2014 Team Outlook: Kansas City Chiefs
QB Alex Smith, KC - Sleeper (undervalued)
Smith could be considered a sleeper given his current QB rankings. He had his best season ever in 2013 with over 3,300 passing yards and nearly 500 rushing yards. His 23 passing touchdowns and only seven interceptions last season were enough to make him the occasional matchup start or bye week replacement. Smith has Charles to lead the rushing attack and it looks like his receiving corps is taking shape. Bowe and Avery provide solid targets. As the 24th ranked QB, Smith should be easier to draft this season if you are looking for a QB who can perform at a near QB1 level. The offense will revolve around the run and short/intermediate passes. Since Smith won't be asked to truly carry the offense, his ceiling is limited as a QB2 for fantasy owners.
QB Chase Daniel, NO - Not Draft Worthy
Chase Daniel is back in KC for his second season after spending his first three years with the New Orleans Saints. Daniel made five appearances last season and had a completion percentage of just over 65-percent. He is nothing more than a backup QB for Alex Smith and is not draft worthy (even if Smith goes down with a serious injury).
RB Knile Davis, PIT - Fantasy Handcuff
Knile Davis is one of the few true fantasy handcuffs. Not only is Charles already an obvious example of a back who might need a handcuff after having missed almost all of the 2011 season due to injury, Davis would completely take the reins as the driver of the Chiefs' offensive attack. Davis looks to be fully healed from the fractured leg he sustained in last year's playoffs and must be ready to spell Charles in this 2014 campaign. Davis could easily get more work if KC chooses to rest Charles more often this season. Grab Davis in your draft with confidence if you can afford the roster spot for a handcuff and hope he gets more opportunities.
RB Jamaal Charles, --- - Stud (low risk)
FANTASY ROYALTY: Charles is the ultimate fantasy stud. His 1,287 rushing yards and 12 rushing TDs produced his best fantasy season to date. On the receiving side, Charles doubled his 2012 receiving targets and gained nearly 700 yards through the air, along with seven touchdowns. Charles should see continued chemistry with Alex Smith and continue to be the focal point of this offense's game-plan. He has been the Chiefs' MVP four of the last five seasons. Charles is a no-brainer in fantasy circles and should be off the board with either the first or second pick in redraft.
Editor's note: Expecting Charles to replicate his 2013 numbers isn't wise. During his three best seasons as the Chiefs' primary back (2009-10, 2012), he scored 22 total TDs. Last season, he scored 19 total TDs. A big year could still be on the way; however, a regression toward the mean is a more logical outlook. The wild card is head coach Andy Reid. His presence obviously did wonders for Charles' production. It just wouldn't make much sense to expect him to do it all over again after smashing most of his personal bests by a wide margin. Also, losses to the offensive line are never easy to work through and the Chiefs have had their share of offensive line issues this off-season losing three key starters to free agency.
RB Cyrus Gray, ATL - Not Draft Worthy
Cyrus Gray has 16 carries over his two years with the team. Being buried on the depth chart severely limits his already very low potential. Gray will not be relevant unless Charles and Davis go down. Even then, he has some competition for his roster spot. He has two years left on his initial rookie contract, so his bargain price-point may keep him around.
WR De'Anthony Thomas, KC - Dynasty Only
De'Anthony Thomas is listed at number three on the running back depth chart, but figures to be more of a slot receiver than anything else in Reid's offense. Almost used like Percy Harvin (where he can line up off the line), Thomas can go in motion and create matchup problems. Thomas has been compared to former Chiefs' WR Dexter McCluster with his returner skills and pass-catching abilities. We'll see how he figures into the mix his rookie season, but for now he is a dynasty only option.