Jamaal Charles exploded on the scene in 2009 finishing with 1120 yards (1417 total) and eight scores. He followed his breakout season with a monster 1467 yard (1935 total), eight touchdown season. After missing nearly all of the 2011 season, can Charles return as an RB1 for fantasy owners?
The first test will come during training camp when he test the knee out. Fortunately for Charles his injury happened early in the season so he will have had plenty of time for the knee to heal. Everyone is different, but he is certainly on paper in a better place in his recovery than Adrian Peterson for example.
He is just 25 years old with 499 career carries. Both of those factors should improve his chances of recovery.
Once the knee checks out Charles will then have to face his next obstacle. That is sharing the backfield with Peyton Hillis. Fortunately for Charles he will be the primary ball carrier. Plus, he has experience sharing the load from his time with Thomas Jones.
The Chiefs figure to run the ball plenty this year and Charles should get his fair share of touches. Hillis’ presence could actually be a good thing for Jamaal as it could help prevent him from wearing down. Plus Hillis’ physical style of running could soften defense, which could lead to more long runs for Charles.
I currently have Charles ranked 12th among fantasy running backs. I can see him even being ranked a few notches higher, especially in PPR leagues. Mock Draft Central has him as the 13th running back to come off the board.
How he looks in training camp and in the preseason games will answer the question, but right now I do consider him a low-end RB1? What’s your take?
Also check out:
- 2012 Fantasy Football QB Rankings
- 2012 Fantasy Football RB Rankings
- 2012 Fantasy Football WR Rankings
- 2012 Fantasy Football TE Rankings
- 2012 Fantasy Football DEF Rankings
- 2012 Fantasy Football K Rankings
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