Jamaal Charles: Saints' Weak Defense Is Just What Chiefs RB Needs to Rebound

Darin PikeContributor ISeptember 21, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 09:  Running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes past safety Thomas DeCoud #28 of the Atlanta Falcons during the second quarter of their season opener on September 9, 2012 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs' Jamaal Charles has been a source of frustration for fantasy football owners over the past two seasons.

He missed almost all of 2011 with a knee injury, leaving him as a potential value pick this season. He's been underwhelming through two games, though, and left last week's game with what appeared to be an aggravation of his injury.

However, according to Rotoworld, Charles is listed as "probable," though he has practiced without limitations every day this week and will start against New Orleans.

Peyton Hillis took over the workload last week when Charles was struggling. It looked like Hillis would be the preferred back for the next few weeks, but Charles' efforts in practice are encouraging.

The New Orleans Saints have shown they are not the same team without their coaching staff and Jonathan Vilma.

They surrendered 69 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries to DeAngelo Williams last week, with Jonathan Stewart pitching in 51 more yards. Cam Newton also registered 71 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

The week before it was Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins doing damage. While his yards per carry was low, he still ran for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Chiefs have had success moving the ball in 2012 but have been plagued by turnovers in the red zone, penalties and other miscues. They haven't been able to sustain drives on a regular basis, and putting points on the board has been a challenge.

Perhaps the only better way for the Chiefs to find their ground game would be a visit from the Oakland Raiders. They'll have to wait a few more weeks for that, but the Saints should offer enough opportunities for Charles to pick up some decent yardage and reward the fans and fantasy players that have stuck with him.

Hillis will be a bigger part of the game plan than Charles owners would like to see, but 85 yards and a touchdown isn't an unrealistic projection.