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Kansas City Chiefs’ Offense — Over the Hill

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A wild offseason full of blockbuster deals has the Chiefs looking a little different. Will they be able to keep up their high-powered play next season? What could 2022 look like for the Chiefs? We will give you the low-down.


The Chiefs’ offense after the departure of Tyreek Hill will not be easy. The AFC West has turned into a tough-looking division as teams bolster their lineups. The Chiefs must still have some tricks up their sleeve with the trading of Hill to open up lots of cap space and add some draft picks to their offseason.

What the Chiefs Lost

In Hill’s six years with Kansas City, he averaged an impressive 1,105 yards and 9.3 touchdowns per season. That makes for some big shoes to fill before next season. His trio with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce is one of the most dominant in the league. Taking a piece from this puzzle means completely changing how they run their offense to better suit the new arsenal.

Losing one of the league’s most elite and fastest wide receivers is going to sting for a while. Since Mahomes’ first year as the team’s starter in 2018, the Chiefs have had a seemingly unstoppable trio. One which the chemistry had only grown over four success-filled years.

What They Have Gained

Picks

In the trade for Tyreek Hill, the Dolphins handed over their first, second, and fourth-round picks for this year’s draft as well as a fourth and sixth-round pick for the draft next year. This will give them a few extra opportunities to snag some promising rookies in the draft. I would expect a wide receiver and possibly some defensive backs or another linebacker to pair up with Nick Bolton.

Cap Space

By trading Hill to Miami, the Chiefs saved $20 million in cap space to spend on other assets this offseason. Shortly after trading him away, they signed a well-known speedster that will cost them half of this newfound cap space, but I will get to that in a second.

Having already had $8 million prior to the Hill trade, this left the team with around $28 million in cap space for the season. I am confident that Andy Reid and the Chiefs organization have seen this coming for a while. Therefore, preparing the team, even before they let him go, with notable free-agent signings.

Notable Free Agency Signings

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Juju Smith-Schuster

Prior to the Hill trade, the Chiefs signed Juju Smith-Schuster to the roster for one year and $3+ million. Although the last few seasons have been up and down for him in Pittsburgh, Smith-Schuster has proven he can be the go-to guy.

He had over 2,300 receiving yards in his first two seasons before the Steelers slowly started to phase him out by drafting Diontae Johnson in 2019 and Chase Claypool in 2020. This is when Smith-Schuster’s production took a major hit and has been more sporadic ever since.

A move to Kansas City offers an opportunity for a career revival for Smith-Schuster. Andy Reid will have fun utilizing him in the offense next season. Don’t expect him to make up for Hill’s production alone, but he should be able to maintain fantasy-relevant numbers at the flex position in most leagues. So far, he is the most promising of the late signings and will improve the Chiefs’ offensive outlook post-Cheetah.

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Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Valdes-Scantling played more of a deep-threat role for the Packers during his four years in the league. He has maintained a career average of 17.53 yards per catch that could prove to be useful for Kansas City alongside Juju and Kelce. The Chiefs have shown they have big plans for this young man by throwing him a three-year $30 million dollar deal. Taking up half of the cap space they gained by trading Tyreek.

It will be interesting to see how Andy Reid and the Chiefs choose to involve MVS in their offense. Could mean a major and necessary change to the way the offense works to remain successful. This move should improve his draft stock going into next year. Maybe not start-able but definitely roster-able in most formats as he will most likely remain a hit-or-miss wide receiver as a deep threat.

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Ronald Jones Jr.

Yes, the Chiefs have a number of weapons in their backfield, but fans should be excited about this signing. Ronald Jones has made quite the four-year career for himself, albeit playing a backup role for most of it.

Tampa Bay finally gave him a chance to take over for Peyton Barber in 2019 when he ended the season with over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns. He proved to be a lethal asset in the red zone as an effective down-hill rusher.

Jones followed up 2019 with another solid season of over 1,200 all-purpose yards while having to earn the role over Leonard Fournette. This is before Lenny returned the favor and took the reigns back in 2021. Don’t expect him to be worth much in the way of fantasy, he could make for a fine bye week fill-in pickup during the later rounds of drafts if he can find the end zone regularly.

RoJo hasn’t had an easy ride to success, but he has had it. He will have to earn his spot in Kansas City over Jerick McKinnon and CEH, but this competition doesn’t appear to be near the challenge he’s overcome before.

Andy Reid will most likely use him most on early downs and in red-zone situations in what will look like a completely different Chiefs offense. Given the lack of success in the rushing game, Jones would not hurt to have on hand.

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Summary: What Does All of This Mean for the Chiefs?

It would have been more detrimental for Kansas City to keep Tyreek Hill in the grand scheme of things. It was inevitable that he or Kelce would move on, so this was most likely something the organization had seen coming.

That said, Hill has been a focal point of this offense for the last six seasons. Proving a team doesn’t need a roster full of elite wide receivers to be successful. Now it’s time to move on and that means a lot of changes to cope with.

Stacking picks allows for the Chiefs to bring in more young talent to learn from the elite veterans and shape the future of the Chiefs organization. It appears highly likely that they will draft another wide receiver to a diverse group already signed. A player like Christian Watson could be a sneaky grab for them to complete this offensive lineup. His size and ability would be a nice addition to the offensive dynamic they have going already.

Draft picks and cap space was the biggest gain for the Chiefs in the trading of Tyreek. With more picks and cap room, the organization has a good opportunity to build on its future and bring in some more veterans to fill the void.

With this cap space, Kansas City was soon able to sign Marques Valdes-Scantling and Ronald Jones shortly after the trade. Although these additions are nothing compared to the loss of Hill, Andy Reid has always found a way to make things work.

Light Take on the Chiefs’ Offense Post-Cheetah

Expect the Chiefs to really spread the ball around this season as they can no longer rely on the Kelce-Hill duo. Without any elite signings to replace Hill, the offense will be forced to look to their now improved WR2 and WR3 positions quite a bit more to keep the pass-offense going successfully.

It remains to be seen if they can mesh in year one or if the Chiefs will find themselves in an adjustment period for the next year or two. Keep tabs on them as we near the NFL Draft and the 2022 season, they are not done making moves just yet.


Thank you for reading! You can read all of my Recruiting Series articles on my IDP Guys author page. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Harding_3 and follow @IDPGuys to keep up to date.

Axton Harding

Hello there and welcome to my profile! If you like any articles in particular or enjoy my style, feel free to comment or message me on Twitter for things you'd like to see! I am 26 years old and a devoted husband to my beautiful wife since 9/19/2020. I am also father to the sweetest dog as well as my future son (due 09/2022). My love for fantasy has grown since my younger teen years playing in my family's redraft league on ESPN. Since then, I have created my own and added a few more redraft and dynasty leagues as well! I have always enjoyed the outdoors and playing about any sport as I come from a very small town in the middle of Missouri. I have very much enjoyed my time with the IDP Guys and aspire to be very much involved in the growth of the organization in the fantasy community! Please feel free to give me a follow on Twitter @Harding_3! Thanks for reading!
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