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2023 Fantasy Football Rankings: Preview for Every Player on the Kansas City Chiefs

Updated: Aug 17, 2023


👆 Destroy your friends with a draft cheat sheet that they don't even know exists! 👆

What to expect from this article

Below, we will dive deep into what we can expect from the Kansas City Chiefs' offense in 2023, including thorough fantasy football previews for Patrick Mahomes, Isiah Pacheco, Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Travis Kelce.


And for those looking for deep and dynasty league options, we will also discuss Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Deneric Prince, Rashee Rice and Justyn Ross at the bottom of this article.


Each player preview will conclude with fantasy football rankings and suggestions for how to approach them in redraft, dynasty and best ball leagues (and superflex leagues for QBs).


All of these—and every other team's—previews combine inside of the 2023 Draft Rankings to help you dominate your draft!


2022 Kansas City Chiefs: Looking Back

You might have heard, but the Kansas City Chiefs were pret-tay pret-tay good in 2022.


They waltzed their way to an easy 14-3 record, 7th consecutive AFC West title, and 8th consecutive playoff appearance.


Oh yeah, they also made it to the Super Bowl for the 3rd time in the last 4 years, and won it for the 2nd time in the last 4 years.


Pret-tay, pret-tay good.


Not surprisingly, they touted the best offense in all of football, finishing:


🟢 1st in scoring

🟢 1st in yards

🟢 5th in passing attempts

🟢 1st in passing yards

🟢 1st in passing TDs

🔴 25th in rushing attempts

🟠 20th in rushing yards

🟢 7th in rushing TDs


Pret-tay, pret-tay good.


Their offensive dominance showed up in some predictable places at the individual level (Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce), but also showcased an ability to spread the ball around on offense:


🟢 Patrick Mahomes finished as fantasy's QB 1, and the NFL's MVP

🟡 Jerick McKinnon finished as fantasy's RB 20

🟠 JuJu Smith-Schuster finished as fantasy's WR 27

🟢 Travis Kelce finished as fantasy's TE 1 and fantasy's 8th highest scorer (non QBs)


Heading into 2023, Kansas City is once again one of the premier teams to target in fantasy football.

2023 Fantasy Football Preview: Looking Ahead

It's been a relatively quiet offseason from the Chiefs this year. So far they've:


❌ Lost WR JuJu Smith-Schuster to free agency (Patriots)


❌ Lost Offensive Coordinator Eric Bienemy (Commanders)


✅ Promoted Matt Nagy to Offensive Coordinator for the 2nd time in his career


✅ Drafted SMU WR Rashee Rice with the 55th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft (2nd round, 24th pick)


✅ Signed undrafted free agent RB Deneric Prince


✅ Added quality depth but low fantasy impact pieces like QB Blaine Gabbert and Richie James


The Chiefs have gone 117-45 (72%) with 9 playoff appearances and 7 division crowns in Andy Reid's 10 years as the Chiefs' Head Coach.


More importantly for fantasy football purposes, Reid's offenses have finished in the top 10 in points in 8 of those 10 years, including top 6 finishes in each of the last 6 seasons.


No need to overthink this one. As long as coach Reid is in the headset and Mahomes is under center, Kansas City will continue to be among the league's elite.


As always, they're a team to target in 2023 fantasy football.


👇 With that all being said, let's do a thorough 2023 fantasy football preview of each and every fantasy-relevant player on the Kansas City Chiefs! 👇

Kansas City Chiefs Quarterbacks

Fantasy Football Rankings and Preview

🟢 QB Patrick Mahomes

2022 was yet another elite campaign from Patrick Mahomes, finishing as fantasy's QB 1 for the 2nd time in 5 years, and his 5th straight year inside the top 7 of fantasy QBs.


It was no Tyreek, no problem for the young legend, as he completed 435 of 648 passes (67.1%, a new career high) on his way to 5,250 passing yards (also a new career high) and 41 TD passes (2nd most).


