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2024 Player Outlooks: Kansas City Chiefs

By HC Green | 7/5/24 |

QB Patrick Mahomes
(2023 QB Rank: No.10, 22.3 FPts/G)

Saddled with a receiver group that struggled throughout the season and produced just one wideout with more than 500 yards, Mahomesí numbers trended downward. He finished with 4,183 yards and 27 TDs, both representing his lowest output since 2019 when he played in 14 games, and tossed a career-high 14 interceptions. With his targets struggling to separate, Mahomes ran more than ever, setting personal bests in carries (75) and rushing yards (389), though he failed to score a touchdown.

Despite the Chiefsí run to another Super Bowl title, Kansas City made upgrading the receiver room a priority during the offseason, signing Marquise Brown and spending a first-round pick on Xavier Worthy in hopes that they can combine with second-year pro Rashee Rice to form a quality top three. There are plenty of other high-round draft picks as well -- Skyy Moore, Mecole Hardman, Kadarius Toney -- so perhaps enough of them will step up to give Mahomes some better options.

From a talent standpoint, Mahomes remains the standard bearer in the NFL. At 29 (in September), heís in the prime of his career. Heís seen it all, done it all, and he doesnít get rattled when things donít go his way. He just hangs in there and makes plays. Ideally, heíll run a little less this year and pass a bit more. While not quite on par from a fantasy perspective with Josh Allen and maybe Jalen Hurts, Mahomes is still a top-five QB on draft day and probably the most reliable.

RB Isiah Pacheco
(2023 RB Rank: No.14, 15.4 FPts/G)

Expectations last year were that the Chiefs would utilize some level of committee backfield with Pacheco, Jerick McKinnon, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Instead, Pacheco was the bell cow, racking up 249 combined touches in 14 games while McKinnon (46) and CEH (87) combined for 133. There are few players in the NFL that run harder than Pacheco, who gives maximum effort on seemingly every touch. Whether such an approach is sustainable over the long haul is debatable, but through two seasons he has missed just two games due to injury.

The Chiefs didnít make any notable additions at running back, and at this stage they appear to have decided not to bring back McKinnon, allowing CEH to be the backup and perhaps opening up a spot at RB3 for last yearís training camp darling, Deneric Prince. However things shake out down the depth chart, itís clear that this is Pachecoís job. In a league that has more and more committees in the backfield, the chance to draft a true lead back is becoming increasingly rare. A talented weapon in a dangerous offense, Pacheco heads into 2024 as a top-10 fantasy RB.

Rashee Rice

WR Rashee Rice
(2023 WR Rank: No.26, 13.4 FPts/G)

The Chiefs entered 2023 hoping one of several young receivers on their roster would step up. Only one did. That was Rice, who simply continued to make plays when given the chance and saw his role steadily expand. Over the final six games, the then-rookie caught 43 passes for 518 yards and three TDs, becoming the clear go-to target on the outside. For the season, he finished with a 79-938-7 line, leading the club in touchdowns and finishing second to Travis Kelce in receptions and yards.

Even with the offseason additions, Rice looks set to be the No. 1 receiver in Kansas City. Unfortunately, the second-year pro has introduced an element of uncertainty into the equation as he is facing felony charges stemming from a multi-vehicle crash. No discipline has been announced by the NFL to date, but the team is reportedly expecting a multi-game suspension that will take Rice off the field to open the season. Once the duration is known, his value will crystallize further. For now, he should be viewed as a strong WR3 and possible top-25 fantasy wideout.

WR Marquise Brown
(2023 WR Rank: No.54, 9.6 FPts/G)

A 1,000-yard receiver with Baltimore in 2021, Brown delivered two nondescript seasons for the Arizona Cardinals, following up a 67-709-3 debut with 51 receptions, 574 yards, and 4 TDs last year. Originally, the move was made to reunite Brown with Kyler Murray, his college teammate at Oklahoma, but the two didnít get to play a ton of football together as the quarterback missed 15 games with a torn ACL while Brown missed eight games of his own.

Coming off back-to-back subpar seasons led to the former first-round pick signing a one-year deal with the Chiefs in hopes of rehabbing his value, similar to what JuJu Smith-Schuster did in 2022. Brown has good speed, and he should give the club a more dangerous deep threat than Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who was an inconsistent contributor during his time with the club. Brown would be an interesting target as a WR4, and his value could also tick up somewhat depending on Riceís suspension.

WR Xavier Worthy
(2023 WR Rank: N/A)

With Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney failing to show much development since joining the Chiefs, the team invested a first-round pick on Worthy. At 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, Worthy is a lithe target that offers elite speed, running the 40-yard dash in 4.21 seconds in the lead up to the draft. Heís very much cut from the same cloth as Brown, which begs the question whether Kansas City views him as a replacement in 2025 or a complement this fall. Itís also fair to wonder if they feel comfortable deploying two such undersized wideouts at the same time with any regularity.

Worthyís path for fantasy value this year isnít as clear as Rice or Brown, as heíll need to prove heís ready for more than just occasional snaps. Toney and Moore are still young enough to push for time here, and Justin Watson (27-460-3) was quietly solid last year -- Watson also stands 6-foot-2, and weighs 215 pounds, making him a more capable blocker. Thereís definite upside with Worthy based on his blazing speed and the presence of Mahomes, but donít consider him as more than a WR5.

TE Travis Kelce
(2023 TE Rank: No.1, 14.8 FPts/G)

A star within the NFL for years, Kelce gained worldwide recognition for dating Taylor Swift -- you may have heard it mentioned once or twice last year. While he still led the team in receptions (93) and receiving yards (984), the veteran missed the first and last games of 2023, and he saw his seven-year run of topping 1,000 yards come to an end. His game-to-game production was also spottier than usual, as he posted more than 100 yards in a game only twice compared to six games of less than 50.

With the Chiefs adding talent on the outside, perhaps this is the year they start leaning less on Kelce, who has 10 seasons under his belt and has played a ton of snaps. He’ll turn 35 in October, and for the first time in a while you can make a strong argument that he doesn’t deserve to be the first tight end drafted -- that may now be Detroit’s Sam LaPorta. Even with things trending down, Kelce is still the safest tight end to draft, and he shouldn’t be lower than No. 2 option at the position.

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