Why You Should Reach for Dwayne Bowe in Your NFL Fantasy Football Draft

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Why You Should Reach for Dwayne Bowe in Your NFL Fantasy Football Draft
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Dwayne Bowe and the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs seem to be headed for a comeback campaign in 2013, yet the fantasy world hasn’t taken notice.

The veteran wide receiver suffered through a disappointing campaign in 2012, so it’s no mystery why his value declined immediately after the season. 

He finished the season with only 801 yards and three touchdowns.

However, some key changes to the Chiefs in the offseason make Bowe a much more appealing target this time around. 

He’s currently being drafted somewhere around the 57th pick on average in standard ESPN leagues, which puts him in the sixth round.

That’s far too low for someone with his potential entering the season.

  

Offensive Improvements

The biggest argument in Bowe’s favor is the improvement in quarterback play.

The combination of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn was absolutely abysmal last year, and Bowe suffered for it.

Just let Grantland’s Bill Barnwell explain the depth of their ineptitude in his overview of Kansas City’s prospect for the coming season. 

The Kansas City quarterbacks were just about that bad: They were last in the league in interception percentage, third worst in yards per attempt, sixth worst in completion percentage, and next to last in passer rating. When they faced third downs in two-touchdown situations and passed, the Chiefs succeeded just 25.4 percent of the time, with only the Cardinals playing worse. Once Quinn took over for good in Week 11, the Chiefs converted just 16.1 percent of third downs in that type of situation. The Cardinals were somehow lower, at 13.6 percent, but nobody else in football was below 27 percent.

Now Alex Smith steps in under center, which should improve Bowe’s prospects immensely.

Smith’s issues in San Francisco may have been subject to frequent scrutiny, but in Kansas City, his presence is an absolute blessing.

He might not have much of an arm, but any passer that can complete more than 70 percent of his throws, like Smith did last year, should be a huge benefit to Bowe’s numbers. 

New head coach Andy Reid should help Bowe as well.

Not only does Reid have a reputation for developing quarterbacks, but his propensity for passing in the West Coast offense should give Bowe plenty of opportunities to put up big numbers.

As ESPN’s Matthew Berry explains, Reid’s passing games have ranked in the top 10 of the NFL eight different times. 

Long story short, Reid is going to give Smith lots of chances to connect with Bowe, and he should make the most of it.

The receiver has three different 1,000-yard seasons to his name when his quarterback play has been decent, and Smith’s development should help him return to form.

Even Bowe himself is excited about the offense’s potential in the coming year.

 

Intriguing Schedule

But the new offense isn’t the only factor working in Bowe’s favor.

After a meager 2-14 season last year, the Chiefs are the beneficiaries of a truly weak schedule.

Not only is the AFC West shaping up to be a weak division outside of Peyton Manning’s Broncos, they get to play the AFC’s other puny division, the AFC South. 

Combined with games against underachievers like the Bills and Browns, Bowe won’t have much competition in the defensive backfield.

In fact, ESPN’s KC Joyner found that Bowe scored the highest in “matchup points” of any receiver in the league.

The metric assesses the quality of cornerbacks that each receiver will face over the course of the season, awarding points for the ease of each matchup.

Bowe clocked in with a whopping 20 points. Although Joyner notes that the receiver had an easy schedule in past years but failed to capitalize on the opportunity, it’s still a reason for optimism. 

 

Lack of Depth

Bowe won’t exactly have competition at the position either.

Not only did the team just trade away former first-round pick Jon Baldwin, but there’s little on the receiver depth chart beyond Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster.

The biggest threats to Bowe’s targets are most likely running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Anthony Fasano, but Bowe should have a monopoly on catches at the wide receiver position.

All in all, Bowe looks pretty appealing for fantasy owners.

As many as 20 different receivers are being drafted ahead of him, but players shouldn’t be afraid to reach for Bowe on draft day.

When faced with the prospect of drafting receivers headed to new offenses like Mike Wallace or Danny Amendola, or depending on players dealing with preseason injuries like Wes Welker or Victor Cruz, Bowe is a very tempting option. 

Whether it’s as a starting wideout or a very capable backup, Bowe will be a solid addition to any fantasy team. 

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