2017 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidate: Chris Conley

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

WR Chris Conley | Kansas City Chiefs | 3rd Year

2016 Stats: 44 receptions for 530 yards, 0 TD

Through two NFL seasons since being drafted in the third round out of Georgia, despite playing all 32 possible regular season games, Chris Conley has a total of 61 receptions for 729 yards and one touchdown. His size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) and speed (4.35 40 at the 2015 NFL Combine) combination is intriguing, but it has not translated to production thus far.

With the release of Jeremy Maclin on June 2, there are now 76 targets missing from the Chiefs’ 2016 passing game heading toward a new season. Salary cap concerns kept the Chiefs out of the free agent market for wide receivers, and the only addition at the position was fourth-round pick Jehu Chesson. Tyreek Hill will move into a bigger role as the No. 1 wide receiver, with Conley and Albert Wilson next in line on the depth chart.

Conley is obviously in line for more targets in 2017, and he may see snaps in both the “X” and “Z” roles in Andy Reid’s offense. The “X” role is more of a short area possession role, like Maclin filled, while the “Z” is a more featured spot with a wider route tree. Hill may step into the “Z” spot with far more snaps coming, but that’s a huge step up after he was essentially a multi-purpose gadget player last year.

The lead dog in Kansas City’s passing game is clearly tight end Travis Kelce, who led the team with 85 catches (117 targets) for 1,125 yards while finishing second on the team with four receiving touchdowns. There’s a strong case for Kelce to be the first tight end drafted, after being the top scoring fantasy tight end in 2016.

But back to Conley, who had eight catches (on 17 targets) for 66 yards over the four games Maclin missed with a groin issue last season. Those combined reception and yardage totals are dismal, but the target total closely projects to Conley’s 69 total targets last year. Add in the risk-adverse Alex Smith at quarterback, and it’s hard to see a ton of upside for Conley in his third season. But based purely on opportunity, he is in line for career-highs in every category.

2017 Projection:

55 receptions for 710 yards, 4 TDs

Breakout Percentage: 10%

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Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

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