2013 Fantasy Football: Jamaal Charles or Doug Martin?

By Andrew Fisher
2013 Fantasy Football
USA Today Sports

If you’ve been doing your Fantasy Football homework this preseason, you know that running backs are going early and often. The top three selections in most leagues figure to be Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch. After that, there’s a lot of room for debate on the next best option at running back.

If you’re lucky enough in a standard 10-team league to get a pick in the top-six, you’re very likely to get a reliable RB1 for the entire length of the 2013 fantasy season. I’m personally not as high on Ray Rice as I’ve been in the past, mainly because of the emergence of Bernard Pierece behind him. Still, if you had the number four pick, it wouldn’t be a bad selection to go with Rice. However, If I get that pick and Peterson, Foster and Lynch are all gone – my decision is going to be between Jamaal Charles and Doug Martin.

Prospective fantasy owners and Kansas City Chiefs’ fans got a huge scare on Monday when Charles was carted off the field with a foot injury. It turned out only to be a sprain and it’s not expected to have much of an impact on his season. Martin on the other hand is young, healthy and ready to go in his sophomore season.

Charles has a history of injuries, which might be enough to scare some owners off. I’m not in that camp, though. He tore his ACL in 2011 (which can happen to anyone), but rebounded in 2012 to start 15 games. Charles was his old self, rushing for 1,509 yards on his way back to the Pro Bowl.

With Martin, there’s not much of a sample size to go on. He took the fantasy world by storm in his rookie season on the way to nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage, but that’s all we know about him. It’s a very good thing to know about him, but Martin could end up being injury-prone starting this season. Who knows?

While it may just be a flip of the coin, I’m going with Charles. Everything is setting up for him to have a career-season with the number upgrades around him. Alex Smith is now his QB, Andy Reid will be the best offensive coach he’s ever worked with and he’s simply playing with more talent around him than Martin is in Tampa Bay.


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