Chiefs HC Andy Reid said he'll "mix and match" players for Sunday's finale at San Diego. “I’m going to work some guys in,” Reid told The Kansas City Star. “Most of them have already
worked in. … I talked to the team, and I will have it figured out by the
end of the week exactly how I’m going to work it.” What does that mean for your fantasy team? No Chief is safe. Avoid them if your season is still going.
The Chiefs practiced without OLB Tamba Hali on Tuesday but welcomed LT Branden Albert and OLB Justin Houston back for full workouts. Albert (knee) and Houston (elbow) missed Sunday's game but appear on track to return. Hali reportedly has knee swelling, but HC Andy Reid said he should be fine "down the road." Kansas City is the only team locked into its AFC playoff seeding heading into Week 17, so Reid might decide to sit all 3 starters.
Chiefs HC Andy Reid told reporters Monday that OLB Tamba Hali suffered only a slight ankle sprain in Sunday's loss to the Chargers. A Monday MRI confirmed that it wasn't a high ankle sprain. That makes Hali likely to return for the Week 13 clash with Denver. Fellow OLB Justin Houston, meanwhile, still had too much swelling in his dislocated elbow to get an MRI Monday. That certainly makes him look more iffy for the Broncos rematch. No member of the Chiefs' pass rush factored into the 1st meeting much, but Kansas City obviously needs all the defensive help it can get. IDP owners should plan on going without Houston but should have Hali available as an option.
The Chiefs selected Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher with the 1st pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. HC Andy Reid reportedly pushed for Fisher and got his man. Fisher is willing to start his career at RT, which might allow the Chiefs to keep Branden Albert and play him at LT this year. The 6'7, 306-pound Fisher is widely regarded as a better run-blocker than OTs Luke Joeckel or Lane Johnson -- good news for RB Jamaal Charles.
CBS Sports' Mike Freeman reports that the Chiefs are "begging" to trade out of the top spot in the upcoming NFL Draft. It's not a surprising desire. The class brings no singularly dominant talent, especially at QB. And Kansas City gave up its pick at the top of Round 2 in the Alex Smith trade. We won't hold our breath for a deal to be made, though. The best bet would likely be if a top 10 team such as Arizona (7th pick overall) is desperate for 1 of the top 2 OTs. Even then, K.C. would likely have to accept less than the traditional trade-value chart would indicate.
The Chiefs released OT Eric Winston. It's a surprising move considering Winston's price and production. He was set to earn a reasonable $4.9 million in 2013, and Pro Football Focus graded him as a top-24 OT in both run and pass-blocking last year. Winston figures to draw plenty of interest on the open market, especially from zone-blocking teams. Meanwhile, the move clears the way for the Chiefs to select either Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher with the 1st overall pick of the draft.
NFL insider Jay Glazer has learned that the Chiefs are the team with an agreement in place to trade for QB Alex Smith. KC has been the most likely landing spot all along. QB Matt Cassel wasn't cutting it, and Smith is a nice fit in new HC Andy Reid's west coast offense. Smith still figures to be more of a game manager, though, and is unlikely to rise above mid-level QB2 status in fantasy. The move obviously means the Chiefs won't be taking a QB with the 1st overall pick of April's draft, although they could still target a developmental project later on. The 49ers are expected to receive a couple draft picks in exchange for their former starting QB -- likely a mid-round pick and a late-rounder.
Update: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chiefs will give up this year's 2nd-round pick (33rd overall) and a conditional mid-round pick in 2014. That's quite a haul for the 49ers!
You already know the Chiefs' 2013 starting QB isn't currently on the roster. The Kansas City Star reports that the search has led to interviews with 8 QBs at the Scouting Combine already. Club reps talked to Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson, Mike Glennon, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Bray and Miami (Ohio)'s Zac Dysert and planned to interview E.J. Manuel tonight. The Chiefs are also rumored to be the team most interested in dealing for Alex Smith. Some evaluators say they don't see a 1st-round QB or a surefire NFL starter in this year's draft class. At #1 overall, Geno Smith is the only QB being mentioned. But that position seems like a stretch even for him.
New Chiefs HC Andy Reid says his team will be sticking with a base 3-4 defense. That's not surprising, considering the personnel has been built to fit that scheme. Tamba Hali has proved he can perform as either a DE or standup pass rusher, but OLB Justin Houston might prove less a fit as a down lineman. ILB Derrick Johnson's value obviously won't suffer from sticking with the setup that has made him a fantasy star. New DC Bob Sutton has coached in the NFL since 2000, spending that whole run with the Jets. He was DC there from 2006-2008 and coached LBs the rest of the time. The fact that Sutton stayed through four different HC regimes speaks well of his coaching acumen. The Jets weren't particularly special in any area during his 3 years as DC, so we'll have to see what Sutton's arrival means for the Chiefs. At the least, their individual defensive stars should continue to produce.
The Chiefs are on the verge of signing Andy Reid as their next HC. He won't even interview with the Cardinals or Chargers, making KC the first and only team he spoke to. An offensive guru, Reid will take over a squad that ranked 24th in total yards and dead-last in scoring this past year. He's also expected to be in charge of personnel decisions, meaning current GM Scott Pioli will be axed. Reid's first task will be solving the team's QB problem. The Chiefs have the 1st overall pick in this April's draft, although there doesn't seem to be a QB prospect worth taking there. We'll also have to see if he tries to re-sign free-agent WR Dwayne Bowe. Reid at least has a RB that fits his offense in Jamaal Charles, who has a similar skill-set to guys like Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy. While Charles' game-to-game carry count might continue to be frustrating, his role in the passing game should grow under Reid.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Chiefs will fire HC Romeo Crennel. He went just 4-15 in Kansas City, although he never had much of a chance with the QB situation. Kansas City's next HC will get a roster that has a lot more talent than this year's 2-14 record indicates. But finding a competent QB is an absolute must.
Chiefs HC Romeo Crennel says QBs Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn will split first-team reps over the bye week. "Both of them will get work," Crennel said. "Then we'll evaluate it. Next week, we'll get ready for game week, and we'll make a decision." Cassel has been medically cleared from his concussion and should be considered the favorite. Of course, neither guy is a recommended fantasy option. But Dwayne Bowe owners should be rooting for Cassel.
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