In 93 career games—including playoffs—where Mahomes has thrown at least 23 passes, the 2017 10th overall pick from Texas Tech is averaging a GOAT-like:


⚫ 23. 6 fantasy points per game

⚫ 37.7 pass attempts and 25 completions per game (66.4%)

⚫ 303.8 passing yards per game

⚫ 2.4 passing TDs per game (226 total)

⚫ 0.6 INTs per game (56 total)

⚫ 3.9 rushing attempts per game

⚫ 20.7 rushing yards per game

⚫ 0.2 rushing TDs per game (17 total)

⚫ 0.1 lost fumbles per game (11 total)


Arguably the safest floor in fantasy football, Mahomes has been able to reach 15 or more fantasy points in 83 of 93 games (89%). 61 of those games went over 20 fantasy points (66%).


We're also well aware of the ceiling, as Mahomes has scored 25 or more fantasy points in 38 of 93 games (41%). 21 of those games went over 30 fantasy points (23%), including TWO games of 40+.


Put another way, Mahomes has twice as many games over 30 fantasy points (21) as he does games under 15 fantasy points (10). 🐐


Again headed for a monster year in 2023, FanDuel Sportsbooks are projecting Mahomes for:

⚫ favored to lead the NFL in TD passes (+300)

⚫ over/under 35.5 TD passes (-112)

⚫ favored to lead the NFL in passing yards (+250)

⚫ over/under 4650.5 passing yards (-112)

⚫ favored to win MVP (+600)


From a betting standpoint—and remember I am not a professional gambler—Mahomes' 35.5 TD total seems "low" considering he's thrown for 37 or more TDs in 4 of 5 seasons as the Chiefs' starting QB.


Similarly, Mahomes has thrown for 4740 or more yards in 4 of 5 seasons as the Chiefs' starting QB.


Still, entering his age 28 season and well on his way to Mount Rushmore status, is there anything more that really needs to be said about Patrick Mahomes?


He's an elite QB 1 every year for the next decade.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟢 Still just 27 years old (28 in September), Patrick Mahomes is a top 3 dynasty QB—if not top 1—for the next decade


Redraft Leagues: 🟡 Patrick Mahomes is currently being drafted as the QB 1 around pick 16 overall (mid 2nd round) in 2023 PPR leagues.


I like grabbing Mahomes in the late 2nd or early 3rd round (especially if I drafted Travis Kelce in the 1st), but 16 overall is a bit expensive with CeeDee Lamb, Jonathan Taylor, Davante Adams, Nick Chubb, AJ Brown, Derrick Henry, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Garrett Wilson and others hanging out in that range.


If you do take Mahomes, do not draft a 2nd QB (assuming a normal-ish sized league).


Mahomes is currently #21 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟢 Patrick Mahomes is currently being drafted as the QB 1 around pick 21 overall (late 2nd round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


He's a fine pick at that cost but it's also ok to skip him for Jaylen Waddle, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, Chris Olave, DeVonta Smith, Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor, Tee Higgins or more.


If you do select Mahomes, don't even think about your QB 2 until the double digit rounds.


But it's also ok to skip Lawrence and instead opt for someone like Marquise Brown, Tyler Lockett, JK Dobbins, Miles Sanders, Cam Akers, Mike Evans, Dameon Pierce, Michael Pittman, Kyle Pitts, and more.


Max best ball exposure: 25%

Kansas City Chiefs Running Backs

Fantasy Football Rankings and Preview

🟡 RB Isiah Pacheco

2022 was a magical season for 7th round rookie Isiah Pacheco, who was an afterthought (or a never-thought) before the 2022 offseason began, buried behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones and Jerick McKinnon.


It didn't take long for the angry runner to turn heads in training camp and preseason before eventually climbing all the way to the top of the RB depth chart by week 10 of the regular season.


Pacheco carried the rock 170 times for 830 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and 5 TDs while adding 13 catches (14 targets) for 130 scoreless receiving yards.


Over the final 11 games—including the playoffs and Super Bowl—as the Chiefs lead back, the 7th round Rutgers product averaged:

⚫ 12.15 PPR points per game

⚫ 14.91 touches per game, including 1.64 targets and 1.45 catches per game

⚫ 85.09 scrimmage yards

⚫ 0.4 TDs per game (4 total)


Pacheco was a solid flex option, scoring 10 or more PPR points in each of his final 10 games, including 2 games over 15 PPR points.


That said, sharing time with McKinnon and lacking usage in the passing game, Pacheco's ceiling was relatively capped as his two best outings were a solid 15.6 PPR points and 16.2 PPR points.


