Every year, fantasy owners are handed a ticket to hop aboard the oh so exclusive hype train. Between free agents going to new teams, rookies being drafted, or young players further maturing, a plethora of reasons rationalize the desire for getting hype about a player.
Now, the question all owners need to think about before boarding the train is whether or not the hype train before is the precursor to glory or a mirage leading to ruin.
During the pre-draft process this year, a few story lines have stuck out to me as perhaps fool's gold attempting to lead to ruin, but none have stood out more than the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs
The 2017 season was a magical one for the Chiefs (well during the regular season that is). Alex Smith shed his game-manager persona and became a MVP candidate during the season, Kareem Hunt jumped out of the gate as a fantastic value for many owners, and Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce only further solidified their place as top 5 talents at their respective positions.
It's only natural to believe that they will have the same level if not even more success this year. After all, the only difference is that they replaced their Pro bowl QB Alex Smith with an unproven second year player. That shouldn't be a cause for concern at all.
That was sarcasm by the way.
The transition from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes should be a cause for concern for all looking to draft a Chiefs' player this season. Look I get it. Mahomes is the sexy QB with the huge arm like Brett Farve and the mobility to make the offense truly something special. The reality of the situation though still points to the fact that Mahomes is still a giant unknown.
No one knows if he will target Travis Kelce as high as Alex Smith did, or if he will gravitate towards Sammy Watkins more and thus cause Tyreek Hill to have a regression. Keep in mind that it is not easy nor does it occur often when a team supports multiple 1000 yard receivers without the help of a great QB under center. The addition of Sammy Watkins makes that repeat of Hill and Kelce both getting 1000 yards even less likely.
With both Hill (3.07) and Kelce (3.05) having a third round ADP currently, there's still just too much uncertainty at the QB position to ensure that they will return such a high draft capital.
In comparison to his peers, Hill has not shown the capacity to be a high volume wide out thus far in his career. Averaging only 68 receptions over the last two years, Hill's fantasy value relies mainly on the deep ball or other explosive big plays. With Mahomes' strongest upside being his cannon of an arm, one would think that Hill flourish in that scenario. He may, but it is not guaranteed. Look at how the Desean Jackson experiment worked out in in Tampa Bay the previous year.
Despite his game-changing speed, Winston and Jackson had difficulty getting on the some page and failed to hit on the deep ball despite the plethora of times when he was open. Hill could face a similar adjustment period with Mahomes as they get acclimated to one another to get the timing down.
Travis Kelce's role in the offense looks to be more solid than Hill's. Andy Reid has shown time and again the desire to draw up specific plays to ensure the ball ends up in Kelce's hands, so he will still be a force. But is he a third round force?
The only reason to take a TE as high as the third round is when you are looking at getting Gronk-like production (1000 yards and close to double digit TDs). One can't deny the chemistry that was built with Smith and Kelce over the years, so that loss there could see Kelce regress to more of a Greg Olsen level (800 yards and 5 or 6 scores) whose ADP is at 5.11.
Kareem Hunt is another Chief that I'm really pumping the brakes on. Yes, he looked amazing last last year as he led the league in rushing and dominated fantasy for the majority of the season. Let's not forget that was when he was the only viable RB on the roster. With Spencer Ware returning this year from injury along the other couple of RBs the Chiefs signed during the off-season, Hunt could be in for a decent regression in terms of touches.
Currently at the ADP of 1.11, I still find myself more willing to draft players like Leonard Fournette, Devonta Freeman, and Dalvin Cook ahead of him.
Overall, there is just too much uncertainty in Kansas City for me to feel comfortable taking any of their players with one of my first three picks. Granted, I love players like Sammy Watkins this year due to his 6.02 ADP. While the Chiefs should not be outright avoided, their current ADP should be a cause for concern and be pushed back further in everyone's rankings.