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At this time of year, Fantasy football owners are preparing for their draft and hoping to find that hidden gem. They want the next Eddie Lacy, Zac Stacy, Josh Gordon, or Keenan Allen. In this series I’ll look at every NFL team to project who may become the next household name. On occasion, NFL players will receive a Roster Bonus for making a team’s roster against all odds. In this case, it’s you that will receive the bonus for finding a spot on your roster for these players.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs’ offensive line will be crucial to their offensive success, especially the offensive tackle positions. This team could be in some big trouble if their projected starting line doesn’t pan out as planned. I named Jamaal Charles as the number one ranked Fantasy player a few years back and it was met with heavy criticism. The biggest critique was that he was too small to handle the full workload. Wouldn’t you know, he went out and got injured that season? Now, he’s one of the top Fantasy backs, but even he will need this line to flourish. Alex Smith is another key player that will be paying extra attention to the offensive line’s rep in training camp. He’s grown as a quarterback, but he still has limitations. Kansas City will need him to have pocket comfort if they wish for him to be as successful as he’s been the last few years.
At quarterback, I don’t see anyone that should replace Smith instantly. Chase Daniel is interesting, but he won’t be a game changer that pushes Smith for reps. Tyler Bray won’t be on the roster in a few months and Aaron Murray will not be asked to expedite his growth. Murray may actually be the Chiefs’ starter in the coming years, but I wouldn’t expect for him to take any snaps in 2014.
Behind Jamaal Charles there are quite a few backs that are chomping at the bit for an increase in workload. Knile Davis and De’Anthony Thomas are probably the majority favorites to see an increase. Both players have intriguing elements to their game, and the same could be said for Joe McKnight. I may be in the minority, but if I had to select a back out of KC to ride with not named Charles, it’d be Cyrus Gray. I personally believe Gray hasn’t been utilized to the best of his ability, or that of the team. Gray has big play potential and can help out in the running or passing game. Due to the multitude of options, I held Gray out from being labeled the roster bonus for Kansas City.
I considered the Chiefs’ receivers, who are saddening to look at. Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery are household names, but after that you have a run of A.J. Jenkins, Kyle Williams, Junior Hemingway, Weston Dressler, Mark Harrison, Jerrell Jackson, etc. None really got me excited. Jerrell intrigued me with what he did with Blaine Gabbert at Missouri, but he hasn’t had the opportunity to display that talent in the pros. The only guy that really got heavy consideration for my sleeper pick was rookie Albert Wilson. If all things are fair in competition, Wilson should win the starting role in the slot for the Chiefs. Whether the line holds up or not, Wilson can get open and will get open quickly for Smith. Wilson flashed the ability of a poor man’s T.Y. Hilton at Georgia State. He should play in the NFL with ability that lands him somewhere in between a healthy Jacoby Ford and Hilton. As much as I like Wilson, he was edged out by my number two ranked tight end in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Travis Kelce should explode on the scene in 2014. I loved his film so much last year, that I ranked him only behind Tyler Eifert. Kelce can block and he’s able to cause match-up problems in the passing game. Kelce’s main kryptonite is the species known as the injury bug. This little bug has a tendency to find Travis and bite him. If Travis avoids the bug this season, he’ll be Kansas City’s secret weapon.
Chiefs Roster Bonus = Travis Kelce