2020 Fantasy Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

Marc Salazar continues the 2020 Team Preview series with a fantasy-focused look at the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs


The Kansas City Chiefs closed out the 2019 season with a Lombardi trophy, their first title in 50 yards, on the shoulders of a superstar quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, and one of the best head coaches in all of football, Andy Reid. Fantasy owners suffered some letdown, however, as injury and inconsistency watched the offense as a whole take a step back. The team started the season 4-0 then found themselves 6-4 after 10 weeks and a hobbled quarterback. From Week 11 on the team was unstoppable, winning nine straight, including the Super Bowl, all by seven points or more.  The Reid led Chiefs have set fantasy records in recent years, and last season may have just been a speedbump to better things. All relevant fantasy players return and the team added a potentially dynamic running back to the mix. This is a train that owners will want to ride in 2020.  




Patrick Mahomes

ADP: 19.1, QB1

Patrick Mahomes started off 2019 the same way he ended 2018, with 11 touchdowns in just three games, continuing his torrid 2018 pace when he threw 50 touchdowns. Mahomes hit a rough patch in October, including a nasty injury that caused him to miss two games. Mahomes bounced back but his numbers regressed, throwing for a thousand fewer yards and just 26 touchdowns. Still, Mahomes finished as the QB6 and supported multiple studs on offense. Expect a bounceback with a ceiling of the best player in fantasy football. If Mahomes continues to run as much as he did in the playoffs last year, he will be an unstoppable fantasy force.


Best Case Scenario

Mahomes throws for 5000+ yards for the second time in his career and 40+ touchdowns. He carries over his spiked rushing yardage from the postseason as well. Mahomes scores more than 400 fantasy points and dominates the league yet again. 


Worst Case: Mahomes’ floor is what we saw last season, Top 10 QB even missing a few games. He hits 4000 yards and 25 TDs and finishes just outside the Top 5 QBs. 


2020 Projection: 4,644 yards passing, 37 passing touchdowns; 316 yards rushing, 3 rushing touchdowns


Running Back


Clyde Edwards-Helaire

ADP: 22.1, RB14

The Chiefs selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire at the end of the first round, a move that surprised many draftniks. The team decided to add to their strength by adding an offensive player to an already potent lineup. CEH became the first player in SEC history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and catch at least 50 passes in 2019. Anyone who has followed Andy Ried’s career knows that he makes fantasy magic with his running backs. The biggest question is how quickly can CEH get acclimated to the offense with an unorthodox off-season. At the least, CEH will be on the field for passing work, at least as long as he proves he can protect Mahomes. Whether or not he can steal carries from Williams is one of the biggest questions of the off-season. His upside is league winning and owners should feel good about drafting him at his RB14 price. He could finish the year as a Top 5 back and his floor is no worse than RB16.  


Best Case Scenario

CEH is the dynamic back that Chiefs fans watched dominate in Baton Rouge last season. He becomes the every-down back from week one and manages 1,500 total yards and six touchdowns on the ground. CEH finishes in the top five at his position, and he looks like an obvious value in hindsight.


Worst Case Scenario

CEH shares the backfield in a running back-by-committee, mostly due to his lack of pass protection and familiarity with the offense. He finishes with modest totals and is outside the top twenty backs on the season. 


2020 Projection: 674 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns; 411 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns


Damien Williams

ADP: 64.4, RB30

Damien Williams is a highly debated name in fantasy circles this off-season. Half of the community believes Williams will carve out a role in the Chiefs backfield, based upon strong performances closing out the season and throughout the playoffs. Others believe the team would never have invested so much draft capital to let the younger player sit and spectate. Perhaps the answer is somewhere in the middle. Williams will likely begin the season in a time-share and as the back in early downs. Williams is a journeyman running back with just a few games of production, so he’s far from a sure thing. Reid will have no problem handing the reigns over once the younger option is ready. If you are drafting Williams, do so knowing that you won’t have a season-long option. 


Best Case Scenario

Williams splits carries with CEH all season and earns 150 carries and 40 receptions. He remains a great flex option all season, with spiked weeks if CEH misses time or is limited with injury.


