Chiefs Fantasy News

Chiefs 'expect bigger numbers' from QB Alex Smith

Friday, August 28, 2015, 11:07pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Chiefs beat writer Adam Teicher: The Chiefs will expect bigger numbers from Alex Smith. He threw for under 3,300 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and those stats aren’t enough for a quarterback who started 15 games. Don’t look for Smith to lead the league in passing, or to even come close. But it’s a huge disappointment if his numbers aren’t better than in 2014.

Fantasy Impact:

Let's not forget that Smith was the #18 fantasy quarterback last season. He's a dirt-cheap quarterback option who could provide high-end QB2 numbers if he becomes a bit more aggressive. He’s dangerous as a runner, and given the addition of a bona fide receiver in Jeremy Maclin, the emergence of Travis Kelce, and the always-dangerous Jamaal Charles, Smith is an unexciting yet (usually) functional fantasy quarterback.

Chiefs still looking for a WR2

Friday, August 28, 2015, 12:15am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Rookie wide receiver Chris Conley played in his first NFL preseason game last weekend and will try to take the next step by making his first catch for the Kansas City Chiefs in Friday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium.

He should get enough chances. Conley led Chiefs wide receivers in snaps last week with 33, and offensive coordinator Doug Pederson promised he would get even more work this time.

“He was kind of getting his legs back last week,’’ Pederson said of Conley, who missed the early part of training camp with a sore knee and didn’t play in the Chiefs’ preseason opener two weeks ago. “We wanted to get him back out there and get a couple of snaps. His play will increase this week. He’s a guy that’s in the mix. We’ve got to have a lot of reps on tape to evaluate him properly and see where he fits into out scheme.’’

The Chiefs are still looking for the emergence of a wide receiving option to Jeremy Maclin. The other starter, Albert Wilson, has been mostly quiet in training camp and the preseason.

Fantasy Impact:

Conley likely fills the role but he's not likely to be much of a fantasy factor playing third fiddle to Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce.

Knile Davis getting lots of reps in camp

Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 6:00pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

The Chiefs have given RB Jamaal Charles a remarkably light load in training camp and preseason games in an effort to keep him healthy, and that has meant more work for Davis.

But if his backup can be productive enough, the Chiefs may continue to give Charles a lighter load once games start to count, keeping Charles fresher over the 16-game grind than he has been the past couple of years.

"You just want to see that steady No. 2 running back right now that can come in in a pinch or come in and give Jamaal some needed rest, and has that explosiveness," Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. "He's more of your downhill type of runner."

In other words, he also gives the Chiefs that quintessential "thunder and lightning" look, not unlike they had with Charles and Thomas Jones a handful of years ago.

Fantasy Impact:

HC Andy Reid has always rode his RB1 since his days with the Eagles so it will be interesting to see if they try to limit Charles' workload in games. One thing is for sure, Davis makes a great handcuff for Charles owners and has proven that he can carry the load. He's getting a lot of reps in camp so far.

Jeremy Maclin says the Chiefs will throw the ball downfield more this season

Thursday, August 20, 2015, 2:43pm

Yahoo - [Full Article]

Dispatches have been coming out of Chiefs camp in all forms of media, like Bigfoot sightings from the wilderness: I saw the Chiefs throwing the deep ball today. And lest anyone doubt them, HC Andy Reid took the opportunity to punctuate this expected staple of the offense, dialing up Alex Smith to Jeremy Maclin right out of the preseason gate. Much to the liking of his quarterback and wide receiver tandem.

"(Reid) came to us and said, 'This is what we're going to do,'" Smith said.

Spend a few days watching the Chiefs and you will see some evidence that Smith and Maclin have an exciting connection. A bond that is typically tough to come by for wide receivers reeled in via free agency, then tossed into a soup of new offensive terminology and concepts.

"It may not be bombs over Baghdad every play," Maclin said of the Chiefs' offense. "But is that something we can do? Do we want to do more of it? Yes, we do."

Fantasy Impact:

Maclin was the #9 wide receiver in both standard and PPR formats last season, though he faded down the stretch. Now he’ll have Smith as his quarterback and should dominate the targets along with up-and-coming TE Travis Kelce. Reid is very familiar with Maclin, so we would expect his transition to be a smooth one, though this is a system downgrade. Maclin averaged 4.6 catches for 61 yards and 0.50 TD (solid WR2-type numbers) from 2010-2012, while playing for Reid. One concern: Chiefs’ WR1 Dwayne Bowe only averaged 6.3 T/G in 2014, while Maclin averaged 9.0 T/G for the Eagles. Maclin is a much better player, so the Chiefs should target him more than they did Bowe, but it’s something to weigh when evaluating his fantasy value.

