NFL free agency started on March 18th, but technically does not end until the end of the season. However, after a firehose of news the first week, and another run the second week, things quiet down to a trickle. There are still big names out there, but it’s going to take some time to get them signed, sealed and delivered.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at where teams stand after the early rush of free agency and what it means for fantasy football. We’re going to take a look at the skill positions, breaking down what the starting lineup and reserves will look like to assess fantasy value heading into August drafts.
Today, we’re taking a look at the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City was quiet in free agency, as they feel good about their team after winning the Super Bowl and they are hurting in salary cap space. They held onto DT Chris Jones with the franchise tag, but did lose CB Kendall Fuller and DE Emmanuel Ogbah to free agency.
Starter: Patrick Mahomes
Backups: Chad Henne, Jordan Ta’amu, Kyle Shurmur
Patrick Mahomes couldn’t come close to his MVP numbers from 2018, but that was pretty much a given after throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns in his first season as a starter. His 2019 campaign started off strong but an ankle sprain and then a dislocated kneecap put a damper on his season. He was still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but he had set a pretty lofty precedent.
Thankfully for him, his team and their fans, he healed up and went on a strong stretch run that ended in a world championship win. I’d wager he’ll take that Super Bowl win and MVP award over his season long MVP award any time.
We’ve seen what Mahomes can accomplish and there are no red flags moving into the 2020 season. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be near the top in fantasy points at his position once again.
Starter: Damien Williams,
Backups: Darwin Thompson, Darrel Williams
The Chiefs played musical running backs last season and no single back could get on track for any stretch of time. The best stretch of games was easily Damien Williams though, as he turned it on in the playoffs and solidified his starting role in 2020. Unfortunately, that starting role is fluid under Andy Reid and he could bring in competition or second-year back Darwin Thompson could take a step forward.
Last year Williams was a hot-button topic after his strong 2018, but we learned that he wasn’t worth his average draft position. For Kansas City, we need to be wary of their running backs for fantasy.
Starters: Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman
Backups: Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle
Tyreek Hill remains the top wide receiver in Kansas City by a wide margin and there’s a chance Sammy Watkins is traded or released at some point. There’s also a chance that Watkins restructures his contract and stays, but nobody is taking away Hill’s crown in that receiving room anytime soon.
Mecole Hardman was a dynamic player with the ball last year, as his speed showed up well on the field. As a rookie, he didn’t see a big chunk of snaps, but he should be able to get a push this season and, if Watkins happens to move on, he would be in line for an even bigger upswing in work. His ability coupled with Andy Reid’s scheme could be deadly, much like Hill is.
Robinson and Pringle both have decent upside, but would really need Watkins to hit the bricks of they wanted to find a way to get more work. Robinson could still be ahead of Hardman to start 2020, but all signs point to Robinson taking a back seat to him this season.
Starter: Travis Kelce
Backups: Deon Yelder, Nick Keizer
Kelce is the best fantasy tight end in the game. He is the Chiefs No. 1 receiver when it comes to targets and consistency and that should remain the same in 2020. Kansas City might bring in a little more talent to back him up if they can, as they lost Blake Bell to free agency, but no matter who comes in, Kelce remains the go-to guy in the clutch and all the times in between.