There are two very different views when it comes to the Thomas Jones-Jamaal Charles situation in Kansas City.
Todd Haley is leading the first, with his very clear “What’s our record?” approach. That’s not surprising considering that Haley is a graduate of the “you are what your record says you are” school of coaching. In Haley’s eyes, if the team is winning with Jones leading the charge then what’s the problem?
The other side of the argument will say that you should not be blinded by the undefeated record when evaluating the Chiefs offense. The defense and special teams are going to have bad games as the season goes along and when they do the offense will have to carry their weight, something they aren’t doing with Jones and his 3.7 yards per carry.
We won’t know until we get deeper into the season if the team can continue to be competitive with Charles playing a supporting role.
What we do know, is that anyone holding Charles in their fantasy league has been majorly hurt the first two weeks of the season. Odds are if you have him in your lineup, you haven’t had as much luck as the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even Haley knows his running back rotation is better for real football than fantasy.
“It’s a good problem to have. Now, for the fantasy football world or something like that I could see it being a bad problem to have but we’re worried about the Kansas City Chiefs and what we need to do to win,” Haley said last week.
Back in July, when evaluating Charles’ fantasy value, I warned not to take the young back too early:
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t draft Charles. But recognize that he is not going to get the same workload as he did the end of last season. In fact, Thomas Jones could have games where he gets on a roll and keeps Charles on the sidelines enough to stick you with a 6 or 7 point game. It’s tough to win if you are getting those kind of performances from your first two picks.
If he falls to the third round — not likely, but possible — his value sky rockets.
Make The Call: Late 2nd-3rd
We saw one of those performances against the Browns and if you spend a first or second round pick on Charles, you probably ended up with the “L”.
With all of that being said, Charles is in a position right now where he can probably be had for pennies on the dollar right now in most fantasy leagues.
Jones isn’t going anywhere, nor is Haley’s love for him, but there is just too much potential in Charles’ legs to let him go to waste on an opponent’s bench or even in their flex spot. And if you know your team can hang around until the end of the season, remember that Jones wore down last year in the playoffs giving way to Shonn Greene. With an extra year of wear and tear on his body, there is a good chance he starts to slow down earlier this season.
Surely anyone currently “stuck” with Charles would gladly cut bait for a starting receiver or a “hot” player that is currently a no-doubt starter like Brandon Jackson.
The argument about the best way to utilize all of the Chiefs running backs isn’t going to end anytime soon. However, I think we can all agree that Charles has the potential to carry both a real and fantasy offense. That along with the Kansas City struggles on offense makes it well worth your while to try and buy low on Charles.