Monday, August 10, 2015, 5:33pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Saints announced their first depth chart:

QB: Drew Brees, Luke McCown, Ryan Griffin, Garrett Grayson

WR: Brandin Cooks, Brandon Coleman, Willie Snead, Lance Lewis, Kyle Prater

WR: Marques Colston, Nick Toon, Seantavius Jones, Joseph Morgan, Josh Morgan, R.J. Harris, Jalen Saunders

RB: Mark Ingram, Khiry Robinson, C.J. Spiller, Tim Hightower, Edwin Baker, Marcus Murphy

FB: Austin Johnson, Erik Lorig, Toben Opurum

TE: Benjamin Watson, Josh Hill, Orson Charles, Kevin Brock, Alex Smith

Fantasy Impact:

There weren't a lot of surprises according to the author, except that some of the team's younger WRs were listed ahead of veterans. But it's been pretty clear the team is going with a youth movement at the position, so Brandon Coleman, who could end up as the team's WR3, and Seantavius Jones were ahead of guys like Joseph Morgan and Josh Morgan.

Monday, August 10, 2015, 1:39pm - [Full Article]

Chiefs wideout Jeremy Maclin missed practice today.

Head coach Andy Reid says Maclin has a neck strain and had an X-ray taken.

Chiefs passing game still up and down in camp

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 10:21am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Deep balls haven’t filled the air at Missouri Western State University, but the Chiefs have tried to shoot the ball down the field with more regularity.

“It was a point of emphasis for us all offseason and we’ve worked hard on it,’’ quarterback Alex Smith said. “I feel good about where we’re at. It’s just a matter of kind of continuing that. It’s one of those things that you just always have to work at it, always have to stay on it.

“The moment you’re feeling good . . . It’s just one of those things you have to practice all the time, rep all the time. It’s hard though. Guys are tired. They don’t want to run them all the time after practice. But you have to keep doing it.’’

Fantasy Impact:

We all know by now none of Alex Smith TD passes went to a WR last year but the Chiefs are trying to correct that bringing in Jeremy Maclin to at least help push the ball down field more, not necessarily using deep passes, the story said. So far in camp, some days the deep ball has worked worked and others it hasn’t. Smith connected with Maclin a number of times in the first practice of camp last week. The next day many of Smith’s passes to Maclin fell incomplete and the two looked like they had never practiced together before. It's not shaping up to be a great passing offense you want to stack your fantasy team with.

Chiefs show faith in WR Albert Wilson

Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 8:43am

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Kansas City Chiefs had plenty of chances to acquire through free agency another veteran wide receiver in addition to Jeremy Maclin, but they declined.

That decision was a show of faith in their other starter, Albert Wilson. The Chiefs got a peek at Wilson’s ability over the last four games of last season when he forced his way into their lineup after joining them last year as an undrafted rookie.

They were encouraged by what they saw. Wilson caught 16 passes last year, 12 in those last four games.

More importantly, Wilson averaged a team-leading 16.3 yards per catch, an impressive statistic on a team that otherwise struggled to get long pass plays.

That end-of-season playing time helped the Chiefs believe Wilson belonged. But it also helped Wilson believe that too.

“It makes me more comfortable being on the field,” he said. “It makes me attack more. Me being out there and having some playing time last year, I know what to expect. I’m able to play faster.”

Fantasy Impact:

The Chiefs had a fifth-round grade on Wilson last year. The reason he went undrafted is that he’s far below optimum size for a wide receiver at 5-foot-9. Shorter receivers can be difficult for quarterbacks to find. They tend to get lost in a clutter of bigger bodies, something Wilson will have to overcome, the story concluded. Wilson is just 97th on our list, but the story said he will be a starter. Chief WRs didn't record a TD last season with all of those going to TEs and RBs, but the hope is that changes this year. We do have Chris Conley ranked higher than Wilson, coming in at 76th.

Jamaal Charles feeling healthy

Monday, August 3, 2015, 4:03pm

Fox Sports - [Full Article]

The Chiefs understand how important RB Jamaal Charles is to a successful season. Nobody else on the roster can change a game as quickly. So to ensure he's on the field late in the year, when Kansas City hopes to be in the playoff hunt, the teams' brain trust spent much of the offseason dreaming up ways to keep him healthy, not only in training camp but beyond.
'You want to make sure he is healthy late in the season,'' offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said, ''so if that means giving a guy like Knile Davis some reps - whatever you have to do, number one, to keep him healthy for 16 games, and you do that each week.''

Pederson said one of the biggest challenges is noticing when Charles is operating at less than 100 percent. The former Texas standout hates to take time off, even from practice.

''We have to be smart and work with our training staff and our medical staff to just stay in tune,'' he said. ''Communication is obviously the utmost importance when it comes to those kinds of situations. We have to be smart and give him that proper rest, you know? And he has to communicate with us and tell us when he may be a little banged-up or maybe can't go here or there.''

Fantasy Impact:

For now, Charles feels the best he has in a year, maybe even longer, the story said. While Andy Reid has always rode his top RB dating back to the Eagles, it's possible the team gives Davis more work. But we still forecast Charles as one of the top RBs this season. Davis is a nice handcuff option to anyone who owns Charles this year, though.

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 2:42pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin connected on several passes a day earlier but looked like strangers in this practice.

At least three times Smith threw one way while an open Maclin cut another, the result being an incomplete pass each time. Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said it was far too early to worry.

“It’s the second day,’’ he said. “It takes a couple of days. It goes down and builds back up. That’s kind of what happens during training camp. No concern there. We’re encouraged by what’s going on and we’ve got a lot of great days ahead of us.’’

