Kansas City Chiefs 2013 Team Preview
August 9, 2013 | Chet
Welcome to our 2013 Chiefs Team Preview. To get a better understanding of what each NFL team might be up to this season we are asking local team bloggers to answer a few questions for us. We talked to Jason Madson who covers the Chiefs, NFL Draft and College Football at KCChiefsDraft.com to get the inside scoop. Follow him at @Jason_Madson and check out his work.
1. Alex Smith put up some decent numbers toward the end of his stint with the 49ers, but wasn’t asked to put the team on his back too often. How much will the success of Smith dictate the success of the Chiefs and in turn our beloved fantasy players?
This was a concern of mine when the trade for Alex Smith was finalized. He hasn’t been a big numbers guy in the past, but the Chiefs haven’t really had a QB that put up big numbers since Trent Green in 2002-2005. The problem with Chiefs QBs the past few years has been ball security. This leads to Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles and the other Chiefs targets losing out on opportunities.
With Smith taking the reigns, the Chiefs should cut their turnover numbers in half. This obviously leads to more targets for Bowe, Baldwin, McCluster, the Tight Ends and Charles out of the backfield.
Having been to nearly every Chiefs Training Camp practice, Smith seems to be a huge part of this offense. We are seeing mostly short to intermediate throws and a ton of screen passes. This team is definitely on Smith’s shoulders, but playing to his strengths has proven to be a key to success in the past couple years.
2. Andy Reid hasn’t had the best receivers in the league except when Terrell Owens’ was doing sit ups in his driveway (not Reid’s, Owens’!). We all know Reid enjoys his team throwing the ball, but do you see Dwayne Bowe returning to form after his injury in this new offense?
Short answer, YES.
Bowe is lining up all over the field at camp practices. The slot, out wide even in the backfield. Reid knows that he has a special weapon in Dwayne and plans to get the ball in his hands as much as possible. It would help if the other receivers step up and the running game continues to succeed, but Bowe should get his, either way.
Some worried that Bowe picked up his new contract and would take a step back after getting paid. Not the case at all. He showed up to camp in great shape, except for a “virus” on the first day of camp. He is working hard everyday, making plays vs Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith. Alex Smith is a step up from the QBs throwing passes to Bowe last year, too. D-Bowe could have one of his best seasons yet.
3. Last season Jamaal Charles rushed for over 1500 yards, but the Chiefs’ poor scoring offense and some odd usage didn’t help his fantasy numbers. With Reid it seems like at the very least Charles will see an uptick in receiving targets. I have high hopes for him this season. Should I temper my expectations or keep hyping him?
-Keep hyping him.
Jamaal looks great with his cuts and speed in camp. Most say it is the 2nd year after an ACL surgery that the player is back to 100%, take that how you will. The receiving targets should take a big leap up, if play calling at practice means anything. He is lining up in the backfield, obviously, but at times, Jamaal will split out wide. We have seen him running go routes and fades from this position at practice.
My only concern with Jamaal at this point would be his hands. He has been dropping multiple passes at practice on a daily basis. He’s also had a few fumbles, too. This may be nothing, but it’s worth paying attention to in the preseason games.
4. There are plenty of capable tight ends on this team with Fasano, Kelce and Moeaki. Do you see any one tight end stepping up to be fantasy relevant?
The way the tight ends have been used in practice, no.
We will see Fasano making a catch at one point, then Kelce makes a couple incredible grabs, followed by Moeaki hitting the seam for a decent gain. If these players could be combined into one, the numbers would be great. But, spreading the ball around will be a big part of this team’s success.
Anthony Fasano is receiving the majority of the Redzone targets, so he could grab a few touchdowns more than the other options.
5. The two big fantasy football names on this offense are of course Bowe and Charles. What third player do you think has the most upside if he were to get a good chance this season?
He is finally being used correctly. Reid and OC Doug Pederson are concentrating on getting the shifty receiver the ball in open space. Dex has been lining up all over the field and getting the ball in many different areas. The other day at practice, the Chiefs ran the option and he took the pitch from Alex Smith. Dex will get some carries out of the backfield, as well.
Another deep sleeper is Jon Baldwin. He is having a great camp and might be starting to figure out how to use his big body.