Kansas City did very little this offseason to improve their RB room—in fact, they lost Ronald Jones to the Cowboys—penciling Pacheco back in atop the Chiefs RB depth chart.


He should pickup where he left off as the Chiefs lead back for early downs and short yardage situations, including at the goal line.


That said, Jerick McKinnon is still in town to siphon receiving work, former 1st round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still on the roster, and undrafted free agent Deneric Prince has reportedly been turning heads at Chiefs camp.


Pacheco would need to see more work in the passing game (he did catch 5 of 6 targets in the Super Bowl) to be a truly confident fantasy option, but that's unlikely with McKinnon, CEH and now Prince all hanging around.


For what it's worth, FanDuel Sportsbook appears to be expecting a step back for Pacheco on the ground, projecting him for just 775.5 yards (-112) despite last season's 830 yard effort.


Pacheco is also projected for over/under 5.5 rushing TDs (-108 over, -118 under), right in line with the 5 TDs he scored in 2022.


Heading into his age 24 season, Pacheco is best approached as a low-upside RB 2/3 in 2023 fantasy football leagues.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟡 Isiah Pacheco is still just 24 years old and likely to be viewed as a favorable commodity in the dynasty community—dynasty drafters love a shiny young RB. Unlikely to ever evolve into a higher end RB 2, Pacheco is a great "sell high" candidate in dynasty leagues.


Redraft Leagues: 🟠 Isiah Pacheco is currently being drafted as fantasy's RB 28 around pick 71 overall (late 6th round) in 2023 PPR drafts.


Profiling as a typical "dead zone RB," I'm skipping Pacheco at his current draft spot and instead opting for James Conner, Alvin Kamara, JK Dobbins, Alexander Mattison, Chris Godwin, D'Andre Swift, Tyler Lockett, Deshaun Watson, Mike Evans, Christian Kirk, Javonte Williams, Diontae Johnson, Michael Pittman, James Cook and more.


Pacheco is currently #85 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings—13-14 spots behind his current ADP.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟠 Isiah Pacheco is currently drafted as the RB 28 around pick 88 overall (early 8th round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


Candidly, I have almost zero exposure to Pacheco in my best ball portfolio since he's drafted among higher upside options like James Conner, Rachaad White, Javonte Williams, Zay Flowers, Deshaun Watson, Brandin Cooks, Elijah Moore, James Cook, Alvin Kamara, Kadarius Toney, Tua Tagovailoa, Skyy Moore, Rashod Bateman, Dalvin Cook and more.


Max best ball exposure: 5%

🟠 RB Jerick McKinnon

2022 was a career year for Jerick McKinnon, setting new career highs in targets (71), catches (56) receiving yards (512) and receiving TDs (9!).


His 11.5 PPR points per game were good enough for a surprise RB 20 finish on the season.


Of course, most of that damage was done on a heroic 9 game stretch between weeks 9-17 when McKinnon averaged:


⚫ 16.13 PPR points per game

⚫ 9.11 touches per game, 4.56 of which were catches (5.67 targets)

⚫ 62.44 scrimmage yards per game, 44 of which were receiving yards

⚫ 0.89 TDs per game (8 total, 7 of which were through the air)


The Chiefs were in a transitional period, shifting from Clyde Edwards-Helaire to 7th round rookie Isiah Pacheco, putting a healthy serving of receiving work on McKinnon's plate and allowing him to score 10 or more PPR points in 7 of 9 games, including 32+ in two different games.


McKinnon is back for another stint in Kansas City and currently penciled in as the team's receiving back and RB 2 behind Isiah Pacheco, but it should be noted that former 1st round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still on the roster and undrafted free agent Deneric Prince is reportedly turnings heads—especially as a receiving back—at Chiefs camp.


There's some serious risk to McKinnon as a fantasy football selection in 2023, considering he's a negative TD regression candidate that averaged less than 8 touches per game last season and is no sure thing to hold off CEH or even Prince as the season goes on.


But as it stands right now, McKinnon should be penciled in as Kansas City's RB 2, a role that clearly proved fruitful in 2022.


