The fantasy football question on everyone’s mind will be who will make Patrick Mahomes the winner of the fantasy football league in 2023. Last year, hordes of fantasy artists tried to figure out who would replace Tyreek Hill. This year, I’m wondering if Mahomes even needs anyone other than Mahomes to be awesome. So let’s explore how this draft class will impact Kansas City for the 2023 fantasy football season.
FULL DRAFT RESULTS OF KANSAS CITY
|1||31||Felix Anudike-Uzomah||EDGE||State of Kansas|
|4||17||Chamarri Conner||cb||Virginia Tech|
|5||31||BJ Thompson||EDGE||Stephen F Austin State|
|7||33||Nick Jones||cb||ball condition|
Round 2, Pick 55 Overall: Rashee Rice, Wide Receiver, SMU (6’1” 204 lbs)
WR1: Kadarius Toney
WR2: Marquez Valdes scantling
WR3: Skyy Moore
WR4: Rashee Rice
When I saw that selection and started watching his college tape, I wondered why the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Rashee Rice. He is fast for his size and has good feet. The only thing I noticed about his play was that he only ran three routes that I thought he excelled at — comebacks, hooks, and wide receiver screens. Rice has a very quick stop-start move to get back on the ball on comeback and hook routes. While he doesn’t veer off the line of scrimmage very suddenly, he explodes from his breaks on every curl route. It is worth noting that 31.3% of Juju Smith-Schuster’s routes were one of these three routes.
Aside from that, I wanted more from Rice’s game. Rice has good hands, but he never seemed to make hard catches. As athletic as he is, Rice never seemed to play noticeably faster than the competition. One thing I absolutely loved about him is that Rice ran hard once the ball was in his hands. A lot of tall guys I’ve watched aren’t physical. Not so with rice. If he blocks, he’ll come at you. Don’t try to arm Rashee Rice if you still want guns.
When it comes to Kansas City Chiefs opportunities, you might as well roll a six-sided die and guess who will be relevant. Last year, Juju Smith-Schuster had 101 goals, 78 catches, 933 yards and 3 touchdowns. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Chiefs’ second-best wide receiver, had 81 goals, 42 catches, 687 yards and 2 touchdowns. These are very mundane numbers for players on football’s best offense.
That’s because Travis Kelce exists, and over the past year he accounted for 24.7% of the team’s goal share and accounted for 25.3% of the team’s receptions. Additionally, the wide receiver group accounted for just 28.3% of the team’s total touchdowns, with no player scoring more than 6 touchdowns.
The Chiefs lost Juju Smith Schuster and Mecole Hardman to free agency, replacing them with Richie James and 2nd Round draft pick Rashee Rice. The team invested a 2nd Round pick on Skyy Moore last year so he could make a jump. Moore will almost certainly get their first crack at a starting job while they wait for Rashee Rice to develop.
FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK 2023
Rashee Rice definitely fits into Kansas City in an interesting way. His 9.53 RAS shows Rice has the athleticism to excel in the NFL, but that wasn’t always reflected in his ribbon. For most teams I would say that the 2nd Round draft capital spent on him by the Kansas City Chiefs means Rice should see more opportunities to play on the field. Trouble is, the same could be said last year about Skyy Moore, who was capped in all the fantasy football leagues because man do we love our shiny new toys when Patrick Mahomes throws the ball at them. Skyy Moore was 5thth running in snaps and routes under the Chiefs wide receivers. Rashee Rice could explode this year, but it seems far more likely that Kelce will continue to dominate the workload and Rashee Rice’s draft capital isn’t worth the risk.
FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK 2023
Would you like Patrick Mahomes to target you more in the passing game? Then check out these links!