Fantasy Football 2013: The Impact of Dwayne Bowe's New Contract with Kansas City

Chris Peterson@@ThePPRExpertsAnalyst IMarch 5, 2013

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 09: Linebacker Craig Robertson #53 of the Cleveland Browns tries to catch wide receiver Dwayne Bowe #82 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 9, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Monday was a busy day for the Kansas City Chiefs but thanks to some great work by the organization, the team was able to lock up three important players just before the deadline to exercise the franchise tag expired.

On a whirlwind day, just a week removed from finalizing a trade that will bring former No.1 overall pick Alex Smith to Kansas City, the Chiefs did their best to put as much talent around their new quarterback as possible. First the team signed wide receiver Dwayne Bowe to a five-year contract extension, then followed that up by reaching a five-year deal with punter Dustin Colquitt and placing the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert.

In the days leading up to the tag deadline, it was thought by many that if a deal between Bowe and the Chiefs could not be reached, Kansas City would use the tag on their top wideout for the second year in a row. Yet a deal fell in place, allowing the Chiefs to keep the rights to their talented but inconsistent left tackle, while also bringing back their biggest playmaker in the passing game.

And now that Bowe is going to be in Kansas City for the foreseeable future, it's fair to ask how this deal will affect his fantasy value.

Believe it or not, staying with the Chiefs as opposed to testing the market in free agency and signing elsewhere was a good move for Bowe's fantasy value. Sure, the Chiefs offense has been less than prolific over the past few seasons, but that has been due mostly to the ineptitude of the quarterback position.

Despite the inconsistency of those throwing him the football, Bowe has been able to find success in Kansas City. In six seasons, Bowe has eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving three times and has averaged double-digit fantasy points in PPR (point-per-reception) formats every year he has been in the NFL.

Bowe's best season came in 2010, when then Chiefs starting quarterback Matt Cassel made the Pro Bowl. With a quarterback playing at a high level for once, Bowe exploded, hauling in 72 passes for 1,162 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also scored 278 fantasy points and finished fourth among wide receivers in PPR leagues.

Even in 2011, with the combination of Cassel, Kyle Orton and Tyler Palko throwing him the football, Bowe was still highly productive exceeding 1,100 yards, while scoring 228 fantasy points and finishing 14th among wide receivers in PPR leagues.

Last season, the combination of injuries and poor quarterback play finally caught up with the former LSU standout as he managed just 59 receptions for 759 yards and three touchdowns, which equated to 156 fantasy points, good enough for 34th in PPR leagues at wide receiver.

It was a disappointing campaign for Bowe who appeared to be on his way out of Kansas City. Yet, the trade for a legitimate starting quarterback may have changed his mind and now that he has chosen to stay, his fantasy value should once again be on the rise.

If Smith can continue his career resurgence with the Chiefs under new head coach Andy Reid—who has the reputation of being an offensive guru—and give the team the bona fide starting quarterback it so desperately needs, then there is reason to believe Bowe can once again be a dominant fantasy option as a true WR1 in PPR formats.

So while some fantasy owners may be sleeping on Bowe heading into the 2013 season, you shouldn't. He is poised to have a breakout season and appears likely to regain his status as one of the top wide receivers in fantasy football this season.