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2023 Fantasy Forecast: Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Plumb walks us through the fantasy assets on the Super Bowl defending Kansas City Chiefs.

The Kansas City Chiefs won their second Super Bowl in four seasons, their third appearance in that time span. Many analysts felt they would take a step back in 2022 after their shocking decision to trade away Tyreek Hill for five draft picks. However, they dominated the season statistically. They were first in Points Scored, Passing Yards, and Passing TDs. They were 19th in interceptions thrown, 20th in rushing yards, and eighth in rushing TDs. The Chiefs could find production from every player on their offensive roster to lead them to the Promised Land.


Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes was the 2022 MVP and Super Bowl MVP. He played through a significant ankle injury in the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl. He threw for 5250 yards and 41 TDs and added 358 yards rushing and four TDs. Mahomes was the first overall player in fantasy points in 2022 and has averaged 22.87 per game played since 2019.

Mahomes is either the QB1 or QB2 in Superflex. Reviewing the Trade Finder, Mahomes costs roughly three first-round picks in Superflex formats. This is appropriate, although as an owner of Mahomes myself, I wouldn’t sell him for that return.

Running Backs

Isiah Pacheco

Drafted in the 2022 seventh round, Pacheco has become a thorn in the side of all big-name running backs unhappy with their second contract negotiations. Coming into the 2022 season, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was coming off two disappointing seasons as a 2020 first-round pick.

Unfortunately for CEH, Pacheco impressed at every opportunity provided. Pacheco started in 11 games and rushed for 830 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 4.88 YPC and took over the reins as the between-the-tackles rushing threat.

Pacheco is the RB1 on this team now and has the potential to hit 1,000 rushing yards or more if he stays healthy. Due to his limited pass-catching role, Pacheco can be best drafted as an RB3 with a low-end RB2 upside.

Jerick McKinnon

In my opinion, McKinnon is the running back to own on the Kansas City Chiefs. He was RB20 in 2022 and had NINE receiving touchdowns. He rushed for 291 yards and one touchdown, caught 56 passes for 512 yards, and averaged 11.55 fantasy points per game, which was good for RB26. However, I believe he is the one to own because of the price.

While Pacheco is going for around a late first-round pick, McKinnon is going for peanuts. I would do this every time if I can get an RB2/3 for a third or fourth-round pick and Darius Slayton.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

In 2020, CEH jumped up rookie drafts and was one of the top three players off the board. How the mighty have fallen. He was active for ten games in 2022 and was RB46 in PPR leagues. He rushed for 302 yards and three touchdowns. CEH added 17 catches for 151 yards and three touchdowns. YUCK. There has been talk this offseason that CEH may not even make the roster. If you own him, get out now while you can.

Reviewing the trade browser, there have been instances where an owner can net late future second-round picks. If I could get a second or third-round pick for CEH, I would make the trade and move on. His value will only decrease from here, and this time next year may not even be on a roster. RIP to this former first-round pick and, in many drafts, first overall pick.

Wide Receivers

The wide receiver group here is one of the murkiest in the entire league. The top wide receiver in terms of catches and receiving yards in 2022 was JuJu Smith-Schuster, and he has left the Chiefs for the New England Patriots. Let’s go through the weapons for the 2023 season.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

MVS signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs before last season. In 2022, he caught 42 balls for 687 yards and two touchdowns. While he is currently WR1 on the depth chart, I anticipate only a meager increase in production this year. Entering his sixth season, Valdes-Scantling has never reached 700 receiving yards in a single season.

The Chiefs found success last season through the sum-of-the-parts concept regarding their wide receivers. With Juju gone, I anticipate more of the same. At most, he costs a 2024 fourth-round pick which is appropriate and good value for depth going into the fantasy season.

Kadarius Toney

The Kansas City Chief’s GM, Brett Veach, made a splash at the trade deadline last year and acquired Toney from the New York Giants for two draft picks. Veach has also commented that he views Toney as the future WR1 for this team. As a Chiefs fan, I wish I had as much enthusiasm as Veach. Toney, drafted in the 2021 first round, oozes talent, but his young career has been completely derailed by injury. In seven games with the Chiefs last season, he caught 14 balls for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Additionally, he made numerous key plays to ensure a Super Bowl victory.

As of writing this piece, Toney is currently injured in training camp and had a small procedure done for his knee. He is the ultimate high-risk, high-reward player. The dynasty community also appears to be souring on him as well. Recent trades:

While I worry that Toney will never be able to be a consistent fantasy producer, the value is too much to ignore. I would take the Toney side in all of these deals, as many of the assets given up are minimal.

Skyy Moore

Moore was a second-round pick in 2022. He started three games and caught 22 balls for 250 yards. He also scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl. Moore’s playing time in 2022 he seemed to be limited after fumbles of kickoff and punt returns. However, with the limited depth at receiver, 2023 is the year that Moore proves his worth. Look to acquire him if you can.

Rashee Rice

The Chiefs drafted Rashee Rice in the second round of 2023. Please read Dan Toomey’s player profile for a breakdown. This year projects to be a development year for Rice. I do not anticipate much fantasy production from him as he sits back and learns within the Andy Reid offense. He is a nice target for rebuilding teams and as a throw-in on trades for owners with eyes to the future. The Chiefs can save $12 million by cutting MVS in 2024, and this may be where Rice is able to produce solid fantasy numbers.

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce

The TE1 is still the TE1. Kelce has been a league winner for many years, and I believe he will continue to be. He is the number one target of Patrick Mahomes and the focal point of this offense. In nine statistical seasons, 862 receiving yards (2014) was his lowest season total. Since 2015, he has averaged 260.85 PPR points per season, which would be good for WR8 overall in 2022.

I know many people are becoming more and more hesitant about keeping or acquiring Kelce due to his age, but I am still on the Kelce bandwagon. Kelce is the ultimate difference maker for your team, and I am more than happy being stuck holding the bag on Kelce when his play diminishes, or he retires.

These are the four most recent 1QB PPR trades in the trade browser. If I am remotely a contender, I instantly accept the Kelce side for all four of these deals.

The Kansas City Chiefs are a dynamic offense that has consistently proven stocked with fantasy-relevant talent. While the wide receiver position appears to possess only depth-level talent for 2022, the other positions will provide top-level fantasy production. Be sure to acquire your slice of this offensive pie for 2023!

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