KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes finished the 2021 season as the Q4 overall and in points per game. However, he just lost one of the top receivers in the league in Tyreek Hill after he was traded to the Miami Dolphins. In the 6 games Mahomes has played either without Hill or Hill leaving early (less than 20% snap share), Mahomes averaged an incredible 23.1 points per game. If you compared that to the 2021 quarterback finishes, Mahomes would have finished as the QB3 in points per game. Now, obviously Hill will be missed, but the Chiefs did a fine job with trying to replace him. They added their primary slot receiver in JuJu Smith-Schuster, speed threat Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and recent 2022 draft pick Skyy Moore. Regardless if these players were added, Mahomes would have been fine. He still has his go-to option in Travis Kelce. Mahomes should still finish as a top-5 quarterback in 2022.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (CEH) hasn’t had the start to his career everyone expected. Largely projected as a first round pick his rookie year, CEH disappointed as he finished as RB22 overall and in points per game. 2021 did not fare any better as he was hampered with injuries and only averaged 11.7 ppg, finishing as the RB42 overall in 10 games played. CEH has yet to take on a workhorse role and that likely won’t happen in 2022 with the addition of Ronald Jones. CEH averaged 13.8 touches per game last year, but that should increase slightly with Hill gone and Jones more of an early down back than a pass-catching back. In 2020 CEH averaged around 16.7 touches per game and that’s more likely what we’ll see. Right now expectations for him are very low, so we’re likely drafting him at his floor. He’ll likely be drafted as your RB3, but in a Mahomes-led offense, the weekly ceiling is always high. There’s no big risk in taking CEH, and going into his 3rd year, it could be his best season yet.
Ronald Jones: Ronald Jones moves from backup RB in one high-powered offense to backup RB in another high-powered offense. The only difference is he has a real opportunity to take over as the RB1 for the Chiefs. Before Fournette took over in 2020 and Jones was getting consistent snap share over 40%, he averaged 14.5 ppg on 18.3 touches per game. There’s absolutely no risk in taking him as he can be grabbed as a stash bench player. When a player has a prime opportunity to take over a starting role without needing an injury, you have to jump on drafting that player. RoJo is in the perfect position to be a potential league winner.
JuJu Smith-Schuster: It’s been 4 years since JuJu put up WR1 numbers as the No.2 option for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2020 though, he did finish as the WR16 overall for an aging Ben Roethlisberger-lead offense. 2021 was supposed to be more or less similar stats for JuJu, but then he got hurt 5 games into the season. Through his 4 healthy weeks, JuJu was the WR58 overall averaging 8.6 ppg. It couldn’t have been Big Ben because Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool averaged 19.4 and 12.8 ppg during that same span. It’s hard to say if JuJu is experiencing a decline due to only being 25 years old. It could have been a fluke given his top-20 finish the year prior. Smith-Schuster thrives best as the No.2 weapon in an offense, and that’s exactly what he’ll be with Kelce as the top option for the Chiefs.
Skyy Moore: Skyy Moore could end up being a decent replacement for Tyreek Hill. Both have similar builds, but athletically, Hill beats out Moore in metrics like speed, burst and agility. They played similar roles in their respective offenses last year: around 65% of snap share outside while playing about 35% in the slot. Moore actually was recruited as a CB and switched over to WR in college. For a player who’s only played the position for 3 years and to have a 91st percentile dominator rating, the potential for Moore is incredibly high. If JuJu can’t return to his 2018 or even 2020 form, it could be Moore’s No.2 option to lose. He has one of the highest ceilings for 2022 and can be drafted without too much risk.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: At first glance, MVS didn’t have all that great of a season, but that could be attributed to Rodgers’ tunnel vision for Davante Adams. In his 11 games played, he only had 5 games with 5 or more targets. But he averaged 12.4 ppg in those games, so there’s some potential with him since he’s yet to have a season above a 15% target share. In Kansas City, there’s no true threat to be the No.2 option behind Kelce. If MVS can take on that role, he’s an easy league winner since he’s practically free at the end of drafts or can be grabbed off waivers.
Justyn Ross: Ross was expected to be an early round pick and looked like a future star. In his freshman year, he was the number one option in spite of guys like Tee Higgins, Hunter Renfrow and Amari Rodgers also on the team. Unfortunately, a spinal fusion surgery in 2020 and a foot injury in 2021 caused him to end up going undrafted. At this point though, he’s fully healthy and his talent has been on display in OTAs. Ross has the talent to be an alpha wide receiver and is in an offense to have a very productive career. As long as he can stay healthy, he can reach those goals.
Travis Kelce: Kelce has been a top tight end since becoming the Chiefs’ starter in 2014. Kelce is like a fine wine as in he gets better with age. From 2016 to 2020, Kelce finished as the top overall tight end in fantasy. In 2021 he finished as the 2nd overall tight end averaging 16.4 ppg, but that was largely as a result of Andrews averaging 22.9 ppg in 6 games without Lamar vs. 14.9 ppg in 11 games with Lamar. Kelce got a major boost with Hill getting traded to the Dolphins. He’s now the undisputed number one option in one of the most prolific offenses in the league. In the games Kelce didn’t have Hill, he averaged more targets, receptions and points. Don’t expect Kelce to be slowing down any time soon. He’s the top tight end for 2022.