TJ’s Fantasy Impact On Jamaal Charles

It’s never too early to talk about the 2010 Fantasy Football season and Christopher Harris on ESPN.com has an updated Top 200 list.  One of the hottest topics at the WWL’s “rankings summit” was how Thomas Jones would hurt Jamaal Charles’ fantasy stock.

I’ve discovered I’m quite a bit higher on Charles than many of my colleagues, who worry about Thomas Jones’ presence.  I worry, too.  But a couple weeks ago, I went back and skimmed through bits of the Kansas City Chiefs’ final eight games last year, and it’s undeniable: If you like Chris Johnson, you should like Charles, too.  They’re really, really similar.  I boosted Charles for these ranks.

After last season’s lack of any legitimate fantasy players entering last season, it’s a welcome change to be able to discuss Charles as a first or second round pick.  But if you ignore Jones’ presence on the team and impact on Charles’ gaudy fantasy stats then you are going to end up overpaying to get have him on your roster.

I’m not saying he isn’t worth a starting spot, but I would be weary of making him the centerpiece of your team.  He will no doubt deliver the occasional 25 carry, 200 yard game when he’s really feeling it, but for the most part you should probably expect a more realistic week-in week-out stat line of 80-100 yards on 15-18 carries with Jones picking up the rest.

And then there is the scenario that no one wants to talk about around Kansas City.  What if Todd Haley and Charlie Weis are blown away by Jones and end up giving him a much larger share of the carries than any of us anticipate?  It’s not something I would bet on happening, but it’s not the craziest idea either.  Especially with Jones coming off a 1,400 yard season and Charles only half of a season removed from Haley’s doghouse.

Will Charles give you good numbers?  I believe so, absolutely.

No-doubt-about-it top 5 pick numbers?  No.

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