2013 Team Outlook: Kansas City Chiefs
WR Donnie Avery, KC - Deep-league Only
Last season was Avery's most productive as a pro, but don't count on a repeat performance. The sixth-year receiver out of Houston posted career-high numbers in receptions (60) and yards (781 yards) with three touchdowns. These numbers came while playing in the Colts downfield passing attack and with Andrew Luck, a better QB than fellow No. 1 pick and Chiefs starter Alex Smith. While there's a chance Avery could work his way into a starting role, it's not likely. Even if he sees significant playing time, that just means more opportunities for him to drop passes, a frequent issue during his career. Consider Avery a dark horse fantasy option but at this point, the risk far outweighs the reward.
WR Jon Baldwin, SF - Bust (overvalued)
Before his rookie and second season, we looked at Baldwin and thought that maybe this is when it all comes together. Alas, we're still only imagining as the former first round pick has 41 receptions and two scores in 26 games. Baldwin has tremendous size (6-foot-4) and natural ability, but he hasn't been able to put that talent to use in the NFL. Having a high-percentage passer like Alex Smith should help with better throws, but that probably won't be enough. For those thinking this could be Baldwin's year, we should not that taking any NFL starting WR in the final round or two is fine and he might beat out Donnie Avery for the starting job opposite Dwayne Bowe. However, he shouldn't beat out more worthy fantasy options for a spot on your roster.
Update: Jon Baldwin was traded to the 49ers in a straight up trade with the Chiefs for second year wide receiver AJ Jenkins. Trash for trash? Maybe. Baldwin could slot right into the WR4 spot in the Niners offense, or he could get cut before the season. Let's see how he adjusts.Injury Status: Out -
WR Dexter McCluster, TEN - Deep-league Only
Is he a receiver, a running back or maybe a little of both? The problem with McCluster is nobody knows where he is going to line up. Actually, that should be a problem for defenses, but through three seasons, it hasn't. In that stretch, the 5-foot-9 McCluster had 144 carries and 119 receptions with a total of four touchdowns. Expect Andy Reid to frequently use the hybrid threat in the slot...and outside...and lined up, well, everything, but mostly inside where Kansas City can take advantage of mismatches. Until the Chiefs do exactly that with McCluster, don't plan to draft the speedster until the final rounds at best in 12-plus team leagues.
WR Jamar Newsome, --- - Not Draft Worthy
There isn't much in the way of interesting pieces on the Chiefs receiver depth chart once we get past the top four targets, led by Dwayne Bowe. Newsome, who had only five receptions for 73 yards as a rookie, is among the "other" options, along with Junior Hemingway, Terrance Copper and Devon Wylie. Unless something happens to a couple of guys ahead of him, there is no need to even monitor these players.
TE Anthony Fasano, KC - Deep-league Only
Update (8/21): It looks like Alex Smith and Fasano have developed a nice bit of chemistry in the preseason. After Bowe, there is no clear cut second receiver on the team; if the preseason is any indication of what we'll see this season then Fasano appears to be taking over that role. The drawback here is that fellow TE Travis Kelce has also performed well. At this point, it looks like a two man race with Fasano holding the slight edge.
The Chiefs signed Fasano to a four-contract, indicating he's the starter, though incumbent and oft-injured Tony Moeaki remains on the roster. Realistically, the ex-Dolphin is a placeholder until rookie Travis Kelce takes the job. Whether that happens in 2013 is uncertain and Fasano has been a decent bye week option, scoring 14 touchdowns over the past three seasons. He has good hands, knows his way around the red zone and is a quality blocker and the Chiefs. If indeed he is the starter, Fasano could be an in-the-pinch fill in owners can grab off waivers.
Update 9/1: TE Tony Moeaki has been released, which means bigger things for both Anthony Fasano and rookie Travis Kelce. Still hard to count on either as a viable TE2, but the upside is there in deeper leagues.
TE Travis Kelce, KC - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Update (10/20): Kelce was placed on season ending IR due to a right knee injury.
Profile: Will the Chiefs bring Kelce along slowly or throw him immediately into the fray. This is the question fantasy owners would like answered sooner than later, especially with so much uncertainty at the tight end position this season. Kansas City's long-term answer at TE caught eight touchdowns last season for the Cincinnati Bearcats, which explains in part why he's considered a sleeper option. Kansas City also has vets Anthony Fasano and Tony Moeaki on the roster. Daring and deep league owners can certainly take a shot on Kelce as a backup if he ends up Kansas City's starter, but realistically he's a wait-and-see waiver option.
Update 9/1: TE Tony Moeaki has been released, which means bigger things for both Anthony Fasano and rookie Travis Kelce. Still hard to count on either as a viable TE2, but the upside is there in deeper leagues.Injury Status: Injured Reserve