2009 Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Football Preview
The 2009 Kansas City Chiefs will sport a completely new look from ’08 and those changes start at the top. Gone are Carl Peterson and Herman Edwards and in their place come former Patriot Scott Pioli and former Cardinal Offensive Coordinator turned Head Coach Todd Haley respectively. Furthermore, the Chiefs have a new starting QB in former Patriot Matt Cassel and the three newbies will attempt to bring some excitement back to a franchise that has been doormat for years. What impact will Cassel have on the rest of the Chiefs in terms of fantasy? Will Cassel have another successful season or will he be a bust? I examine these questions and more when analysing Kansas City’s fantasy potential heading into ’09.
Cassel was one of the biggest surprises of the 2008 NFL season stepping in for the injured Tom Brady and throwing for 3693 yards with 21 TD’s and just 11 INT’s. The numbers are much more impressive when you consider that Cassel had not started a game since High School when he found himself thrust into the limelight. Cassel’s performance down the stretch helped countless fantasy owners to titles as he passed for consecutive 400 yard games during the fantasy playoffs. Moreover, Cassel almost did me in as well as I barely escaped him in the Championship round when he had 4 TD passes against the Raiders. Thankfully, I had a well rounded enough team to overcome it but needless to say I was a bit concerned watching his game against my Raiders. Cassel played his heart out for Josh McDipshit last year but now comes to a team searching for an identity on offense. In terms of weapons Cassel has some but not an overabundance. WR Dwayne Bowe is entering his 3 year and should be a star. Bowe will unequivocally be Cassel’s number one target especially after the departure of TE Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta. Gonzalez leaving is a huge ufabet ทีเด็ดบอลสเต็ป loss for the Chiefs and especially Cassel as the young QB certainly would have looked the veterans way often. Cassel does have Haley grooming him but all in all I wouldn’t stake your fantasy teams chances on him this year. He is a decent option for a number 2 QB but far too many questions surround him to be considered a solid number 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 each having had monster seasons for the club. Holmes is long gone, Johnson appears to be back in ’09 but will turn 30 and appears to be past his prime. I know this because I actually utilized my 2nd pick on LJ thinking that he was still a good value at that time. Things never really panned out for him in ’09 on account of several variables including playing on a terrible offense and sustaining numerous off the field issues which culminated in a suspension. Johnson finished the year rushing for 874 yds and 5 TD’s. Johnson at times showed flashes of his former self namely the week 4 game against Denver when he galloped for 198 yards and 2 scores but it was mostly disappointment for the former Penn St. product and the owners who drafted him. Johnson stated all year and most of the off season that he wanted out of KC but seemed to change his tune once Piloi andHaley came aboard. Honestly, I don’t really know what to think of LJ heading into 2009. I don’t think he is quite done yet as he sat behind the aforementioned Holmes for several years before finally getting his chance. Furthermore, the Chiefs really don’t have much in the way of backups behind LJ with Jamal Charles and Kolby Smith andneither are going to embed fear into defenses. Right now, I view LJ as a nice number 3 RB or a Flex option with the potential to climb to a number 2 option. I think LJ has some upside this year especially if you can get him in the round 5 -6 range which is where he has been predominately going in the mock drafts I have been participating in. I think the off field issues and resulting poor season humbled Johnson and I look for him to bounce back a little bit. Some people are comparing him to LT but there is no comparison as LT has had way more career carries than Johnson and because of that might be closer to the end. Just be safe with LJ. Don’t reach for him too high and if you get him make sure to handcuff him with Charles with a late round pick for insurance. Smith has no draft value at press time.