing yards and between 15 and 17 touchdowns and just as many interceptions if the season is a success, if the season is a disaster Cassel’s numbers could be far worse. Cassel may be worth a late round flyer if you draft a stud QB in the early rounds.
Dwayne Bowe is prime for a breakout season, a receiver with big play ability who has gotten better in each of his first two seasons. Bowe broke the 1,000 yard plateau for the first time last season after posting 995 yards his rookie season. This year will be make or break for Bowe if he can keep his weight in check which is a pet peeve of Todd Haley’s and work on his consistency ( Bowe showed a propensity to drop some passes last season) Bowe could be in line for a big season.
Expect Bowe to top 1200 yards receiving and put up between 8 and 12 touchdowns. Don’t expect Bowe to be able to carry your receiving squad but when the second tier receivers start to go Bowe should be one of the first pass catchers of the board. Draft Bowe with the intentions of having him as a low end #2 with the potential to blossom into a #1.
The biggest X-factor from the Chiefs roster as it factors in to a fantasy draft is Larry Johnson. If Johnson has his head is screwed on straight this year he should be featured in the offense and could easily put up 1500 plus yards and go well over 10 touchdowns. The down side with Johnson is he could also bomb this season, this is the first time in Johnson’s career that he has been paired up with a combative coach who will call Johnson out and not be afraid to get within three inches of his face in a hurry.
If Johnson’s attitude is not right Haley will have no problem benching him and Johnson could be a non factor who barely tops 500 yards rushing. But Johnson won’t have high value going in to drafts so draft him as a # 3 back who has the potential to explode and put up some big numbers.