In 28 career regular season games where McKinnon has handled between 7-12 touches—a fair-if-not-lofty projection for 2023, the Vikings' 2014 3rd round pick from Georgia Southern has averaged:


⚫ 9.5 PPR points per game

⚫ 9.1 touches per game

⚫ 2.8 catches on 3.6 targets per game

⚫ 48.8 scrimmage yards per game

⚫ 0.3 TDs per game (9 total)


He scored fewer than 10 PPR points in 17 of those 28 contests (61%)


Heading into his age 31 season, McKinnon is best approached as a PPR-specific RB 4 in 2023.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟠 Heading into his age 31 season, the clock is ticking on Jerick McKinnon's career.


Redraft Leagues: 🟠 Jerick McKinnon is currently being drafted as fantasy football's RB 39 around pick 122 overall (early 11th round) in 2023 PPR leagues.


McKinnon is currently #131 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings, 11-ish spots past his ADP.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟡 Jerick McKinnon is currently drafted as the RB 41 around pick 124 overall (early 11th round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


I'd rather use that pick on De'Von Achane, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Damien Harris, Aaron Rodgers, Elijah Mitchell, Greg Dulcich, Jamaal Williams, Dalton Kincaid and others.


Max best ball exposure: 10%


Kansas City Chiefs Wide Receivers

Fantasy Football Rankings and Preview

🟢 WR Kadarius Toney

2022 was a fascinating year for Kadarius Toney, the New York Giants' 1st round pick from the 2021 NFL Draft.


After a tumultuous year and a half in New York, the Brain Daboll and the G-Men soured on Toney and shipped him to Kansas City in exchange for a 3rd and 6th round pick just 18 months after spending the 20th overall pick on him.


Toney has flashed some serious fantasy football upside in limited playing time (he's played in just 18 career regular season games), including a destructive 10 catches for 189 yards against the Cowboys in just his 4th NFL appearance.


He didn't play much with Kansas City—understandable considering he was a mid-season acquisition—but when he did, Toney flashed some of that mouthwatering upside at times, scoring 19 PPR points in his 2nd game with Kansas City, and 12.4 PPR points in week 18.


Heading into 2023, JuJu Smith-Schuster (101 targets) and Mecole Hardman (34)—among others—have left the building, theoretically freeing up 135+ targets that need to find a new home and creating a path to WR 1 duties for Toney if he can get—and stay—on the field.


Of course, Travis Kelce will continue to command targets as he has for the entirety of Mahomes' career (and before that), and 2nd year man Skyy Moore is reportedly lighting up camp.


But Moore is far from a sure thing—even though I love him—and the Mount Rushmore tight end is entering his age 34 season. And assuming the Chiefs will be in the elite tier of passing offenses again—Andy Reid's offenses have finished in the top 10 in points in 8 of his 10 years in Kansas City, including top 6 finishes in each of the last 6 seasons—then there's plenty of room for a fantasy football explosion (or 2) from Kansas City wide receivers.


Patrick Mahomes has produced a top 32 WR in each year he's been a starting QB, including THREE top 7 finishes from Tyreek Hill:


⚫ 2018: WR 3 (Tyreek Hill)


⚫ 2019: WR 32 (Tyreek Hill)


⚫ 2020: WR 2 (Tyreek Hill)


⚫ 2021: WR 6 (Tyreek Hill) and WR 48 (Mecole Hardman)


⚫ 2022: WR 27 (JuJu Smith-Schuster)


Of course, you'll notice there's only one season in which Mahomes has supported TWO top 48 WRs (and even that's just barely), which is fair and perhaps even expected when considering how dominant Kelce and Tyreek have been in Mahomes' career.


Still, data shows we can't just trust that Mahomes' WR 2 will be a fantasy football goldmine; it never really has been.


But we know at least 1 Chiefs WR will have a solid fantasy football season, and Toney is as good a bet as any to be "the guy" in KC. It certainly doesn't hurt that, when healthy—which is the big "if"—Toney is the most electric WR that the Chiefs have had since Tyreek; the talent and upside is very real for the 24 year old out of Florida.


Toney is best approached as a WR 3 with massive upside for a lot more if he can get and stay on the field with significant playing time. He's one of my favorite value picks in 2023 for the upside he offers.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟢 Kadarius Toney is entering his age 24 season and, considering how low he's drafted in season long redraft leagues, it's fair to wonder if there's an open "buy low" window for Toney.

