Throughout the 2012 offseason, we will be taking a look at each NFL team from a keeper/dynasty perspective. Keeper leagues are very unique, with widely varying formats, but the following are observations based on reasonable draft positions in 2011. Further discussion of different keeper/dynasty decisions and trades is welcome in the comments below. Today, we look at the Offseason Odyssey of the Kansas City Chiefs…
Finish: 7-9 (4th AFC West)
2012 Draft Order: 11th/12th overall pick (pending coin flip)
2011 Leaders: QB- Kyle Orton: 1758 pass yds, 9/9 td/int RB- Dexter McCluster: 516 rush yds, 1 td, 46 rec, 328 yds, 1 td WR- Dwayne Bowe: 81 rec, 1159 yds, 5 td TE- Leonard Pope: 24 rec, 247 yds, 1 td
On the Fence? KEEP him: Dwayne Bowe– After an absurd 2010 season that saw Bowe catch a whopping 15 touchdowns, I was in the camp that thought Bowe was overrated due to his unsustainable TD rate. In 2011, Bowe did catch fewer touchdowns (5), but he proved that his game is still on point, racking up 81 catches for 1,159 yards. Playing in Kansas City with a mediocre quarterback doesn’t afford Bowe the type of publicity of higher profile receivers, but you better believe that Dwayne Bowe is a certifiable MONSTER at wide receiver. A free agent this offseason, the Chiefs would be wise to franchise their biggest receiving weapon, who will still be only 27 when the 2012 season kicks off. Even if the keeper price is steep, keep in mind that Bowe finished 2011 7th in catches, 11th in yards, and 7th in targets among NFL wide receivers. Stick with him.
On the Fence? CUT him: Steve Breaston- 2011 was a very solid year for Breaston, especially in PPR formats. Surprisingly, the 28 year old wide out finished his first season in Kansas City with more catches than Vincent Jackson, Anquan Boldin, and Julio Jones. However, Breaston only reached the endzone twice and the future for Breaston looks a bit clouded. Although Jon Baldwin wasn’t Romeo Crennel’s draft pick, he is still a young, talented receiver who is primed to take away from Breaston’s workload. Add that to the fact that the Chiefs will be welcoming the return of an elite running back in Jamaal Charles, and the opportunities will diminish even further. Unless you play in a PPR format and can keep Breaston for a minimal fee, cut him loose.
Dynasty Vault: Jamaal Charles– With one awkward step in week 2, Charles blew countless fantasy seasons, as well as his ACL. While the image of Charles crumpled on the sidelines of Ford Field (and your ensuing 4-9 record) is still etched in your memory, do NOT get suckered into trading this dynasty asset. The explosive back racked up 1,417 total yards in 2009 and, in 2011, only two running backs eclipsed Charles’ 2010 mark of 1,935 total yards (M. Jones-Drew 1,980 and R. Rice 2,068). Charles’ ACL rehab is right on schedule and there are many great fantasy seasons on the horizon for the 25 year old franchise back.
Dynasty Dump: Thomas Jones– It was a good run for old Thomas Jones, so don’t be sad. There were a couple good years in Chicago, right? Remember the fun times with the Jets? 12 seasons as an NFL running back is nothing to sneeze at, but as a 33 year old free agent after a career low 3.1 ypc, Jones is running on empty.
Dynasty Target: Jon Baldwin- Saying Baldwin’s rookie season got off to a rough start would be a serious understatement. After rolling into training camp with the lofty expectations of being the #26 overall pick in the 2011 draft, Baldwin was sidelined with a thumb injury after an altercation with teammate Thomas Jones (hey, he’s old but the man is jacked). After missing the first six weeks of 2011, the rookie wasn’t overly impressive in weeks 8-17. However, Baldwin still has the physical tools to be a nice compliment to Dwayne Bowe, as the Chiefs envisioned when drafting the former Pitt Panther. The price should be cheap, so take a look at Baldwin this offseason.
Offseason Interest: Rehab– Keeper/Dynasty owners will be eagerly awaiting news of Jamaal Charles’ progress in rehabbing his torn ACL, as the young running back will play a prominent role on many fantasy teams in 2012. In addition, those in IDP leagues will want to keep tabs on a similar rehab situation for talented Chiefs DB Eric Berry. Hopefully the offseason is kind to two of Kansas City’s youngest and most promising players.