Is Thomas Jones A Fantasy Fraud?

Players across the league are reporting for training camp meaning that real football is just around the corner.  Another sign that it’s almost football season?  Fantasy drafts are popping up every week.  There are plenty of Chiefs worth drafting this year, but the folks at MVN think that Thomas Jones is a fantasy fraud when it comes to being among the third tier of back drafted.

At age 31, Jones had a career year in ’09, rushing for a personal-best 1,402 yards and a personal-best 14 touchdowns.  But he slowed down in the playoffs, and the Jets actually cut him in the offseason to save several million dollars.  Jones landed in Kansas City, where he will team with Jamaal Charles in the backfield.

In this situation, there’s no way that Jones gets 331 carries as he did last year, and he may not get half that total.  That means that Jones’ numbers are headed downward.  The question is how far.

We learned last year not to doubt Jones’ abilities, but our hunch is that Charles’ explosiveness will earn enough carries that Jones ends up in the 800-yard range.  He has the potential to be the goal-line back, which could put him near double-digit touchdowns again, but Jones is still a better bet atop Tier 4 than among starters on Tier 3.

In our Chiefs Fantasy Preview, I ranked Jones as a starting running back and I’ll stick by that until Todd Haley or Charlie Weis show us otherwise in their game plan.

Don’t expect another 1,400 yards unless something were to happen to Charles, but he will no doubt poach enough touchdowns to make him worthy of your second running back slot.  If you feel the Chiefs will put up numbers on the ground similar to the end of last season, then it wouldn’t be crazy to start both Charles and Jones together.

Fraud?  Hardly.

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