How to approach Kadarius Toney in your 2023 fantasy football rankings

Redraft Leagues: 🟢 Kadarius Toney is currently being drafted as the WR 46 around pick 116 overall (mid 10th round). He's arguably my favorite value pick in all of 2023 fantasy football.


Toney is currently #64 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings, 50+ spots ahead of his ADP.


As BBFF subscribers can see for any player they want, Toney's ADP is plummeting in recent weeks with the news of his surgery. That said, he is expected to be ready for week 1, making him an even bigger value than he already was.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟢 Kadarius Toney is currently drafted as fantasy's WR 46 around pick 95 overall (late 8th round round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


He's arguably my favorite value pick in all of 2023 fantasy football.


Max best ball exposure: 25%

🟢 WR Skyy Moore

JuJu Smith-Schuster (101 targets) and Mecole Hardman (34)—among others—have left the building, paving the way for a new WR 1 in Kansas City and theoretically freeing up 135+ targets that need to find a new home.


The newfound opportunity leaves fantasy managers drooling over "what could be" with talented 2nd year receiver Skyy Moore sitting at or near the top of the Kansas City depth chart, potentially regularly catching passes from two-time MVP Patrick Mahomes.


Sure, Kadarius Toney is a real threat, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is still around, and oh yeah Travis Kelce will continue to command targets as he has for the entirety of Mahomes' career (and before that).


But the Mount Rushmore tight end IS entering his age 34 season and, assuming the Chiefs will be in the elite tier of passing offenses once again—Andy Reid's offenses have finished in the top 10 in points in 8 of his 10 years in Kansas City, including top 6 finishes in each of the last 6 seasons—then history shows that there's plenty of room for a fantasy football explosion (or 2) from Kansas City wide receivers.


Patrick Mahomes has produced a top 32 WR in each year as a starter, including THREE top 7 finishes from Tyreek Hill:


⚫ 2018: WR 3 (Tyreek Hill)


⚫ 2019: WR 32 (Tyreek Hill)


⚫ 2020: WR 2 (Tyreek Hill)


⚫ 2021: WR 6 (Tyreek Hill) and WR 48 (Mecole Hardman)


⚫ 2022: WR 27 JuJu Smith-Schuster)


Of course, you'll notice there's only one season in which Mahomes has supported two top 48 WRs (and even that's just barely), which is fair and expected considering how dominant Kelce and Tyreek have been in Mahomes' career.


So data shows we can't just trust that Mahomes' WR 2 will be a fantasy football goldmine; it never really has been and probably won't be (until Kelce retires).


That said, we know at least 1 Chiefs WR will have a solid (at worst) fantasy football season. And the stars are aligning for Skyy Moore to be "the guy" in his 2nd year after the Chiefs made him the 54th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, as camp reports have been glowing for the sophomore; he's been running with the 1's for the entire camp and running as KC's primary slot WR.


Moore admittedly didn't do much in year 1, catching just 22 of 33 passes for 250 scoreless yards. That is concerning for his future prospects, as elite players tend to get on the field (and command targets) from the get go.


But Moore did catch a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl, and the talented 2nd rounder from Western Michigan—one of my favorite WRs in the entire draft class last year, by the way—is only entering his age 23 season.


Moore is best approached as a WR 3 with massive upside for a lot more.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟢 Still just 22 years old (23 in September), the "buy low" window for Skyy Moore might be closing in a hurry.


Redraft Leagues: 🟢 Skyy Moore is currently being drafted as the WR 52 around pick 142 overall (late 12th round) in 2023 PPR drafts.


He's an insane, "auto draft" value at that price.


Moore is currently #85 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings, a whopping 50+ spots higher than his ADP.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟢 Skyy Moore is currently drafted as fantasy's WR 45 around pick 92 overall (mid 8th round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


He's significantly more expensive in best ball leagues than in PPR redraft leagues, but he's still very much worth the cost.


