Saturday, October 12, 2013
Why Bowe won't turn it around in '13
By Tom Carpenter
After five weeks of the 2013 campaign, few wide receivers have been as disappointing to fantasy teams as Dwayne Bowe. At times in the past, Bowe was a fantasy beast, and many fantasy owners had visions of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin or Terrell Owens, all of whom had success in coach Andy Reid's offense with the Philadelphia Eagles. Yet, Bowe has no more than four catches and hasn't hit the 60-yard mark in a game. He pulled in two touchdowns, but that's little solace for fantasy owners who had bigger expectations. Will he be able to turn it around this season?
One of the legitimate concerns entering the season was that weak-armed QB Alex Smith wouldn't be asked to get the ball downfield. That has come true, as 26 other quarterbacks have attempted more passes of at least 10 yards this season than the 44 Smith has thrown in five games.
However, SI.com's Greg A. Bedard believes there is another factor that goes beyond Smith and rests solely on Bowe's shoulders.
"Defenses know QB Alex Smith is overly conservative, so they’re dropping a safety down and playing a lot of man," Bedard noted. "The Chiefs have a big problem with receiver Dwayne Bowe. Not sure what has happened to him, but he lacks explosion and can’t beat man coverage anymore. Defenses don’t fear him at all."
Bowe just turned 29, so he really shouldn't have lost a step at this point of his career. On the other hand, perhaps Reid's conservative offense and Smith's weak arm aren't the only reasons why Bowe's 10.8 yards-per-catch average is the lowest mark of his career and nearly three yards shy of last year's average. In fact, his YPC has dropped each year since his career-best 2010 campaign: 16.1, 14.3, 13.6, 10.8.
Bowe also has only been sparsely used in the red zone, seeing just five targets for one score. That's as many red-zone targets as Houston Texans backup tight end Garrett Graham and fewer than Atlanta Falcons No. 3 WR Harry Douglas (7). Fantasy owners may want to trade Bowe as soon as he has a decent outing, because there doesn't appear to be much upside left in him this season.