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Jon Baldwin: Complete Fantasy Profile and Draft Strategy

Dec 11, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jon Baldwin (89) catches a pas against New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) during the game at Met Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John O'Boyle/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2012

The Kansas City Chiefs are a run-first squad, but Jon Baldwin is an interesting second-year player. He's big, fast and had a surprisingly good season with the Chiefs last year.

Jamaal Charles is back from injury, and the Chiefs brought in Peyton Hillis in the offseason. They will rely on that duo for the bulk of their offense, but Matt Cassel still must keep the defense honest.

When he does, Baldwin will be one of his main targets.

Baldwin will be on the board very late in your draft. He may even be available on the waiver wire. Either way, his potential should have you looking his way as your draft draws to a close.

Let's break down Baldwin's fantasy value from top to bottom.

 

Where You Should Draft Him

If you are in a 12-team league, taking Baldwin any earlier than the 10th round would not be a good idea. However, he's a reasonable option anywhere between Rounds 10 and 16 with 13-16 being the optimal slot.

 

Average Draft Position

ESPN.com has Baldwin's average draft position at 152.1 in snake draft formats. In auction drafts, he's valued at 1.2.

 

Position Rank

ESPN.com has Baldwin slotted at No. 51 among wide receivers, sandwiched between Randy Moss and Greg Little. He comes in at No. 138 overall.

 

Latest Injury News

Baldwin missed the five games of last season after injuring his wrist in an altercation with Thomas Jones in the locker room. He did wind up playing 11 games, and he's showed no ill effects in preseason play this season.

You may have your concerns about Baldwin, but pre-existing injuries shouldn't be one of them.

 

Season Projections

ESPN.com projects Baldwin to have 78 points in standard scoring leagues. They are anticipating 52 catches for 666 yards and two touchdowns.

Baldwin's touchdown total could wind up higher. The Chiefs will lean on their run game, but Baldwin is the best vertical threat they have. His 6'4'' frame also makes him a dangerous threat in the red zone.

He's going to battle Steve Breaston for playing time, but Baldwin will still get the ball when Matt Cassel does throw it.

 

Bye Week Info

The Chiefs have off Week 7. For those of you who frantically avoid conflicting off weeks, the Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Broncos and Chargers will also rest that week.

So if you're targeting someone like San Diego's Eddie Royal or Miami's Davone Bess and Anthony Armstrong, this may be your deciding factor.

 

Splits

The Chiefs threw the ball 500 times last season, but it's safe to assume that that number will be lower this season with Jamaal Charles' return from injury.

Dwanye Bowe is still going to catch 25-30 percent of the passes, and Steve Breaston will be closer to 20 percent.

Look for Baldwin to haul in about 20 percent as well, but he should have more touchdowns than Breaston. Baldwin should eventually push Breaston into the slot.

Other options, like Dexter McCluster and Terrance Copper, will also pull in passes here and there.

Baldwin was targeted 52 times last season, and there's no reason to believe that number won't increase.

 

Wide Receivers in Same Tier You Should Take First

Kansas City's offense won't rely on the passing game, but Baldwin has upside.

However, ESPN's rankings have receivers in Baldwin's group that you should take first. Davone Bess, Brandon LaFell and Arizona rookie Michael Floyd are all players you should look at first.

 

Wide Receivers in Same Tier You Should Take After Baldwin

On the other hand, you can wait on guys like Randy Moss, Brandon Stokley, Eddie Royal and James Jones.

All of this depends on your league's format. If you are in a PPR league, Baldwin's value decreases dramatically.

 

Summary

Baldwin possesses tantalizing physical upside, but the Chiefs are a blue-collar squad. They will lean on Charles and Peyton Hillis and allow Cassel to make West Coast-style throws.

That may not leave a lot of room for Baldwin, but he's the only downfield threat in their stable of receivers. That should result in some big plays and a handful of touchdown grabs.

If your draft is coming down to the wire, he's worth taking a flyer on.

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