With Tyreek Hill gone, the Chiefs have 159 targets up for grabs this season. What was once considered the most electric offense in football without question is now gaining skepticism from fans and analysts. The toughest division in the NFL awaits the Super Bowl LIV champions in 2022, and they have a brand-new receiving corps.
Headlined by former Steeler, and current TikTok, standout Juju Smith-Schuster, the Chiefs have put together a decent receiver room. They also added deep threat specialist Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency before drafting speedster Skyy Moore in the second round of this year’s draft. All these guys have significantly different skill sets that Andy Reid will use to his advantage in their creative, motion-heavy offense. The question is, which of these receivers are worth drafting in fantasy football at their current ADP?
ESPN Rank: WR59, ADP: 155
Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s only job is to catch the deep ball. A former Packer, MVS led the league in targeted air yards last season (17.5), while ranking fifth in yards per reception with 16.5, according to Next Gen Stats. Tyreek Hill is no longer there to stretch the field, so MVS will be the primary deep-ball target for the league’s biggest arm.
I would much rather have MVS after Skyy Moore and Mecole Hardman go a round or two prior. MVS’s skill set fits perfectly with how Mahomes likes to play, and he’s even been working on ways to expand his route tree to be a more rounded receiver. He wants to be a true No. 2 receiver in KC. Andy Reid said that he’s been impressed with that commitment to adjusting his game, according to CBS Sports.
“He [MVS] can change directions and he’s got that speed, which we all knew he had,” Reid said. “He’s able to work some of the primary underneath routes that he maybe didn’t do quite as much in Green Bay because of who they had there. I’ve been pleased with how he goes about his business. He’s doing a nice job.”
Not only will he take Hill’s place as the go-to deep threat, but he is also working on intermediate and short routes. With his yards per target, MVS has the potential to overshadow Juju Smith-Schuster and rank second on the team in receiving yards after Travis Kelce.
MVS and Mahomes have already created a solid rapport this offseason, according to the Athletic. Mahomes loves to let it fly when he trusts his receivers, and that’s what the 6’4” speedster is best at. For that reason, MVS is ranked inconceivably low. Given that he’s already begun to gel with Mahomes, don’t be afraid to reach on MVS. He has league-winning potential in Kansas City.
ESPN Rank: WR31, ADP: 82
Juju signed a 1-year $10.75 million deal with the Chiefs this season after his 2021 campaign was cut short due to a shoulder injury. This is a ‘prove it deal’ for the former Pro Bowler, because Juju hasn’t gone for 1,000 yards since that breakout sophomore season in Pittsburgh. He’s also only played one full season in the last three years.
However, the California native will certainly be first in line to take over intermediate and short targets from Tyreek Hill. Juju is explosive after the catch due to his overwhelming strength. Here’s an example of his favorite post-reception move to create space: the stiff arm.
JuJu with the grown man stiff-arm 😳💪
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 2, 2020
He feels the resistance from the corner crumble under the weight of his arm, so he plants his feet and drives through the defender for an extra 5-6 yards. Hill was explosive with his feet rather than his hands, so this will give the Chiefs some variety at receiver. Mahomes has never had a pass-catcher as physically dominant as Juju. He will make the legendary QB’s job a lot easier, providing reliable targets in the flats and curls with room to run after the catch.
Kansas City has 160 vacated targets from last season and Juju is set to take over the majority of those. The second pass-catcher, from a volume perspective, in the Chiefs offense is worth much more than a WR31 ranking. Take Juju with the confidence that he has top-20 upside.
ESPN Rank: WR53, ADP: 146
The second-round receiver out of Western Michigan put NFL clubs on notice with his fierce contested catch ability at just 5’10” 195 lbs. Moore went for nearly 1,300 yards and 10 TDs in his junior season as a result of his impressive speed and toughness. Here’s what NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein had to say about the prospect:
“His ball skills and toughness create opportunities as a reliable target and capable route-runner from release to whistle,” Zierlein said. “His best fit is from the slot, but long-term success will depend on his ability to keep fine-tuning his craft.”
Thus, Moore likely won’t have a big impact right away. He’s a young guy with a lot of talent, but his route-running and technique needs work, especially coming out of the Mid-Atlantic Conference. Him and Hardman will likely split WR3 duties, which won’t be enough volume to sustain fantasy relevance. He could pick up more snaps throughout the season, but don’t count on consistent production from the rookie.
ESPN Rank: WR54, ADP: 146
I’ll make this simple. Don’t draft Mecole Hardman, no matter what. There is no reason to draft Hardman when you can get MVS a round later. He’s had three years to prove that he can produce as a starter in the most dynamic offense in football and hasn’t been able to do so. There’s no reason to believe he will now, even with more opportunities available. He will likely be the fourth or fifth receiving option this season depending on Moore’s development.
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