Fantasy Impact:

It is still early but it's perhaps something to monitor when you factor in that Smith didn't throw a TD to a WR a year ago.

Eagles Beat: Josh Huff primed for a breakout season

Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 7:02pm - [Full Article]

With Jeremy Maclin now in Kansas City, many expected the Eagles to move Jordan Matthews to the outside, and line Josh Huff up in the slot. That is not, however, what the plan is. Huff has been lining up with the first team offense on the outside in Maclin's place, with Matthews remaining in the slot.

Huff could see some time inside, but the plan is for Huff to run many of the same routes Maclin did -- including going deep. Huff is the quickest receiver on the team, and the Eagles will be giving him a chance to stretch the field, much like DeSean Jackson did two seasons ago.

Ask Riley Cooper how much the Eagles like their receivers to be able to block, and he will respond by pointing out he played 980 snaps last season, second most on the team. That is a good sign for Huff, who is perhaps the second-best run-blocking receiver on the Eagles, behind only Cooper. Huff should be able to stay on the field, and keep rookie Nelson Agholor off of it, by being a strong run blocker.

When the team drafted Agholor, it was assumed that he would start. That could still end up being the case, and Agholor has the skills to be a star in the NFL. It will be Huff, however, that gets the first crack at the starting job, with Agholor on the bench.

Agholor could end up taking one of the starting spots, from Huff or Cooper, but he will have to do it in training camp, and won't be handed the job.

Fantasy Impact:

The prevailing assumption is that Agholor will start alongside Matthews, who could play outside or in the slot. If Matthews is in the slot, then there's an opening for Huff or Cooper on the other side. Then there's the matter of Zach Ertz, who is rumored to be in line for more snaps as he pushes Brent Celek for the starting job. Ertz could also play more in two-TE sets, but that will send two of the aforementioned receivers to the bench. Training camp will be key for all the Eagles' receivers -- the only player seemingly assured of a big role is Matthews.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 2:53pm

Mike Teicher, Twitter - [Full Article]

Andy Reid said Chiefs WR Chris Conley has knee strain.

Fantasy Impact:

The rookie is competing with Albert Wilson for snaps opposite Jeremy Maclin. This doesn't help his cause.

Sunday, July 26, 2015, 4:32pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Browns beat writer Pat McManamon answered a question about who will have a better season, WR Brian Hartline or WR Dwayne Bowe.

MManamon: I’m going with Brian Hartline. Dwayne Bowe, to me, has never consistently lived up to the moniker of the No. 1 receiver. He’s had good seasons, but not great ones year after year. He did not have a single touchdown last season and he was targeted 93 times, just less than six per game, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

After catching 72 and 81 passes in 2010 and ’11, Bowe has caught 59, 57 and 60 the last three seasons. Whether it’s a function of the Kansas City offense or whether it’s a function of Bowe being in a decline will play out. Andy Reid is a pretty good offensive coach and he preferred Jeremy Maclin.

Hartline’s receptions in Miami dropped in 2014 as well, from 74 and 76 in 2012 and ’13 to 47 in ’14. But unlike Bowe, Hartline’s targets dropped precipitously.

In 2013 and 2012, he was targeted 130 and 125 times. Last season he was thrown to 62 times.

Fantasy Impact:

McManamon has some questions about where Bowe is at this stage of his career, while Hartline is just a year removed from a career season. The author added that Hartline's hard-nosed, consistent play will certainly help the Browns in terms of what they can expect. Our rankings disagree with this, though, and we project Bowe to have a much better season.

Eagles TE Zach Ertz took on a 'larger role' down the stretch

Friday, July 24, 2015, 10:20pm

Eagles - [Full Article]

As the season progressed, it was clear that Zach Ertz was taking on a larger role in the Eagles' offense. Over the final four-game stretch of the season, Ertz edged out Brent Celek in total offensive snaps (168 to 167), and his historic 15-catch performance (an Eagles record) against Washington in Week 16 was the shining example of what Ertz might be able to accomplish in his NFL career.

Fantasy Impact:

Ertz was the #13 TE in both standard and PPR formats despite only playing half of the Eagles’ snaps in his second year. Most (73%) of his snaps came on passing downs, so if his playing time is going to increase, a majority of the additional snaps are likely to come in run formations. Still, there’s upside with Ertz if he begins to see starter’s snaps. The Eagles lost their leading receiver -- first DeSean Jackson and then Jeremy Maclin -- in back-to-back seasons, so there will be opportunity from a targets standpoint.

Raiders Beat: Team believes Latavius Murray 'is ready to become a standout'

Friday, July 24, 2015, 5:15pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Raiders beat writer Bill William projects Latavius Murray to start, adding, "The Raiders think Murray is ready to become a standout. He has 82 career carries and has averaged 5.2 yards per carry."

Fantasy Impact:

Murray rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2, 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets. Per beat writer Jerry McDonald, Murray will be “given every chance” to win the starting job. According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, a Raiders source said that Murray is “freak” and has a chance to have “a huge year” in 2015.

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