The Kansas City Chiefs are clearly serious about upgrading their offense around new quarterback Patrick Mahomes II and have responded in kind by adding free agent wide receiver Sammy Watkins on a three-year, $48 million contract with a robust $30 million guaranteed. The signing comes as a bit of a surprise as the Chiefs already had a whole host of offensive weapons, namely Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill. Adding Watkins to this offense gives their new quarterback every chance to be successful, really takes advantage of his skill set (which includes an extraordinarily strong arm) and also changes the dynasty value landscape of several players. Let’s take a look at the players whose values are affected as a result of this big free agent signing.
Sammy Watkins, WR KC
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To me, this signing clearly looks like it has the smell of “good in reality and bad in fantasy.” Watkins will add another dynamic weapon to the Chiefs offense but he’ll hardly be force-fed targets with the Chiefs. In fact, it’s fair to wonder just where he’s going to fit in the pecking order. You know Kelce is going to get all he can handle and Hill certainly looked the part last year in his first season as a full-time receiver. Realistically, Watkins could only be looking at a handful of targets each week and will need to make the most of them, especially if he finds himself as the third option which could be very realistic.
Watkins has habitually disappointed dynasty owners and still only has one 1,000 yard season on his resume. He’s still very young and has a lot of time to grow in this offense but dynasty owners who have held on to him in the hopes he’d realize his potential and become a bona fide WR1 may need to change their expectations. The fit here is good enough to make Watkins a very intriguing player (after all, the Chiefs now have two receivers who average more than 15 yards per catch) but I’d expect his ADP to either continue to drop or just flatten over the next few months – I don’t see it rising, despite him playing with a strong armed quarterback. To me, I’m expecting numbers very similar to DeSean Jackson’s when he was in his prime. There are going to be some very big days combined with some serious clunkers. Anything else would be a bonus.
Patrick Mahomes, QB KC
There are few teams, if any, who boast an offense full of playmakers like the one Kansas City is now ready to field. The weapons they have certainly fit the skill set of Mahomes as well but it’s far from a given that this will all work out as he clearly has a long way to go. There are going to be some growing pains for Mahomes as he simply has to find a way to minimize mistakes and not force the ball down the field. Sounds a lot like anti-Alex Smith offense, doesn’t it? Owners of Mahomes have to be very excited about this signing but also need to remain patient. He is best served as a QB2 stash with enormous upside. I still view him as the biggest risk / reward quarterback to own in dynasty leagues and this signing just reinforces that thought.
Tyreek Hill, WR KC
Hill had the breakout campaign owners were hoping for last year with 75 catches for 1,183 yards, seven touchdowns, featuring a yards per catch average of 15.8. Hill is a dynamic weapon who is one of very few players in the league who can truly score on any given play and with any touch he gets. Having Watkins in the fold could hurt his value a bit and I’d clearly expect his ADP to dip a bit with this signing. It was probably inflated a bit already as it was hovering around 20 anwyay. Still, Andy Reid is smart enough to find ways to get Hill the ball in space and he’ll continue to do that. I’d expect Hill’s ADP to drop down between 25-30 when all is said and done. Owners of Hill shouldn’t panic, though.
Travis Kelce, TE KC
Some owners may be looking at this Watkins signing and feeling like Kelce may experience a dip in value. I don’t believe that’s going to be the case. In fact, it could help him more than hurt him. Defenses will have to be very cautious about allowing both Watkins and Hill get deep and if they pay too much attention to those two streaking receivers, Kelce is going to have a field day in the middle of the field. Fresh of an 83/1,038/8 season, Kelce finds himself squarely in the discussion as the TE1 in all of dynasty leagues – this signing shouldn’t change that.
Chris Conley, Jehu Chesson, Demarcus Robinson, WRs KCC
If there are losers in this signing, you’re looking at them. Watkins was paid big money to start alongside Hill and Kelce and the Chiefs now have millions of reasons (literally) to use all three of those players. The dynasty potential in this group was already a little tenuous but their balloon was just popped.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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