Monday, February 15, 2010

Fantasy Football Roundtable - Jamaal Charles

Fantasy Football Roundtable
Hosted By FantasyFootballTrader.Com  February 15, 2010

This week's question:' If one were to prorate Jamaal Charles' final eight games of 2009 to a full season, he'd handily outscore Adrian Peterson and betters all RB's not named Chris Johnson in P.P.R. formats. What are your expectations for Charles in 2010?'

Russ of FantasyFootballStarters.Com says:

Every year we see a couple of guys who become the unlikely heroes to a fantasy owner's season. One of the biggest surprises was Kansas City RB Jamaal Charles. While Charles has great speed and playmaking ability, his lack of size (5'11", 199 lbs) has me pessimistic he'd hold up as a feature RB for an entire season.

He had 20 carries or more in each of the last 4 games of 2009, but in the first eight games, he never had more than six carries in any week. His legs were fresh the second half of the season. And it needs to be remembered that he only got his chance because of the combination of the Larry Johnson debacle and a slew of injuries at the RB position for the Chiefs. Charles was in the doghouse the first half of the season with a fumbling problem and he'll need to prove he can hold onto the ball or he could fall out of favor again.

I also think it's likely the Chiefs will look to add a bigger RB thru free agency or the draft to compliment Charles, or maybe even compete with him for the starting job. While I like Charles, he is most likely going to need someone else to take some of the burden off of him to hold up for a full 16 games. He'd best be served as the "lightning" in a "thunder and lightning" type of RB rotation in 2010. I expect he'll average around 15 carries per game and for the season have between 1,100-1,200 yards and score 8-10 touchdowns.

Ryan of LestersLegends.Com says:

I began calling him Chris Johnson-lite at the end of the year because of his ability to rip off a long run or two seemingly every game. He posted a phenomenal 5.9 yards per carry, and had 1,131 total yards with eight touchdowns in the last eight weeks. That's 141.4 yards and a score per game for half a year.

His beastly numbers impressed me enough to have him as my 11th rated RB heading into next year. While I can't dismiss his numbers, I do get that Steve Slaton-type vibe from Charles. I just don't know if there's an encore.

Kansas City has just about nothing going for them on offense outside of Charles. My guess is he'll face a lot more eight and nine man fronts. Teams will dare the Chiefs to beat them with the run. I don't know that he can stand up to that sort of defensive pressure.Jamaal Charles is the type of player that I will most likely not own in 2010. I can't imagine a league with an owner that doesn't hold him in higher regard than I, and I'm okay with that.

Jim of FanaticFantasyFootball.Com says:

The 2009 fantasy football season kicked off with Jamaal Charles still in the free-agent pool in many leagues. He didn't do much the first eight games to make anyone want him on their roster (rush 23 for 116 yd. / 5.0 avg. / 0 touchdowns). To that point, the Chiefs held him to single digit carries. He got a few receptions out of the back field but it wasn't enough to get anyone's attention. Things changed dramatically beginning in week 10.

Larry Johnson had been booted out of town and Jamaal Charles laid claim to the running back position. In his last seven weeks, he received no less than 14 carries per game (total of 142 in 7 games). He rumbled for 745 yards and five rushing touchdowns. He added to those totals, 32 receptions (4.57 avg./gm) out of 55 targets (7.85 avg./gm), 155 receiving yards (22.1 avg./gm), and 1 receiving score. If he had played 16 games at that pace, he would have racked up some very impressive totals through 16 fantasy football weeks. See below:

Rush: 19.4 per game, total = 310.4
Rush Yards: 101.3 per game, total = 1620.8
Rush TDs: .71 per game,total = 11.36
Receiving Targets: 4.6 per game, total = 73.6
Receptions: 3.14 per game, total = 50.24
Receiving Yards: 22.14 per game, total = 354.24
Receiving TDs: .14 TDs rec. per game, total = 2.24
All Purpose: touches (rush / rec.) 360.28, 1975.04 total yards, 13.6 touchdowns

Fanatic Fantasy Football uses a scoring system that awards points per reception and awards bonus points, (1, 1.5, 2), for length of touchdown. So this is how we project Jamaal Charles for the 2010 season as we fully expect him to be “The Man” in KC.

Since Jamaal was used sparingly in the first nine games of the 09 season, he was pretty fresh going up against some tired defenses in the last seven weeks. We don't think he'll post the kind of numbers we projected for 2009 had he played all sixteen weeks. We do expect him to have a good year in 2010 though and wouldn't mind having him on our own roster.

We look for Jamaal to carry the ball around 300 times and add 50 receptions giving him about 350 touches for the year. If he stays healthy, we expect him to post about eight 100+ yard games and eight games between 50 and 80 yards giving him around 1,300 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns in 16 weeks. He should be able to catch another 50 balls and score a couple of touchdowns through the air, bringing his total scores to 13 for the year.

We expect Charles to put up around 300-330 fantasy points. That would place him among the top 6 running backs with the likes of Steven Jackson (STL) and Frank Gore (SFO). We'll have to wait and see how the new Offensive Coordinator, Charlie Weis, plays his cards this year.

