Here I am, ready to once again dispute the ranking of a projected top five Fantasy Football running back. Before I continue, I will go on record to say my standards are high for players that warrant a top five pick. They are, however, not unrealistic.
If I am going to spend a top five pick on any player, I expect three things: roughly 75% production that translates to consistency, a nose for the end zone and I need to be able to rely on them when it matters most – down the stretch in the playoffs. Declaring a top five pick a bust is not to say they are not a solid fantasy option, but instead I have statistical proof that disputes warranting a top five selection on them.
With that said, I struggle putting my faith in Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. In 2012 Charles rushed for 1500 yards but only broke the goal line five times. I will now listen to your argument about the woeful season the Chiefs had and how that impacted Charles’ lack of touchdown production.
After patiently listening, I will remind you that in his career, the best Charles ever did in a season was seven scores. In fact, in three years as the Chiefs’ main guy, Charles has only managed a total of 17 touchdowns. And not all three seasons were losing seasons. For clarification these three seasons do not include the 2011 season in which Charles missed 14 games because of a torn ACL.
Consistency is not a strong characteristic of Charles’ game. In 2012 he eclipsed the century mark in seven games for Kansas City. On the downside, in three games he was right at or below 50 yards rushing and three games were ten yards or less. Add these numbers with the three games he had at 80 yards rushing and his production percentage is closer to 50% than 75%.
There is one caveat to this entire analysis. There is a new sheriff in town, and Charles’ role could be altered this season.
That, however, is an unknown at this time and more than likely at the time of your draft. A top five pick in Fantasy Football is one that should be a known quantity. Gambles and risk taking are things better served in later rounds when the fallout is less severe.
Charles will be a solid back in 2013, and if Reid changes his role he could be even better. That said, chalk me up as Mr. Conservative; I would have to see it to believe it first.
I’m still too distracted by the inconsistency and lack of touchdowns.