Believe the Travis Kelce hype
Mike Clay has taken to the airwaves to host a Pro Football Focus fantasy football show on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio (10 a.m. ET weekdays – Sirius 210 & XM 87). In addition to his strategy and insight, Clay has had the opportunity to bring in beat writers around the nation to provide an insider fantasy spin on the teams they cover.
On Monday, he spoke with Herbie Teope of ChiefsDigest.com. Teope talked about Jamaal Charles’ 2015 workload, the potential for a wide receiver to score a touchdown in 2015, Travis Kelce’s breakout chances, and more. You can find Teope on Twitter @HerbieTeope.
Believe The Hype
Travis Kelce saw roughly 20 percent of the Chiefs’ targets over a full season. Will we see a rise in target percentage?
“Yes,” Teope said. “For one major reason – last season he was coming off of microfracture surgery and he didn’t even practice during OTAs. This offseason he was finally able to commit himself to working out. Andy Reid’s offense is extremely tight-end friendly. Kelce is going to be a flat-out stud.”
Our projections are bullish on Kelce as well. We currently have him projected to see 104 targets, which would be the third-most among tight ends in 2015. Our projections also peg him with 73 receptions, 791 yards and five touchdowns.
“I Think You’re Going To See The Jamaal Charles Of Old”
Jamaal Charles saw his touches drop in 2014, specifically in the passing game. Is there any reason to expect those numbers to resemble something closer to his 2013 numbers?
“Charles was dinged up a lot last year,” Teope said. “He was never 100 percent healthy. Another factor was the horrendous play of the offensive line. So they upgraded their line this offseason. I think you’re going to see the Jamaal Charles of old this season, flashing that quickness and speed through the hole.”
Jamaal Charles ran a route on a higher percentage of pass plays but saw a target dip from 95 to 52 in 2014. The Chiefs spread the football in the passing game, but a healthier Charles should certainly draw more targets in the passing game. Our projections currently have him slated for 69 targets in 2015.
How Knile Davis Factors Into The Offense
“As long as Charles is healthy, he is the guy who’s going to drive the train,” Teope said. “Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson has told us, as long as Charles is healthy, he’ll be the guy. I can see Davis in short yardage, but not as a guy who is going to cut into Charles’ touches.
“I don’t think Davis is the perfect fit for an Andy Reid offense. This offense relies on a back who can catch, and that is his biggest weakness. The guy behind him, Charcandrick West, has been wowing us through training camp. You saw what he did in the first preseason game. When he’s out of the backfield, he can catch the ball and give a little bit more pop in the passing game than Davis.”
Davis is not set to become an unrestricted free agent until the 2017 offseason. West, in his second season in the NFL, is an interesting name to keep an eye on in deep dynasty leagues. In the Chiefs’ preseason opener, he had 49 yards rushing on six carries and 43 yards receiving on three receptions.
The WRs Will Score TDs In 2015, Right?
“Yes, the wide receiver corps is much upgrade compared to last season,” Teope said. “You have to also consider familiarity with the scheme when it comes to these receivers. Chris Conley brings football intelligence, and the coaching staff has touched on how fast he has picked up the offense. Albert Wilson is in his second year in the scheme. This passing offense is on the up.”
For those owners ready to pounce on Conley as a flier in redraft leagues, you may want to skip ahead to the next nugget Teope dropped.
It’s Week 1 and 3rd and 7: Who Is On The Field?
“[Albert] Wilson and De’Anthony Thomas,” Teope said. “This is the three wide receiver set since spring practices and through training camp. The Chiefs want players who they can get the ball out to quickly in space and let them get the yards.”
Conley doesn’t exactly fit the mold of a wide receiver that the Chiefs are seeking for third-and-long situations, and that could cap his upside in 2015. However, if he continues to progress, Conley’s quickest path to playing time is likely in 11 personnel packages on early downs. Just keep in mind that Wilson was a strong run blocker (+1.5) in 2014. It will be difficult to envision him bumping Wilson in base personnel groupings.
Andy Reid Offenses Don’t Do WR1s
Jeremy Maclin broke out as a WR1 in Chip Kelly’s offensive scheme in 2014. Now that he’s in Kansas City, our projections have Jeremy Maclin finishing with 83 receptions, 1,065 yards and five touchdowns. Are those projections too high?
“In Andy Reid’s offense, he’s only ever had three wide receivers top 1,000 yards receiving,” Teope said. “And the reason for that is because they spread the ball around so much. I think you’re in the ballpark with 80 receptions, but 1,000 yards is the ceiling.”
Dan Schneier is a staff writer at PFF Fantasy and he covers the NFC East beat for FOX Sports. You can find him on Twitter @DanSchneierNFL. You can also add him to your network on Google+ to find all of his past material.