QB Alex Smith (Kansas City)
Over his time in Philadelphia, Andy Reid made basically every quarterback he had look better than they were, allowing the Eagles to ship off Kevin Kolb, AJ Feeley, and, eventually, Donovan McNabb for 2nd round picks, even though none of the three ever did anything of note for their new team. He also revitalized the careers and Jeff Garcia and Michael Vick, who both came to Philadelphia as backups on cheap one year deals. Reid should continue his fine work with Alex Smith, a great fit for Reid’s West Coast offense. Smith was not as good as he looked in San Francisco with Jim Harbaugh, but I don’t think you can say he’ll immediately regress to the borderline starter he was before Harbaugh. The Chiefs figure to pass the ball a lot under Andy Reid so Smith is an underrated QB2.
Projection: 3850 passing yards, 21 passing touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 100 rushing yards, 1 touchdown (226 pts standard, 268 pts 6 pt td leagues)
RB Jamaal Charles (Kansas City)
Jamaal Charles’ career 5.8 YPC is most all-time of backs with more than 500 career carries. Sure, he’s had just 784 carries in 5 seasons: but remember who he’s had as Head Coaches, Herm Edwards, Todd Haley, and Romeo Crennel. While Andy Reid hates to run the football, when he does, he’s faithful to one back and his playbook has enough passes to backs that Charles should be able to surpass his career high of 320 touches in a season. He’ll catch plenty of Alex Smith check downs and is a solid bet to catch 55-60 passes. He’ll also see more goal line touches, more consistent work, and more room to run on a team that can actually move the football through the air this season. He’s another year removed from that ACL tear and he’s the clear lead back. He was 5th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage last season and he’s my pick to lead the NFL in that category this season, as Brian Westbrook did under Reid in 2007.
Projection: 280 carries for 1540 rushing yards, 10 total touchdowns, 58 catches for 470 yards (261 pts standard, 319 pts PPR)
WR Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City)
Bowe caught just 59 passes for 801 yards and 3 touchdowns in 13 games in 2012, the 2nd worst season of his career, but that’s actually pretty impressive considering his quarterback play. Now he gets to play in a pass heavy offense under Andy Reid with arguably the best quarterback he’s ever played with (compared to Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton, and Brady Quinn) and he’s a great fit for a West Coast offense. He’s quietly one of the better receivers in the NFL in Kansas City and the arrow is definitely pointing up for him. He could surpass his career highs of 86 catches (2008) and 1162 yards (2010), though the 15 touchdowns he caught in 2010 remain largely a fluke.
Projection: 88 catches for 1220 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns (170 pts standard, 258 pts PPR)
TE Travis Kelce (Kansas City)
8/28/13: Tony Moeaki is expected to be done for the season with a fractured shoulder, but Travis Kelce might have beaten him out for the pass catching job either way. Still, with Moeaki gone, there will be plenty of playing time for the talented rookie and Alex Smith loves throwing to underneath targets so he’s worth a late round flier. Few TE2s have more upside.
Projection: 50 catches for 600 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns (84 pts standard, 134 pts PPR)