The Chiefs traded up in the 2017 draft and selected Mahomes with the No. 10 overall pick. Shortly after the end of the 2017 season, they traded starting QB Alex Smith to Washington, thus paving the way for Mahomes to assume control of coach Andy Reid’s offense. At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Mahomes is a terrific athlete who also excelled in baseball. At Texas Tech in 2016, he tied the all-time single-game mark by passing for 734 yards against Oklahoma. Mahomes started the regular-season finale of his rookie campaign, his only start of 2017. He connected on 22-of-35 passes for 284 yards and led the Chiefs to a 27-24 win over the Broncos. In the offseason, Kansas City signed WR speedster Sammy Watkins to a free-agent deal. The Chiefs now boast offensive weapons including Watkins, the versatile Tyreek Hill, TE Travis Kelce and RB Kareem Hunt. Mahomes has a strong arm. If he transitions well to the pro game, Kansas City could have an explosive offense. Even with the more conservative-minded Smith behind center, the Chiefs finished fifth last year in total yards. Although Mahomes gained only 10 yards on seven carries in Week 17, he was a good runner in college and should get some fantasy points with his legs.
We’ve mentioned “sample size” with Garoppolo, Watson and Goff, but their sample looks downright historic compared to Mahomes’. He has played in a grand total of one NFL game. In his lone 2017 start, Mahomes failed to throw for a TD and was picked off once.
Mahomes is an unknown, which will entice some fantasy owners, while causing others to shy away. Reid is a conservative coach and will likely bring Mahomes along gradually, opening up the offense as the season progresses. Fantasy owners will want to monitor his progress in the preseason. There is plenty of upside, and we wouldn’t blame you if you pulled the trigger on Mahomes in your draft sooner rather than later. Just make sure you couple him with a more conservative selection like Stafford, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers … or even (irony alert) Smith.