2013 Team Outlook: Kansas City Chiefs
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC - Solid/Safe Pick
Update (10/20): The Chiefs continue to win and that's all that matters, right? Well for fantasy owners, winning is not always the greatest thing. Bowe's numbers have slumped this season becuase the Chiefs are winning. At one time Bowe was a must start, but now he is nothing more than a flex or bye week fill-in.
Profile: If you're going to be a top tier receiver in the NFL, you need a quality quarterback throwing you the ball. Thus far in Bowe's career he has had less than stellar passers throwing him the ball. Alex Smith should help some, but your mileage may vary on the definition of "some." One might argue that Smith's presence means Bowe could finish among the top-10 wide receivers. Perhaps, but dropping outside of the top-24 is also a possibility. At least with Smith and Andy Reid's play calling presence, Bowe should remain useful more often than not. After scoring 15 touchdowns in 2010, the 6-foot-2 target caught eight over the last two seasons. Again, more help should lead to more production. Ideally, his newly minted contract does as well. After the top 15-18 wide outs are gone, start looking in Bowe's direction, especially as your team's second or third receiver.
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, FA - 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.
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 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.
TE Tony Moeaki, SEA - Not Draft Worthy
Update (8/26): In Saturday night's win over the Steelers, Moeaki suffered a broken shoulder. I know it is hard to believe Tony will miss time due to an injury, but it's happening again. This leaves Fassano and rookie Travis Kelce (who is suffering from a knee injury) as the only viable TE options in KC.
Any initial hope that Moeaki would be a nice replacement for Tony Gonzalez faded once knee injuries became the norm. The Chiefs were obviously concerned enough to sign Anthony Fasano and draft Travis Kelce, moves that put Moeaki's role and roster spot in jeopardy. There is no reason to consider the 26-year-old for fantasy unless a dramatic turnaround occurs.
Update: 9/1 Tony Moeaki has been released from the Chiefs.