Max best ball exposure: 25%

🟠 WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Despite many hopes of Marquez Valdes-Scantling taking a career step forward as the presumed WR 2 in a Patrick Mahomes offense, 2022 was just another ordinary year despite playing with another Hall-of-Fame QB for MVS who caught 42 of 81 targets (which, to be fair, were both career highs) for 687 yards (2nd most) and 2 TDs.


In 20 games with MVP Mahomes, MVS averaged just:

⚫ 7.7 PPR points per game

⚫ 4.6 targets

⚫ 2.5 catches

⚫ 40.5 yards

⚫ had 4 TDs


MVS landed under 10 PPR points in 15 of 20 games with Mahomes, including a big fat 0 in the Super Bowl.


It was a typical season for MVS. In 70 career games—including playoffs—where MVS has played at least 35% of the offensive snaps, he's averaged just:

⚫ 8.5 PPR points per game

⚫ 4.9 targets

⚫ 2.6 catches

⚫ 45.1 yards

⚫ 0.3 TDs (18 total)


He's scored fewer than 10 PPR points in 48 of 70 career games (a not so nice 69%), including 9 games of 0 (or less).


He's hit 15 or more PPR points in just 14 of 70 career games (20%) with a career high of 24.9 PPR points (week 10 of 2020 with the Packers).


11 of MVS' 12 best games have been with the Pack.


Sure, you could (and should) point out the fact that JuJu Smith-Schuster (101 targets last year) and Mecole Hardman (34)—among others—are out the door, leaving a path to an expanded role and 135+ Patrick Mahomes targets that need to find a new home.


But it's also true that Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore—both of which are younger and exceptionally more talented than MVS—are expected to step into (much) larger roles than they were in last year.


And even if MVS does somehow open the season as the Chiefs de facto WR 1, consider this...


There have been 25 games in MVS' career where he was a full time player, playing 81% or more of the offensive snaps. In those games, he still averaged just:

⚫ 9.6 PPR points

⚫ 5.8 targets

⚫ 2.9 catches

⚫ 49.2 yards

⚫ 0.3 TDs (7 total)


9.6 PPR points per game in 25 contests where he played 81% or more of the snaps with Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes?


Pass.


Now entering his age 29 season with 5 NFL seasons under his belt, we know what we're getting with the 2018 5th round pick from South Florida; a boom/bust, inconsistent speedster who will pop for the occasional but entirely unpredictable big week while filling the rest of his box scores with clunkers.


He's best approached as a WR 5 who's worth a late round dart in best ball contests but best left on the waiver wire in "normal sized" season long leagues.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟠 Entering his age 29 season, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is an unexciting hold for dynasty managers.


Redraft Leagues: 🟠 Marquez Valdes-Scantling is currently being drafted as the WR 68 around pick 210 overall (mid 18th round) in 2023 PPR drafts. If you're in a "normal" sized league (12ish teams, 15ish roster spots), MVS is not worth drafting.


MVS is currently #159 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟡 Marquez Valdes-Scantling is currently drafted as fantasy's WR 67 around pick 147 overall (early 13th round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


He's a fine pick there for the occasional splash game that you don't have to predict, but so is Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee, Jonathan Mingo, Adam Thielen, Gerald Everett, Marvin Mims, Cole Kmet, Derek Carr, DJ Chark, Roschon Johnson and more.


Max best ball exposure: 15%

Kansas City Chiefs Tight Ends

Fantasy Football Rankings and Preview

🟢 TE Travis Kelce

Not at all slowed down by his age 33 season, Travis Kelce posted new career highs in targets (152), catches (110) and TDs (12) while posting the 2nd highest yardage total of his career (1,338) in 2022.


In 20 games with Patrick Mahomes (and without Tyreek Hill), Kelce averaged a GOAT-like:

⚫ 19.63 PPR points per game

⚫ 9.15 targets

⚫ 6.85 catches

⚫ 79.75 yards

⚫ had 16 TDs


Kelce scored 10 or more PPR points in an unbelievable 18 of 20 games.


Kelce scored 15 or more PPR points in an unbelievable 15 of 20 games.


Kelce scored 20 or more PPR points in an unbelievable 10 of 20 games.


Kelce scored 33 or more PPR points in an absolutely unbelievable THREE games last season.


He was unbelievably the 8th highest fantasy scorer among all RBs, WRs and TEs.


The guy is unbelievable.


