Chiefs WR/RB/KR/PR Dexter McCluster dubbed his own position as "OW," or Offensive Weapon. The Chiefs featured him as a running back multiple times in the preseason making some think he would have a significant role on offense.
Call it whatever you want but we haven't seen McClsuter's impact yet.
He's rushed the ball just two times for three yards. He's caught just two passes for a total of nine yards.
His real impact has been in the return game. McCluster took a San Diego punt for a 94-yard touchdown in game one. Maybe I'm in the wrong kind of fantasy league but I don't get points to an individual player on punt and kick returners (it goes to the defense).
He was expected to make a fantasy football impact at both receiver and rusher but hasn't been able to get many opportunities in either category.
But the important question is what can he do moving forward.
Rushing: He ran the ball five, eight and three times in three of the Chiefs' four preseason games. I would suggest the Chiefs put him in the backfield for a series like they did in the preseason. How bad could he do? He averaged over six yards a pop in the preseason.
Receiver: This is where I'm a little confused. My initial thought when McCluster came to the Chiefs was that he would be a receiver first. The Chiefs even listed him as a receiver after the NFL draft. He's gotten the ball more often as a running back through four preseason games and two regular season games. He's averaged just under two catches per game through those six games so I imagine that will be his number for the first few games of the 2010 season.
Returner: If you're not like me, and you do get punt and kick return touchdowns to individual players, then McCluster can be valuable at times. He returned that punt in Week 1 and averages over 33 yards per punt return. He's had five combined kick and punt returns. The problem here is that Javier Arenas will be the getting the majority of the returns (he has 10 so far).
Against the San Francisco 49ers
Expect more of the same for McCluster. The Chiefs have an established run game and probably won't be taking their focus off of that. McCluster hasn't been in the running back rotation even though his limited sample size suggests he would do well. As a returner, he just hasn't made an impact so we'll take a wait-and-see approach on that. As he is every week, McCluster is a threat to take one back to the house in the return game. McCluster probably isn't a good bet as a fantasy football starter until he gets more looks as a receiver.