Kansas City Chiefs fans are pumped about the 2013 NFL season and they should be, if only for a fresh start and a look to new beginnings.
Let’s face it; no other team hit rock bottom quite like the Chiefs did in 2012. The Chiefs earned the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by sporting a 2-14 record.
Not only did the Chiefs make it to the bottom with the worst stats in the league, it was all topped off by a tragedy.
On December 1, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, drove to Arrowhead stadium where he shot and killed himself in front of GM Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel, despite their efforts to stop him.
This in itself was a tragedy and a very large part of a horrific 2012 season for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs have since fired coach Crennel and hired former Eagles head coach, Andy Reid. That in itself was a shot in the arm to Chiefs fans that are very hopeful for an improved season in 2013.
Fantasy Football had little to gain from the Chiefs last year and this year should see a change in the right direction as far as Fantasy Football is concerned. Let’s take a look at the key positions and what the Chiefs may have to offer in 2013.
QUARTERBACK: Last year the Chiefs had serious quarterback issues including fan frustration that was so out of hand, they cheered when Matt Cassel was injured. Brady Quinn couldn’t offer the salvation that fans hoped for. This year, the Chiefs went out and got former 49er Alex Smith who spent seven years in San Francisco and became extremely efficient under the watchful eye and offense of Jim Harbaugh.
Once Colin Kaepernick became the starter for the 49ers, Alex Smith became a hot commodity in the trade market; the Chiefs needed a veteran QB to get things going and they nabbed Smith. Mixed reviews were instantaneous in regards to Smith and what he can do for the Chiefs.
I feel the Chiefs did what they had to and got a good QB that can get things done. Nothing flashy, but very efficient and this type of QB does well on a team coached by Andy Reid. The right coach and the right QB are a great start for this Chiefs' offense.
Smith is not a good choice to grab as a starter for your Fantasy Football squad, he never has been, but he would be a nice No. 2 guy to grab late in the draft; Smith as a starter will fare well for the Chiefs this year, but not in the world of Fantasy Football.
RUNNING BACK: Jamaal Charles is in his 6th year with the Chiefs and personally, I feel this could be a very solid year for Charles. Charles had a nice season last year rushing for 1,509 yards, 5 TD’, but, only caught 35 balls out of the backfield.
It is very obvious that the coaching staff was not utilizing Charles in the right way. Coach Andy Reid is great for Jamaal Charles and Charles himself was even quoted in an interview with the Kansas City Star recently, stating “this offense might be the best thing that has ever happened to m,e” and on NFL Network he stated that the Chiefs' offense is “about to be explosive."
Reid’s offense will keep the opponents guessing with different alignments. Charles will be set up as a traditional back, in a pistol formation and even could line up as a wide receiver. Charles should be a top 5 running back at any fantasy football draft and I see the possibility of a top 3 season for Charles.
I project that Charles will get 1,800 yards on the ground, 500 yards out of the backfield as a receiver and score a dozen or more TDs. Charles is a no-brainer first round selection.
WIDE RECEIVERS: Dwayne Bowe has long been the only Chiefs' wide receiver to grab for your fantasy football team. Bowe has responded well with all the QB changes he has faced in Kansas City and this year should be no different.
I don’t see much of an increase on what Bowe normally does as Alex Smith is not that kind of QB who can change a career for a WR, but, an efficient offense could bring many surprises. Bowe’s name has always been bigger than the numbers he puts up, but he is and will remain the go to guy in KC. He has gone over 1,000 yards three times in his six years thus far with the Chiefs and this should be another 1,000-yard year for Bowe. I project 1,000 yards and 6 TDs.
The 2nd wide receiver position has been like a revolving door but this year could be different. The Chiefs picked up Donnie Avery from the Colts and although he hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season, he does show consistent improvement year after year. Avery has been in the league since 2008 with the Rams, Titans and Colts.
Maybe, just maybe, Kansas City could become Avery’s new home for a long time to come. I feel Avery has the talent and now the experience to make a difference this year. Could be a very late round sleeper pick to think about.
TIGHT ENDS: This is a very questionable position in Kansas City this year. Ever since Tony Gonzalez left the Chiefs, no tight end can finish a season for Kansas City. Tony Moeaki is the closest they have come to a real consistent starter at tight end but he can’t stay healthy.
The Chiefs did pick up veteran Anthony Fasano from the Miami Dolphins who has been very consistent and is actually coming off his best season yet with 41 receptions and 5 touchdowns for the Dolphins. Andy Reid could really make some magic with Fasano and Moeaki if he stays healthy. There is serious potential here but Fasano is the only TE from the Chiefs that should be taken on draft day, and that should be in the very late rounds as a backup.
As you can see, the Chiefs have nowhere to go but up, but, still don’t have a whole lot to offer fantasy football owners.
Jamaal Charles is an extreme exception here. Training camp is just opening so there could be some players who emerge, but for now, there just isn’t much there.