And in 2023, JuJu Smith-Schuster (101 targets last year), Mecole Hardman (34) and more have skipped town, theoretically freeing up 135+ targets that need to find a new home.


Translation, Kelce is easily the longest tenured and most trusted pass catcher the Chiefs have.


In 161 career games—including playoffs—where he's played at least 32% of the offensive snaps, Kelce is averaging a GOAT-like:

⚫ 16.4 PPR points per game

⚫ 8.1 targets

⚫ 5.9 catches

⚫ 73.9 yards

⚫ 0.53 TDs (85 total)

⚫ For poops and gigs, the guy even has 2 rushing TDs and 1 passing TD cuz why the heck not?


But let those receiving TDs sink in for a moment...


He has scored 85 touchdowns in 161 games.


Put another way, this guy is scoring a touchdown more frequently than every other Sunday. Insane.


After 161 games, Kelce has scored:


⚫ 10 or more PPR points in 123 of 161 games (76%)


⚫ 15 or more PPR points in 87 of 161 games (54%)


⚫ 20 or more PPR points in 53 of 161 games (33%)


⚫ 25 or more PPR points in 23 of 161 games (14%)


⚫ 33 or more PPR points in 8 of 161 games (5%), including TWO games between 41-42 PPR points


3 of those 8 games of 33+ points came last season alone.


The 2013 3rd round pick out of Cincinnati has (a lot) more games over 20 PPR points (53) than he has games under 10 PPR points (38).


That's incredible for a tight end.


Of course, we DO need to be cognizant of the fact that this will be Kelce's age 34 season. That would be concerning for 99.9% of tight ends.


But Kelce isn't 99.9% of tight ends, is he?

A tweet about how to approach Travis Kelce in 2023 fantasy football rankings

For what it's worth, Tony Gonzalez retired at 37 and played at a high level all the way through, finishing as fantasy football's TE 6, TE 4, TE 2 and TE 2 in 4 seasons after turning 34 years old.


FanDuel Sportsbooks don't appear to be expecting a step back from the old man, projecting him for the 2nd best odds of leading the NFL in TD catches (+750) and the 4th best odds of leading he NFL in catches (+1100).


That said, they do have Kelce slated for "just" 1075.5 yards, which would be the 4th fewest of his 11 year career. His TD total is currently sitting at 9.5, notable since he's scored 10+ TDs in "just" (lol) 3 of 10 seasons.


The end IS coming. The end IS near.


But with (very) little established competition for targets (Marquez Valdes-Scantling is just a guy, Skyy Moore is a 2nd year WR that did nothing in his rookie year, and Kadarius Toney isn't exactly a pinnacle of health), coming off a career year and having already established his face on the Mount Rushmore of tight ends, I'm happily betting on one more year (at least) of supremacy from Kelce, arguably the best to ever do it.


Kelce is once again the TE 1 overall in 2023 fantasy football leagues.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟡 Entering his age 34 season, Kelce is a "sell" candidate for any rebuilding teams, and a "buy" for contending teams.


Redraft Leagues: 🟢 Travis Kelce is currently being drafted as fantasy's TE 1 around pick 6 overall (mid 1st round) in 2023 PPR drafts.


It's expensive, but worth it for a guy that finished 8th in overall scoring among RBs, WRs and TEs last year.


If you draft Kelce, don't take another TE.


Kelce is currently #7 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟢 Travis Kelce is currently drafted as fantasy's TE 1 around pick 6 overall (mid 1st round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


It's expensive, but worth it for a guy that finished 8th in overall scoring among RBs, WRs and TEs last year.


If you draft Kelce, don't take another TE until the double digit rounds, and count on drafting only two total.


Max best ball exposure: 25%

Other Names to Know

For the deep-leaguers and dynasty leaguers, see below for analysis on:


⚫ RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

⚫ RB Deneric Prince (rookie)

⚫ WR Rashee Rice (rookie)

⚫ WR Justyn Ross



🟠 RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

2022 was rock bottom for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs' 32nd overall pick from the 2020 draft. In his 3rd NFL campaign, CEH set new career lows in touches (88), targets (23), catches (17), scrimmage yards (453) and PPR points (9.8 per game).


