Kansas City Chiefs 2022 Fantasy Football Sleeper, Breakout & Bust

Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Football

Every summer, we take a deep dive into the fantasy football average draft position (ADP) of players on each real-life NFL team. We do this so that we can determine which guys are undervalued, overvalued, or valued just right. As we Goldilocks this ADP, our draft board forms based on our opinions of players and where they go in fantasy football drafts. Since drafters draft (mostly) by site algorithms, site algorithms drive ADP on that site. So, we use FantasyPros’ aggregate average draft position data in order to smooth out those edges. To really smooth out the edges, I will use half-PPR average draft position, which you can find here.

The Kansas City Chiefs will have a vastly new look on offense in 2022. They traded star wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins and replaced him with a mix of existing guys (Mecole Hardman), new veterans (JuJu Smith-Schuster) and rookies (Skyy Moore and Justyn Ross). They also added a back who has underwhelmed in the league (Ronald Jones) to complement their existing underwhelming back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. With Travis Kelce aging and Patrick Mahomes losing his top weapon, can we expect more of the same from the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense moving forward? For fantasy football, let’s start by identifying their sleeper, breakout, and bust for 2022!

Sleeper: Justyn Ross, Wide Receiver (WR109, 320 OVR)

By talent, Justyn Ross was one of the better wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. But, he went to Kansas City as an undrafted free agent because of a dire medical condition that left him with a spinal fusion and a doctor’s recommendation that he never play football again. He underwent surgery for the condition but did not get drafted because of it. Now, he’s trying to make his way onto the Chiefs’ roster. To be honest, he’s a long shot, given his condition, but I would love to see Ross make an impact in his rookie year. The talent level is certainly there; prior to missing all of 2020 due to his injury, he had 1,865 yards on 112 targets across 28 games in his freshman and sophomore years in 2018 and 2019.

Breakout: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Wide Receiver (WR38, 90 OVR)

The JuJu detractors say that JuJu can’t operate as a team’s #1 target and that he needs a stud receiver on the field to help move the defensive focus off of him and onto that other player. They fairly and accurately point out that JuJu hasn’t topped 850 yards since separating from Antonio Brown in 2019, after getting 2,356 of his career 3,877 receiving yards. So why is he a breakout player? Well, he’s playing with Travis Kelce, the best receiving tight end in the league, and someone the defense has to account for, making room for JuJu Smith-Schuster to work. So, I’m not particularly worried about that from a guy who had 3.3 targets for 57 yards per game and a half-touchdown per game, in the NFL, before his 21st birthday. JuJu showed he has the chops, but people are leaving him for dead now that he’s playing with the best quarterback of his career.

His ADP is a travesty if we’re being honest. The last time JuJu played a full season (prior to his shoulder injury that cost him the last 12 games of 2022), he finished as the WR19 with a particularly unhinged statline (97 receptions, 9 touchdowns, but just 831 yards), marking just the second time in NFL history that someone had over 90 receptions and under 900 yards (joining 2002 Troy Brown). JuJu has a nice 2022 ahead of him with Patrick Mahomes throwing him the football. Don’t miss out on it because he spent multiple years with a dead-armed Ben Roethlisberger or Mason Rudolph throwing him the football.

Bust: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Running Back (RB23, 54 OVR)

CEH fans don’t fear Ronald Jones, and Ronald Jones fans don’t fear CEH. Unfortunately, this seems to have been met with a stagnating CEH ADP rather than meeting in the middle. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a back-end RB2 last season, and after missing multiple games yet again (and underwhelming in the process) we are back where we started, with CEH as a backend RB2. Edwards-Helaire took a step back in basically every stat, as his rush attempts, yards per carry, targets, receptions, receiving yards, and yards per reception all ended up lower than his rookie year figures. And yet, he took no step back in regards or average draft position.

Losing Darrel Williams likely helps CEH end up on more and more passing downs, since Ronald Jones can’t catch a football to save his life, and CEH had 73 yards per game (1,241-yard pace) prior to his injuries in 2022. So, there are things to like. But, in the end, his RB23 price tag does not factor in his downside and feels like drafting CEH at his ceiling. And it’s because of this, that I’m out. But I hope I’m wrong.

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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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