Kansas City Chiefs July Scouting Report
Training camp is here!
Quite honestly, I have no idea what camp will be like this year. Coach Andy Reid will not have a single pre-season game to take a look at those fringe roster types and work the draft picks of 2020 into the program. Game readiness for any team is sure to be shaky. The good news for Kansas City is most of the 2019 championship squad is back and continuity in this Covid-19 mess is probably the most important factor.
While the Chiefs have most of the old gang back for 2020, there are 2 major cogs that have opted out of playing under the player safety rules set in the virus environment. RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first on the team to decline participation this year. Duvernay-Tardif is a doctor and his reasoning for opting out is to continue caring for patients as he has been doing this entire off-season. Frankly, there is no way the good doctor-guard was anywhere close to playing shape having been in the medical trenches for so long and finding little time to pack on the pounds needed to play interior line in the NFL. In Duvernay-Tardif’s place will be Kelechi Osemele, who last played for the Jets. Osemelehad shoulder surgery mid- season and that didn’t sit well with the Jets (Coach Gase strikes again?). Gang Green cut Osemele last October but the big guy is now healthy. Chiefs fans can be confident with this situation as there is not a big drop in performance between the doctor and Osemele.
The other Covid-19 opt-out shoe that dropped came from Super Bowl hero Damien Williams. Williams was set to share snaps and touches with #1 pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire but all that changes now and Edwards-Helaire jumps up as the Chiefs' lead back. Pass-pro is a concern in this situation, not because the rookie is unable to handle that assignment but there are bound to be rookie mistakes and missed blitz pickups. DeAndre Washingtonsuddenly has true fantasy value and is actually draftable. Washington is multi-functional in this offense and no doubt Coach Reid will keep his prized rookie RB monitored for snaps and touches, avoiding overload and the dreaded rookie wall. Fanballers, don’t sleep on DeAndre Washington. Darrel WilliamsandDarwin Thompson pick up the depth work going forward.
Another player that fantasy folks need to strongly eye up is WR Sammy Watkins. Watkins had the explosion opener last season and then pretty much flatlined the rest of the way… that is until the post-season. Seriously, throw on the playoff game tape and watch Watkins come alive and play like the #1 pick he was way back when in Buffalo. I’ve seen it far too many times where a core player catches fire in the playoffs and for some reason that confidence and positive momentum carries over into the next season. Sammy Watkins in 2020… Just Sayin’!
I’ve been asked by many if Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a true fantasy first round worthy RB this year after Damien Williams opted-out? Flat out… YES! But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. Project about 1400 YFS and 9 total offensive TDs for the rookie. Coach Reid won’t look to burn out the youngster in year one as this was a draft pick to ride together with QB Patrick Mahomes for 4-5 solid seasons. Also, Coach Reid has a history of easing rookie RBs in.I think Coach Big Red sees a cross between Brian Westbrook and Maurice Jones-Drew when he watches Edwards-Helaire in game action. First round? Hey, 1400 YFS and 9 TDs is worthy of a first round choice in today’s fantasy football.
OK Chiefs’ fans… short and sweet this month. I’ll jump back into another Eye in the Sky report soon with the Eye over training camp.
John Cooney is a senior fantasy football writer for FFMastermind.com.
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