Training Camp Battle: Should Fantasy Owners Be Pulling For Jon Baldwin Over Steve Breaston In KC?

When the Kansas City Chiefs brought Steve Breaston into the mix it was assumed that he would flourish as their second wide receiver, taking pressure off of Dwayne Bowe and helping make the offense go.  He was, after all, the same player who had 1,006 yards for the Arizona Cardinals back in 2008.

However, his first year in Kansas City was a disappointment as he managed just 61 receptions for 785 yards and 2 TD.  In fact you have to wonder if any hype around Breaston was just conjecture and hope after his one big season.  All you have to do is look at his numbers since that season:

  • 2009 – 55 receptions for 712 yards and 3 TD (15 games)
  • 2010 – 47 receptions for 718 yards and 1 TD (13 games)
  • 2011 – 61 receptions for 785 yards and 2 TD (16 games)

The fact is there is nothing there to get very excited about.  Even in his “breakout” year he managed just 3 TD and has just 9 over his five year career.  Sure, he can make some plays but it is hard to imagine him holding enough value in an offense that isn’t likely to throw the ball very often.  His best fit may be as a third down receiver, looking to move the chains.

Things get even worse for Breaston when you realize that he may not even open 2012 as a starter.  Jon Baldwin, who was the team’s first draft pick in 2011 (26th overall) could easily win the battle in training camp.  He played in only 11 games in his rookie season, with 21 receptions for 254 yards and 1 TD.  However, he did miss a crucial part of the offseason last year after injuring his wrist in a fight with teammate Thomas Jones.  That’s not really a good thing and brings about a whole different set of questions, but you would think a full offseason to work with the offense would really help to integrate him.

Over his final two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh Baldwin combined for 110 receptions, 1,933 yards and 13 TD.  He has the potential for the big play and to take the ball to the house from anywhere on the field, something Breaston doesn’t bring to the table.  That makes this an even more intriguing battle.

With a team that is going to run the ball early and often, having someone like Baldwin on the outside makes too much sense.  They could use the play action to freeze the defensive backs, potentially opening Baldwin up for the bomb.

It’s going to be an interesting battle to watch, though I would be surprised if Baldwin didn’t win the #2 receiver job with Breaston being the #3 and working the slot.  That means Baldwin is by far the better fantasy option, assuming he does win the job, and someone worth keeping a close eye on.  He may be inconsistent, but he is worth drafting for your bench and seeing what develops.

What are your thoughts?  Who should win the #2 job in KC?  If it’s Baldwin, would you draft him?

Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings:

Receiving Risers: Which Receivers Could See Increased Targets In 2012?
Sleeper Spotlight: Will Isaiah Pead Prove Valuable In 2012 Or Beyond?

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