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Wile_E_Coyote
07-18-2005, 11:50 AM
sorry if repost, did a quick search

http://www.fanball.com/fb/article.cfm/id.4116
By Court Mann, Associate Editor
July 5, 2005 6:00 PM ET

Leading up to the start of training camps in July, we are taking a team-by-team tour with fantasy previews for each NFL squad. We'll detail the key offseason moves, position battles to watch, and other things to keep an eye on as the clubs prepare for the season ahead.

Notable Offseason Moves: For the third straight season, the Chiefs finished 29th or worse in the NFL in total yards allowed, while also allowing more points than all but three teams in the league. Conversely, their offense ranked first among NFL offenses in yards gained and second in points scored. Thus, it should come as no surprise that after years of ignoring one side of the ball, the Chiefs finally spent most of their offseason budget in the reconstruction of their defense.

All told, Kansas City spent nearly $120 million in acquiring and signing three former Pro Bowlers in ex-Dolphins cornerback Patrick Surtain, ex-Steelers linebacker Kendrell Bell, and ex-Dolphins safety Sammy Knight. They also invested a first-round pick (the No. 15 overall selection) in play-making linebacker Derrick Johnson, and the speedy Texas alumnus was all over the field in mini-camp.

The Chiefs augmented their pass rush by trading Tennessee a fifth-round draft pick for third-year defensive end Carlos Hall. They also addressed an immediate need by bringing on veteran defensive back Ashley Ambrose in the wake of a season-ending mini-camp injury to corner Julian Battle. The unit did release disappointing end Vonnie Holiday and lose versatile linebacker Monty Beisel to free agency (Patriots).

An improved defense could mean more time on the field for Dick Vermeil's explosive offense or alternatively, less of a need to strike early and often. Either way, with virtually all of their pieces in place again this season, the Chiefs will likely remain atop the offensive rankings. In the last three seasons, they've ranked no worse than second in the NFL in scoring and fifth in yards gained. With little to improve and even less to spend, Kansas City made only minor moves, signing blocking and pass-catching back Robert Holcombe from the Titans and tabbing fast-talkin' Freddie Mitchell to help occupy the media and offset the departure of wide receiver Johnnie Morton.

The Chiefs said goodbye to backup running back Derrick Blaylock, who signed with the Jets. Wideout Az-Zahir Hakim, who played under Vermeil in St. Louis, did flirt with a contract, but backed out shortly before Mitchell signed. K.C. did show their own free agents a bit of love as well, bringing back wideout Marc Boerigter, linebacker Scott Fujita, safety Shaunard Harts, and linebacker Quinton Caver.

Position Battles: We're not about to suggest that Priest Holmes' spot atop the backfield depth chart is in jeopardy, but the position does bear monitoring in training camp. That's largely because young Larry Johnson looked every bit the part of a first-string runner while filling in late last season for Holmes—who sustained the third significant knee injury of his playing career. General manager Carl Peterson went as far as saying he wants to see the two share carries in a committee backfield, but we'll chalk that up to offseason baloney. However, it would be foolish to write Johnson off, because the Chiefs may want to reduce the wear on their soon-to-be 32-year-old starter while also paving the way for Johnson to take over once Vermeil and Holmes depart. Don't be surprised to see Larry take the bulk of the work in training camp; he did so last year even when Holmes was 100 percent healthy.

The other primary offensive position battle concerns the No. 2 receiving spot opposite the surprisingly resurgent Eddie Kennison. Mitchell signed a one-year deal, but with little production to bolster his case, he'll have to battle second-year wideouts Richard Smith and Samie Parker as well as the veteran Boerigter. Tight end/halfback Kris Wilson could also enter into the mix. After a second straight summer of impressive workouts, Wilson is tempting offensive coordinator Al Saunders to find a place for him on the field. With Tony Gonzalez firmly entrenched at the end spot, two- or even three-tight end formations with blocker Jason Dunn may compromise playing time for the other wideouts.

Keep an Eye On: All fantasy eyes will be on Holmes in training camp and the preseason to determine how well he is running on a knee that cost him half the season. It appears he's already lost his spot atop the fantasy football world to reliable Chargers runner LaDainian Tomlinson, and Seahawks touchdown-machine Shaun Alexander could be next to vault over Priest if he reaches accord on a long-term deal in Seattle. For what it's worth, the Chiefs insist Holmes' knee, which did not require surgery, will not be an issue going forward. Let's just hope that we see enough of him in camp and in the exhibition season to form our own opinion.

Kennison qualified as one of the biggest surprises of the 2004 fantasy season by racking up eight touchdowns and the second 1,000-yard campaign of his career. Clearly, he made a connection with quarterback Trent Green (career-high 27 touchdowns, second straight 4,000-yard season), but it's worth noting that all eight of Eddie's scores came after Holmes was injured. Obviously, after watching Priest threaten all kinds of scoring records over the last three years, we know the Chiefs are primarily a rushing team inside the red zone. With Gonzo also requiring his looks, whether there's enough to keep Kennison fat and giggly remains to be seen.

RedThat
07-18-2005, 11:57 AM
I can't believe this article didn't even mention FS under position battles.

htismaqe
07-18-2005, 12:01 PM
I can't believe this article didn't even mention FS under position battles.

It's a fantasy football article. Most fantasy leagues use team defenses rather than individual players.