Compairsons Of People Getting Injured In Football To Other Things 2009 Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Football Preview

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2009 Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Football Preview

The 2009 Kansas City Chiefs will play in a completely new look from ’08, and those changes will start at the top. Carl Peterson and Herman Edwards are gone and replaced by former Patriots Scott Pioli and former Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley, respectively. Plus, the Chiefs have a new starting QB in former Patriot Matt Cassel, and three rookies will try to bring some excitement to a franchise that has been a doormat for years. What effect will Castle have on the rest of the Chiefs in terms of imagination? Will Castle have another successful season or will it be a bust? I examine these questions and more as I analyze Kansas City’s fantasy prospects in ’09.

Cassel was the biggest surprise of the 2008 NFL season for an injured Tom Brady and threw for 3693 yards with 21 TDs and just 11 INTs. Those numbers are all the more impressive considering Cassel hasn’t started a game since high school. Cassel’s performance down the stretch helped numerous fantasy owners win the title as he passed for consecutive 400 yard games in the fantasy playoffs. Plus, Cassel almost finished me as well as I narrowly escaped him with 4 TD passes against the Raiders in the championship round. Thankfully, I had a well-rounded team to overcome it but needless to say I was a little worried to see him play against my raiders. Cassel played his heart out for Josh McDipshit last year but now comes to a team looking for an identity on offense. In terms of weaponry the Castle has some but not much. WR Dwayne Bowe is entering Year 3 and should be a star. Bowe will be Cassel’s No. 1 target, especially after TE Tony Gonzalez left for Atlanta. The departure of Gonzalez is a huge loss for the Chiefs and Cassel in particular as the young QB certainly would have seen the veterans often. Cassel has drafted Haley but overall I wouldn’t put a chance on him for your fantasy teams this year. He’s a decent option for a No. 2 QB but too many questions surround him to be considered a solid No. 1 fantasy QB on a week-to-week basis.

The Chiefs’ running game has historically been the teams strength with Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson having monster seasons for the club. Holmes is long gone, Johnson looks set to return in ’09 but will be 30 and past his prime. I know because I actually used my second choice on LJ that it was still a good value. Things didn’t really pan out for him in ’09 due to a number of variables, including playing on a terrible offense and sustaining a slew of on-field issues that led to a suspension. Johnson finished the year rushing for 874 yds and 5 TDs. Johnson flashed his former self at times when he rushed for 198 yards and 2 scores in the Week 4 game against Denver but was mostly a disappointment for the former Penn St. product and the owners who drafted him. Johnson said all year and most of the offseason that he wanted out of KC but seemed to change his tune once Pilloi and Haley came aboard. Honestly, I don’t really know what to think about LJ coming into 2009. I don’t think he’s done yet because he sat behind the aforementioned Holmes for years before finally getting his chance. Plus, the Chiefs don’t have much in the way of backups behind LJ with Jamaal Charles and Colby Smith, and neither will terrorize the defense. Right now, I see LJ as a nice No. 3 RB or flex option with the potential to ascend to a No. 2 option. I think LJ will have some upside this year, especially if you can get him in the 5-6 rounds, which is where he’s mainly going in the mock drafts I’ve been participating in. I think the off-field issues and resulting poor season were humbling. Johnson and I are looking to push him back a little bit. Some people are comparing him to LT but there is no comparison because LT has had a longer career than Johnson and therefore is probably closer to the end. Just be safe with LJ. Don’t reach too high for him, and if you catch him, handcuff him with Charles and pick a late round for insurance. Smith has no draft value at press time.

WR Bowe looks poised for stardom in his 3rd year and could benefit greatly from Cassel’s presence at QB. Bowe caught 86 passes for 1,022 yards and 7 TDs, showing a slight improvement from his lackluster campaign. There are some receivers who seem to have that, and Bowe appears to be one of those receivers. The 3rd year pro out of LSU is a great route runner, has excellent hands and appears to be a good character and coach-able. Plus, he’s big enough at 6’2″ 221 that he has the ability to win jump balls with defenders. I look for Bowe to have another solid season as most NFL receivers seem to fizzle out in their 3rd year. Draft him as a No. 2 option, but Cassel And don’t be surprised if he outperforms that in Kansas City with Haley. There isn’t much in the way of KC receivers in terms of fantasy potential. As mentioned, the legendary Chief Gonzalez is now an Atlanta Falcon leaving KC. There is nobody at the TE position and Mark Bradley and Bobby Engram are your fantasy options. Stop gaps represent nothing more than emergency options for the squad.In summary, look for Bowe to breakout statistically under Haley but avoid all other key receivers.

The Chiefs have been terrible on defense the past few years but I think that should change this year, especially if Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson play the way they are capable of. Picking Jackson over Aaron Curry is a stretch if you ask me. Look for the Chiefs to improve defensively this year but there are plenty of better options available in terms of consistent DST production. Rookies Ryan Succop and Connor Barth will battle for the kicking job in training camp. That concludes my examination of Chiefs fantasy prospects heading into 2009. Next up: San Diego Chargers.

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