He fell out of favor with the Chiefs' coaching staff in the middle of the season, as Kansas City pivoted to a combo of rookie Isiah Pacheco and journeyman Jerick McKinnon. It was the worst year of CEH's three-year career, and the Chiefs declined his 5th year option, making this (2023) a "contract year" for the probably-outbound CEH.


After 33 career regular season games, CEH is averaging:

⚫ 11.8 PPR points per game

⚫ 13.4 touches per game

⚫ 3 targets and 2.2 catches per game

⚫ 66.6 scrimmage yards

⚫ 0.5 TDs per game (17 total)


CEH has fewer than 10 PPR points in 12 of 33 games (36%), which is more than games he has over 15 PPR points (11). He's scored over 20 PPR points in 4 of 33 games (12%) but he's never hit 23 PPR points.


His fantasy relevance is on life support, but it's not dead yet.


He's reportedly "stepping up" at Chiefs camp, looking noticeably "quick and strong" per Andy Reid. Further, presumed day 1 starter Isiah Pacheco is missing time while recovering from his own hand and labrum injuries, though he's expected to be ready to roll for week 1.


Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon were both great last year, but we shouldn't pretend they're locked-in long-term options.


What if CEH gets a 2nd (or 3rd) chance with an injury in front of him?


What if something clicks in year 4?


What if the undeniable talent finally spills out in his contract year?


None of it's likely, but if you've ever played fantasy football, then you know that crazier, more unpredictable things have happened and will happen every year in this unpredictable game.


CEH shouldn't be drafted in "normal" sized leagues (12ish teams, 15ish roster spots), but he's a name to keep an eye on.

🟠 RB Deneric Prince (rookie)

The Chiefs signed Tulsa RB Deneric Prince shortly after the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft.


The 6-foot, 216 pound Prince made some noise at the NFL Combine in February when he put together one of the best performances among all RBs in this year's class.


Prince "thrives in the screen game" per film guru John Chapman, and he's reportedly been lighting up Chiefs camp, particularly as a kick returner and receiver in the passing game.


Of course, he wasn't especially productive in school, is "indecisive and hesitant at the line of scrimmage," and "not a burner." He was undrafted for a reason and remains a long shot to make any real noise in fantasy football.


But in running back room that has more questions than answers, Prince is a name to know, especially with pass-catching back Jerick McKinnon entering his age 31 season.


🟡 WR Rashee Rice (rookie)

Rashee Rice undoubtedly caught some attention in the fantasy football community when the Tyreek Hill-less Chiefs traded up in the 2nd round of the 2023 NFL draft to select the SMU product.


There's no denying the theoretical appeal of the Chiefs "getting their man" to put in a Patrick Mahomes offense with plenty of question marks at Wide Receiver.


Can Kadarius Toney live up to the potential?


Is Skyy Moore (one of my favorite prospects last year) ready to take a step forward?


Can "just a guy" Marquez Valdes-Scantling do enough to hold off the shiny new toy in KC?


Of course, Rice himself is not without question, as the already-23-year-old rookie didn't exactly blow up his collegiate career statistically despite playing in the American Athletic Conference for 4 years.


He's a big receiver who is an explosive jumper and fast for his size, but will need to polish the intricacies and technique of being an NFL wide receiver.


There's certainly some upside here, but there's plenty of question marks, too.


Rice doesn't belong on "normal" sized redraft rosters, but dynasty leaguers should be considering him in the 2nd round of rookie drafts.


🟡 WR Justyn Ross

Justyn Ross has long been a name to monitor among fantasy football players.


A highly touted prospect after clearing 1,000 yards as a true freshman at Clemson, Ross ended up going undrafted in the 2022 NFL draft after injuries derailed his career since that glorious freshman campaign.


A foot injury ended Ross' final season at Clemson, which required two surgeries after the fact, and landed Ross on the Chiefs PUP list last year before inevitably being placed on IR in July before the preseason even began.


Ross has garnered some high praise this offseason from Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, occasionally even earning some run with the first team offense while Kadarius Toney is on the mend.


Ross remains unlikely to make a dent in fantasy football, but we know the the talent is there if he can find a way to get—and stay—on the football field.


Ross isn't someone to roster (yet) in "normal" sized redraft leagues, but dynasty managers should have him on their radar.

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