Will Charles Be The Best AFC West Fantasy RB?

There has been plenty of action across the league as training camps opened over the past week, but that’s nothing compared to what has been going on in the world of fantasy football.  Fantasy drafts have been also been kick started and draft boards are still very much fluid.

A question that seems to have a different answer daily is which AFC West running back will have the best fantasy season in 2010.

After his amazing second half performance last season, all signs pointed to Jamaal Charles.  With the mind blowing numbers he was putting up, he was looking like a first round pick.  Then the Chiefs went and signed Thomas Jones, putting into question just how many carries the veteran will steal from the young Charles.  That question is currently sending Charles’ stock downward.

Who does that leave?

There could have been an argument made for Denver’s Knowshon Moreno.  That was before he injured his hamstring and likely will be slowed out of the gate.  If it’s not Moreno, there isn’t anyone else in the Broncos backfield even worth drafting.

It won’t be any of the stable of running backs in Oakland.  Darren McFadden?  Michael Bush?  You won’t find any fantasy stars here.

So that leaves San Diego as they try to move on from LaDainian Tomlinson.  Darren Sproles — the man that Kansas City was reportedly ready to ink if the Chargers let walk this offseason — wants to pound the ball, but we saw last year when LT was a shell of himself and Sproles still didn’t see a ton of touches that San Diego isn’t convinced he can be an every down back.

The lack of fantasy star power in Sproles doesn’t mean there isn’t a potential fantasy star on the Chargers.  The player that should have the biggest impact in San Diego — and the division — is rookie Ryan Mathews.

Mathews is a big guy (220 pounds) with plenty of quickness and the ability to break tackles playing behind an always solid offensive line.  Pair that with the fact he will rarely see an eight-man front and you have a breakout fantasy star.  So while I still believe Charles is the better player, the presence of Jones makes Mathews the best fantasy running back in the AFC West.

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