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Projecting Chiefs skill position depth chart and fantasy impact

Kansas City has a much different looking group of receivers this season.

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Despite a 1-2 start to the season that had some wondering about their outlook, the Kansas City Chiefs finished 2021 pretty close to where you would have expected, with a 12-5 record and the second seed in the AFC. They slipped by the Bills in a fantastic game decided by a controversial overtime to make it to the AFC Championship for the fourth season in a row, only to be stopped there by the Cincinnati Bengals buzzsaw.

The Chiefs will again be one of the preseason favorite in the AFC, but they’ll head into the season looking a little different. They traded away wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be asked to lift up a much different looking group of wide receivers this season to keep the Chiefs offense humming.

Quarterback

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Chad Henne

Running back

  1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  2. Ronald Jones
  3. Derrick Gore
  4. Brenden Knox

Wide receiver

  1. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  2. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
  3. Skyy Moore
  4. Mecole Hardman

Tight end

  1. Travis Kelce
  2. Blake Bell
  3. Noah Gray

Biggest offseason changes

Retaining left tackle Orlando Brown was the Chiefs’ top offseason priority, which they did. That didn’t leave much salary room to work with for re-signing Hill, prompting the trade. The receiver group this season looks a lot different and deeper. They also brought in an established running back, Ronald Jones from the Buccaneers, to give their backfield a boost.

Biggest questions for fantasy football

What will this offense look like without Hill? Injuries sapped Smith-Schuster last season, but if he’s healthy, he can be a someone who keeps the chains moving. Valdes-Scantling can be a nice playmaker on the outside. He’s not someone who’s a weekly starter in fantasy football lineups, but he’s certainly capable of putting together some big games with Mahomes at quarterback. The one to watch here is rookie Skyy Moore. One of the more underrated talents in the draft, he has a skill set to be a No. 1 wideout and put up stats similar to Hill.

The running back situation is an interesting one to watch. The addition of Jones gives them a grinder for first and second downs, and that would mean more specialized role for Edwards-Helaire in the passing game. Both could be viable fantasy options, but we’ll have to get a better sense of just what kind of workload they’ll have.