Worst Case Scenario

After the first month of the season, Williams is the primary backup, only seeing a handful of carries each week. Williams ends up as no more than a handcuff to CEH, with owners awaiting an injury to the rookie running back.


2020 Projection: 490 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns; 251 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns


Wide Receiver


Tyreek Hill

ADP: 10.7, WR3

2019 was a rough season for Tyreek Hill. Hill injured his shoulder in Week 1 and didn’t return until Week 6, missing four games. Hill had just two 100-yard receiving games and just two multi-touchdown games on the season, a year after doubling those totals. Heading down the stretch, Hill produced less than 75 yards receiving in six straight games. Not quite the dynamic receiver owners have come to love. Despite the troubles, Hill finished as the WR12. His ADP, although high, reflects his enormous upside and playmaking abilities. Owners should fully expect a bounceback season.  


Best Case Scenario

Hill tops 1,400 yards for the second time in his career and double-digit scores for the first time. In a disjointed offseason, the chemistry between Mahomes and Hill is tough to beat. Hill finishes as the overall WR1 in fantasy, with several week-winning performances.


Worst Case Scenario

Injuries keep Hill in and out of the lineup more often than we would like. Mahomes continues to spread the ball around, at the detriment to Hill at times. Hill scores less than five times and doesn’t top 1,000 yards, and finishes as the overall WR16. 


2020 Projection: 77 receptions, 1,261 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns


Mecole Hardman

ADP: 110.1, WR43

There is no denying that Mecole Hardman is an explosive playmaker, and he showed that with six receiving touchdowns in his first NFL season. Each was no less than 20 yards, including four 40+ yard scores. Hardman’s issue is not with ability, it is with playing time. His playing time increased when Hill was battling injury but dipped when he was healthy. During the Chiefs winning streak to end the season, Hardman played less than 40% of the team snaps and scored just once. Hardman will have a difficult time with a loaded receiving corps. He is an ideal late-round best ball target but cannot be relied on even as a flex in redraft unless Reid makes significant changes to his wide receiver usage.      


Best Case Scenario

Hardman earns primary snaps and manages to finish just outside of the Top 24 receivers, with 800 yards and eight scores.


Worst Case Scenario

Hardman remains a part-time player but his touchdown total is cut in half. He finishes outside the Top 60 receivers. 


2020 Projection: 35 receptions, 614 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns


Sammy Watkins

ADP: 132.6, WR52

Sammy Watkins teased fantasy owners with 198 yards receiving and three scores in Week 1 of 2019. The rest of the season was a dud. Watkins did not score again and he failed to top 65 yards. He was held without a catch in two games and caught just one ball in another. Watkins, however, was dominant in the playoffs and the Chiefs decided to bring him back for one more season. Just 27, Watkins’ best years may have already been behind him. With Watkins’ up and down nature, owners may not feel comfortable starting him even in the flex. His ADP still seems high. 


Best Case Scenario

Watkins regains old form and tops 800 yards receiving and five scores. He is comfortably a WR3 for fantasy owners. 


Worst Case Scenario

Watkins loses his starting role to other challengers on the roster and finishes below 400 yards receiving for the first time in his career. 


2020 Projection: 56 receptions, 795 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns


Tight End


Travis Kelce

ADP: 18.6, TE1

Travis Kelce finished as the overall TE1 for the fourth straight year last season. He did this without a single multi-touchdown game and just two 100-yard weekly efforts. Kelce maintains his dominance because he is Mahomes’ most trusted target, and he again topped 1,200 yards. Kelce will be thirty entering the season but he has little sign of slowing down. While Kelce may not be able to lead all tight ends in scoring for a fifth straight season, he is almost certain to compete for the top spot. He is a clear early-round target for fantasy owners.  


Best Case Scenario

Kelce finishes as the overall TE1 for the fifth straight season, topping 85 receptions, 1,200 yards, and 6 touchdowns.


Worst Case Scenario

Kelce has proven to be durable and his downside is just TE3. He’s about as safe a fantasy pick as they come. 


2020 Projection: 94 receptions, 1188 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns



Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

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