Fantasy

2022 Fantasy Football: Kansas City Chiefs Top 5 Players

The Chiefs had a very interesting offseason after trading six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks.

This was a very surprising move, as Hill has been an explosive part of this dynamic offense. However, Hill needed a large contract and is now the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. The Chiefs are now moving onto the second phase of Patrick Mahomes’ career, and they simply could not afford a contract of this size. There will certainly be new fantasy football producers on the Chiefs, with the ability to breakout this season.

(Projections assume that the players will play all 17 games, unless other information is available)

Quarterback

Player Pass Att Pass Cmp Passing Yds Passing TD INTs Rush Att Rush Yds Rushing TDs
Patrick Mahomes 630 440 4738 33 9 67 333 2

Patrick Mahomes (Josh’s Fantasy Football QB5)

Since becoming the Chiefs’ official starter in 2018, Patrick Mahomes has the most passing yards and the most passing touchdowns in the NFL. Mahomes has proven that he is an elite NFL QB. Losing Tyreek Hill will be a detriment to the team, but this Andy Reid offense can still be very successful. In 2019, Hill played 19% of snaps in week 1 and then injured his chest. Hill ended up missing Weeks 1-5.

  • During this time frame Mahomes averaged:

o   366.2 passing yards and 2.2 passing touchdowns per game

  • During the 2021 season Mahomes averaged:

o   284.6 passing yards and 2.17 passing touchdowns per game (while having Hill healthy for 17 games).

  • During his career Mahomes has averaged:

o   301.4 passing yards and 2.39 passing touchdowns per game

This is a small sample size, but it does offer some optimism that Mahomes’ can be an elite producer this season, even without Hill. The Chiefs threw the second most pass attempts last year and the third most attempts in 2020. Mahomes can easily be a top-5 fantasy QB at the end of the season. 

Running Back

Player Rushing Att Rush Yards Rushing TDs Targets Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving TDs
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 195 839 6 60 42 337 2

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Josh’s Fantasy Football RB23) 

Having been a first-round pick in 2020, the expectations for Clyde Edwards-Helaire were sky high. CEH now enters his third season with the Chiefs after two injury-riddled seasons have prevented him from demonstrating his true potential. Prior to the 2021 season, CEH had gallbladder surgery and was reportedly down to 160 pounds. He wasn’t able to get into football shape, which could partially explain his down season in 2021. This year is CEH’s first full offseason program now that he is finally healthy.

I do expect Edwards-Helaire to have a bounce-back season. There are concerns, given that the Chiefs signed Ronald Jones and drafted Isiah Pacheco in the seventh round of the NFL Draft, but this is expected for a team looking for additional offensive weapons. Jones may take away carries, but he has never been a good pass catcher. Pacheco does have some pass-catching upside, but seventh round rookies rarely make an impact. Darrell Williams is no longer on the team and had the fifth-most receiving yards at the RB position last season. Clyde is currently the most balanced running back on the roster.  I expect CEH to be the leading ball carrier for the team and set career highs in the receiving game. 

Wide Receiver

Player Targets Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving TDs
JuJu Smith-Schuster 120 83 831 6
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 97 59 799 5

JuJu Smith-Schuster (Josh’s Fantasy Football WR33)

JuJu Smith-Schuster is an NFL veteran but is surprisingly only 25 years old. He has been on the Pittsburgh Steelers the previous five seasons and signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs. The team has brought in other receivers like Marquez Valdes-Scantling and rookie Skyy Moore, but I believe Smith-Schuster will be the best fantasy WR on the team. Travis Kelce will be the top overall target, but this is a high-powered offense that can support multiple fantasy options.

JuJu Smith-Schuster typically plays out of the slot position, where Tyreek Hill had a lot of his production as well.  JuJu has been a top-20 PPR fantasy WR in three of the last five seasons and now finds himself playing with an upgraded QB. My projections currently have him at WR33, however, there is top-10 upside if he can be THE dominant wide receiver for the Chiefs.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Josh’s Fantasy Football WR50)

Marquez Valdes-Scantling spent the first 4 seasons of his career on the Packers and will now be on the Chiefs after signing a three-year contract. MVS has had some big games playing with Aaron Rodgers, but he has never finished in the top-50 fantasy WRs. However, MVS does have prototypical size (6-foot-4) and speed (4.37 40 yard dash). He could certainly have a breakout season now that he is not overshadowed by Davante Adams.

I do expect a few big games from MVS, but I also believe he will be inconsistent. He absolutely has enormous upside, much like Smith-Schuster, because we do not know who will garner the most targets. I would be willing to take a shot on Valdes-Scantling late in drafts and drop him to the waiver wire if he does not produce within the first couple of weeks.

Tight End

Player Targets Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving TDs
Travis Kelce 151 101 1211 11

Travis Kelce (Josh’s Fantasy Football TE1)

Travis Kelce heads into his ninth NFL season and, in my opinion, is the most dominant fantasy football tight end of all time. From 2016 to 2020, Kelce was the No. 1 TE in fantasy. However, another tight end finally outscored him last season. Mark Andrews was the TE1 in 2022 and Kelce finished as the TE2. This might look like a downward trend to some people, but I am not concerned at all. In fact, he had more PPR fantasy points per game last year than he did in 2019, 2017, and 2016.

Yes, Kelce is getting a bit older, but he is still Mahomes’ most reliable target and an extremely talented receiver. It appears that the Chiefs will need him more than ever now that Hill is gone.  So many targets are available in this offense, and I believe we will see Kelce regain his TE1 status by the end of the year.

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