Note: This is a synopsis of Jim's full profile of Jamaal Charles here.

Jake of JunkYardJake.Com says:

From a talent perspective, it's hard to argue that Jamaal Charles will not be a significant fantasy factor in 2010. He is an instinctive runner with 4.4 speed. He shows great acceleration, terrific agility and has clearly demonstrated an ability to make an impact as a receiver. Charles of course proceeded to tear it up down the stretch last year, averaging six yards per carry, 138 rush yards per game, and scoring seven times in the period of week 10-17.

Judging from very early projections, Charles fantasy value has skyrocketed as a consequence of his late year numbers. In fact, you may need to spend an 1st-2nd round pick to snag him in fantasy drafts next year. Charles may very well justify this draft position, but the price seems too steep for a number of reasons.

1) Charles is a relatively small back, weighing just around 200 pounds. Although he was able to handle an average of 20 carries over the last eight games of the season, you have to wonder if he is capable of handling a feature back role over 16 games.

2) While Charles has unquestionable big-play ability, remember that almost half of his rushing production was accumulated in just three games last year. In weeks 14 and 15 he tallied a total 297 yards against the questionable Buffalo and Cleveland run defenses. In week 17 abused the Broncos for 259 yards, constituting 23% of his total 2009 rushing output.

All in all, the future looks bright for Jamaal Charles, but he is still a relatively unproven commodity, and could wear down over the course of an entire season if asked to handle 20 plus carries per game. At this point, it's entirely possible that he will end up sharing the backfield with an unspecified player and it's probably best to let another fantasy owner take a chance on him in the early rounds.

Derek of FantasyFootballManiaxs.Com says:

One of the biggest dilemmas for Fantasy Football Owners is trying to decide whether a breakout player was just a flash in the pan or a rising star that gave us a glimpse of great things to come. It happens every year, a player finishes the season with a good five or six-game stretch and is suddenly elevated to first round status.

A RB owners are going to struggle with in 2010 is Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles. The second year back had 1,120 yards rushing, 297 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. Even more impressive is that he finished the season with four consecutive 100-yard games, 658 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns. If he can pick up where he left off, he will be worthy of being a top five pick.

There are many positives for Charles. He did not start slow due to ineffective play; he started slow because RB Larry Johnson was stealing the majority of the carries as the starter. In his first seven games, he only had 29 carries, as opposed to 161 carries in his next nine games after Johnson was suspended and later released. Charles will be the starter from day one in 2010, which should help increase his production. He is also going to be working with a new offensive coordinator in Charlie Weis, who has proven to be one of the best play callers in the NFL.

Also encouraging, he had some good games against good rushing defenses last year. The Cincinnati Bengals allowed the seventh fewest points to running backs, but Charles still had 24 carries for 102 yards. San Diego was 17th against running backs and Denver was 18th against running backs. He combined for 408 yards rushing and four touchdowns, including 259 yards and two touchdowns in the season finale against Denver. Those are teams he will play twice next year and with Oakland ranking dead last in points allowed to running backs, he is going to have six games in the division that he could post solid numbers.

Factor in games against Buffalo, St. Louis, Seattle and Cleveland (all teams 25th or worse in points allowed to running backs) and the schedule looks ripe for a second big season. If he were playing in the AFC North against Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati, the outlook would be much different. In the AFC West, the schedule sets up for him to be a star.

I have Charles ranked No. 12 among all running backs and have an open enough mind to bump him up if the Chiefs make some noise in the offseason. He is a very good mid second round pick and would be a steal in the third round. You just want to make sure he is not your No. 1 running back, in case he has a 2009-Slaton type season.

While it is good to have optimism, you also want to be cautious; busts in the first round can come back to kill you. Charles is good enough to pencil in as a guy that you will start in 2010, just not good enough to pencil in as someone that can carry your squad.

Note: This is a synopsis of FF Maniax full profile of Jamaal Charles here.

Rick of FantasyFootballTrader.Com says:

It has absolutely nothing to do with Jamaal Charles but man, I'm loving this article format! Great analysis by my cohorts above. They did such a masterful job outlining his stats from 2009 that I'll just skip to meat and potatoes of it.

I'm smelling the same bloated fantasy value that FF Starters, Lesters Legends and Junkyard Jake touched on above. Though I was nothing short of stunned when I checked Charles' (albeit extremely early) average draft position on over 1,000 mock drafts completed since 1-23-10 over at FF Calculator that he's coming off the board 33rd overall (3.09 in a 12 team format). At that price, Jamaal Charles represents exceptional value.

Unfortunately, my guess is that the early mockers are slower to react than our analysts above and his ADP will climb by leaps and bounds over the offseason. Like Russ Bliss above, I'm looking at Charles tickling 4-digit yardage and double digit touchdowns as a best case scenario. And those numbers won't land him on my squad in many leagues. If you want him, I think you'll need to spend a mid second rounder at least when August rolls around.

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