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Jody Fortson is the X-Factor for the Kansas City Chiefs Offense

Jody Fortson

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Jody Fortson is the X-Factor for the Kansas City Chiefs Offense

The Kansas City Chiefs are known for their explosive offense since Patrick Mahomes took over for Alex Smith in 2018. However, the identity of the Chiefs offense will look different this year compared to years past with All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill being shipped to Miami in the offseason. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, and Ronald Jones were acquired in the offseason to give Mahomes more weapons. No member of this receiving quartet will be the X-factor for the Chiefs this upcoming season, though. Rather, Jody Fortson — an undrafted wide receiver turned tight end who is entering his fourth year with the team — will be the most significant piece in the Chiefs offense this upcoming season. 

Last season, Fortson finally made the Chiefs 53-man roster and started to carve out a role within the offense. Yes, the numbers don’t look pleasing to the eye. Fortson caught four balls for 47 yards and two touchdowns in four games last season. Although the numbers aren’t eye-popping, head coach Andy Reid started to draw up multiple plays and added two and three tight end sets to get Fortson onto the field before tearing his Achilles against Washington last season. 

The 6-foot-4 tight end from Valdosta State has made a quick recovery and is fully healthy to begin the year. In his first game back from the injury, he caught two touchdown passes against Washington in Week 2 of the preseason. One was a back shoulder fade while keeping his feet in bounds and the other was a scramble drill touchdown with Mahomes breaking the pocket and scrambling out to his left.  

With backup tight end Blake Bell being placed on the IR to begin the season, the opportunity for Jody Fortson grows to start the season. Fortson could be a major red zone target for Mahomes and the Chiefs this season. With his size and receiver skill set from his college days, the young tight end could be a mismatch nightmare for opposing teams and a huge X-factor for the Chiefs. He is big enough to out physical a smaller cornerback and fast enough to break free from an opposing team’s linebacker or safety while also having the ball skills of going up high for 50/50 balls.

Even though Fortson wasn’t included in the Chiefs Training Camp preview, everyone in Kansas City expects the young tight end to be a major part of the offense this year. Do not be surprised when Fortson takes touchdowns away from Travis Kelce and others down inside the red zone with his unique skill set. If I’m in a deep fantasy league and drafted Kelce, I’m keeping Jody Fortson on my bench as insurance just in case Kelce goes down.

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