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Fantasy Football Team Previews: Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are still a lethal fantasy football powerhouse.
Patrick Mahomes is the top quarterback in Rally Towel’s top-300 rankings. (Twitter // @PFF)

2019 summary

Record: 12-4 (1st in AFC West)

2019 Offensive Points-Per-Game: 29.9 (2nd)

2019 Total Defense-adjusted Value Over Average: 30.2% (3rd)

The reigning Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs were spectacular in 2020. Although Mahomes’ numbers weren’t as gaudy as the year prior, he still finished as QB8 in fantasy football despite missing two games due to injury. Travis Kelce was once again the class of the tight end position in the NFL, leading all players at the position in fantasy points. Tyreek Hill missed four games, but he averaged the ninth most points per-game at WR. Veteran receiver Sammy Watkins and rookie Mecole Hardman battled it out for No. 2 on the depth chart, and while Watkins finished with more fantasy points, Hardman was the more efficient player, finishing with 13.1 yards-per-target to Watkins’ career-low total of 7.5. Damien Williams paced the team with 111 carries for 495 rushing yards over 11 games played.

Major additions

  • RB, DeAndre Washington
  • G, Kelechi Osemele
  • RB, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  • LB, Willie Gay Jr.
  • CB, L’Jarius Sneed

Major subtractions

  • RB, Damien Williams
  • RB, Lesean McCoy
  • T, Lucas Niang
  • G, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

4 major storylines for 2020

Can Clyde Edwards-Helaire be an RB1 as a rookie?

Edwards-Helaire wasn’t my top-rated running back entering the NFL Draft, he was No. 4 in my rankings. The Chiefs felt differently, however, and made CEH the first RB off the board. The landing spot alone is enough to make Edwards-Helaire the highest rated rookie RB in my 2020 rankings. With the news that Williams has opted out, CEH should see plenty of touches in a high-powered Kansas City offense. Andy Reid has already claimed that Edwards-Helaire’s film is better than Brian Westbrook, a quote that should have fantasy owners salivating.

Who is the No. 2 WR: Sammy Watkins or Mecole Hardman?

In 2019, Watkins out-snapped Hardman on average 53.3 to 30 per-game – that’s a pretty wide discrepancy. As mentioned earlier, however, Hardman was much more efficient with his usage. I think you can see similar results in 2020. It’s important to remember that Watkins is still the fifth-highest paid member of the Chiefs. The team is heavily invested in Watkins which means he’s likely to stay involved with the offense. Hardman, only 22-years-old and still on his rookie deal, may see a smaller role because of it.

My guess is Watkins will finish as the Chiefs’ WR2, but Hardman is an extremely intriguing asset to have in dynasty leagues.

Is Patrick Mahomes worth selecting over Lamar Jackson?

Mahomes’ numbers in 2019 weren’t as impressive as they were in 2018, and the QB missed two games due to injury. Jackson was far more impressive than any other player at the position, topping 1,200 rushing yards while scoring 43 combined touchdowns.

Jackson is accompanied by far more rushing upside, which makes his ceiling much higher than Mahomes’. Mahomes’ arm talent is far greater than Jackson’s though, which makes him the safer selection. Considering both have top-20 ADPs in the NFFC, I’d rather side with the safer player that early in the draft, although I likely won’t be selecting either in my leagues.

Is Travis Kelce still the top TE in fantasy football?

For the fourth-straight season, Kelce led all TEs in fantasy points in PPR leagues. It wasn’t a career-year for Kelce in 2019, he didn’t set a new watermark in any statistical category, but he showed up every single week. In each week from Week 1 to Week 16, Kelce finished with 9.8 fantasy points or more in PPR. He led the tight end position in targets and receptions, while adding 5 receiving touchdowns.

Oh, and he gets to play with Mahomes. No need to overthink things if you’re looking to take TE early, Kelce is the clear No. 1.

Sleeper and Bust:

Sleeper: Sammy Watkins

Watkins is being selected behind both Hill and Hardman in the NFFC, but I think he should certainly be viewed as the team’s No. 2. Players making $15 million hardly get buried in the depth chart, and I think Watkins, at least for 2020, will remain the team’s second receiving option.

Bust: Mecole Hardman

As I mentioned earlier, Hardman is a great young talent in the NFL who has a bright future ahead of him. The issue is the Chiefs messed up by giving Watkins the bag. Watkins will remain a fixture in this offense which means Hardman is potentially the fifth option in the passing game. I don’t see how he can return value on his 116.33 NFFC ADP.

Chiefs Players in Rally Towel’s Top-300 2.0 Fantasy Football Rankings

4. RB, Clyde Edwards-Helaire

9. WR, Tyreek Hill

27. QB, Patrick Mahomes

30. TE, Travis Kelce

104. WR, Sammy Watkins

106. WR, Mecole Hardman

172. K, Harrison Butker

205. DST, Chiefs

246. RB, DeAndre Washington

287. WR, Demarcus Robinson

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