Within minutes of Andy Reid becoming the new Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles‘ fantasy stock began rising. Reid’s style of offense calls for a fast running back who can handle running between the tackles as well as catching passes out of the backfield. To most people’s minds this is exactly the definition of Jamaal Charles’ skill set. A full year removed from an ACL injury, running behind an improved offensive line and the upgrade at quarterback to Alex Smith, Charles has become a top 5 running back.
At the same time I think we also have to take into account that Charles has only had over 250 touches twice in his career. The first time was in 2010 when he had 275 touches, and then he missed all of 2011 with the ACL injury. Last year he had 320 total touches and was dinged up through the offseason as he missed a large amount of the preseason with a non-contact foot injury.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Jamaal Charles is a fragile player who’s destined to snap like a dry pretzel before the bye week. However, there is room for concern about his durability, and even if he stays completely healthy through the regular season there will probably be some more reps on the table in Andy Reid’s offense for another back.
When we take a deeper look into the Chiefs backfield we see Knile Davis, who was drafted in the third round of the 2013 draft. He ran a 4.35 in the 40 yard dash at the combine, so he’s got the kind of speed Reid loves in a running back.
In four preseason games Davis has 20 rushes for 56 yards and seven catches for 49 yards with no scores. His biggest highlight so far has been in the return game where he returned a kickoff 109 yards for a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I don’t want to call him Jamaal Charles handcuff, but he’s the kind of player you can grab as a late round flier or early waiver wire pick up. If your scoring system awards points for return touchdowns I would put him on your must have list.
Eric Beuning is a Fantasy Football writer for RantSports.com.