As we all approach our individual fantasy football drafts, one of the bigger questions everyone is facing is which back in Kansas City will hold more fantasy value: Jamaal Charles or Thomas Jones.
Well, luckily for you, that’s what we’re here for.
There have been conflicting comments and reports out of the KC camp in the early goings, which makes deciding on one or the other even more difficult than before.
August 4th, 2010: "I think (touch distribution) will depend on a lot of different factors: who’s hotter, who’s running better, who’s blocking and picking up blitzes better, who’s doing a lot of things better and who’s healthiest."
August 11th, 2010: "I wouldn’t hold me to anything on the depth chart right now. We’ll play the guy that gives us the best chance to win on that particular day, that particular series, that particular half, whatever it is."
And if that’s not enough, on Monday of this week, it was Thomas Jones listed as the first-team tailback on the preseason depth chart, with Jamaal Charles ending up doing most of the first team work by Friday.
But that’s just the normal preseason speculative news, let’s take a deeper look at the two and try and find out who will hold more value in 2010.
5’ 11” – 199 pounds
Ranked 12th - RBs
ADP - 25th Selected
- It only took Charles 190 touches to gain 1,190 rushing yards (968 of them coming in the final eight games of the 2009 season.
- In addition to his ground game value, this guy also caught 40 passes for 297 yards and a single score, showing he also has significant PPR value.
- In addition to being a high impact RB, this is also a guy who also had 943 KO return yards with a single score.
- Charles averaged 5.9 yards a carry in 2009.
- Charles has five 100+yard games, and in those contests he averaged 22.4 carries.
The Breakdown: This is a back who has blazing open field speed, and the ability to elude the best defenders in the game. The only knock on Charles is his size which KC viewed as a goaline liability; one of the main reasons for bringing in Thomas Jones (when we and KC say size it is the weight factor NOT the height factor).
There is no questioning Charles' ability, and I believe this is a guy who can easily see 250 touches for 1,500+ yards and 10 TDs. He is currently ranked 12th among RBs (which is a tick or two low in my opinion), but will easily be a top back in 2010 no matter which format you play in, although I think his PPR value will be slightly higher than any other format.
5’10” – 212
Ranked 37th - RBs
ADP - 91st Selected.
- Jones had a career year in 2009 with the Jets rushing for 1,402 yards on 331 carries and 14 TDs (tied second in AFC—rushing TDs—with Chris Johnson TEN).
- Jones is entering 2010 riding five straight seasons of 1,000+ rushing yards.
- Jones averaged 4.2 yards per carry, and 20.7 carries per game in 2009.
- The Jets did not use Jones as a primary catching threat in 2009 which is why he only roped in 10 catches for 58 yards.
- Age could be a concern in the injury department at 31
Thomas Jones is unquestionably a powerhouse back capable of pummeling defensive fronts, while out-running most secondaries, which is supported by his six straight years of 1,300+ all purpose yards. But with Jamaal Charles in the mix, the feeling is Jones will wind up being a primary goaline threat which pretty much could cut into his overall fantasy value.
Jones will more than likely wind up being on the short end of a RBBC with 60 percent of the work going to Charles, and while Jones will still put up some great numbers, he probably won't come anywhere near his 2009 numbers.
Conclusion: I know, it's a a bit trite to speculate what will happen on opening day, but the feeling is that Jamaal Charles will handle most of the work in KC this year even if he does share time with Jones.
Charles is younger, which is a plus, and there are signs of him being the better back of the two—another plus. If you have to choose one, I would definitely target Charles over Jones no matter the format you play in.
One side note: The Kansas City Chiefs only face two teams from 2009 that were ranked in the Top Ten in run defense (San Francisco and Houston), the balance of their 2010 competition had a lot of trouble stopping the ground game—and I mean a lot—making for some tasty matchups in 2010. Below is a complete list.