Kansas City Chiefs star Jamaal Charles' brilliant Week 3 performance on Sunday reminded fantasy football owners why he was a No. 1 running back option before his ACL injury last season, but it's important not to overreact to one good game.
Charles rushed for 233 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, but he was unimpressive in the season's first two weeks. He came into Week 3 with just 90 rushing yards and zero touchdowns on 22 carries.
Even though his rushing statistics were fantastic versus the Saints, perhaps the most impressive part of Charles' performance was his impact in the passing game. He caught six passes for 55 yards on Sunday, which was three receptions and 36 yards more than he had in the first two games combined.
Fantasy owners need to see some more consistency from Charles before labeling him as a true No. 1 fantasy option at the running back position.
The best option for fantasy owners of Charles is to trade him while his value is incredibly high. After nearly gaining 300 total yards on Sunday, Charles' trade value will probably never be higher.
The Chiefs are an average 1-2 team that will likely be trailing in many games this season, which means there probably won't be 25-30 carries for Charles each week.
Kansas City also plays some very good defenses over the next month, including the San Diego Chargers (fourth best run defense) in Week 4, the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (second best run defense) in Week 6 before the bye in Week 7.
After a Week 8 matchup versus the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs play San Diego again in Week 9 and then the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10.
Maintaining his league leading 107.7 rushing yards per game average is going to be difficult for Charles for much of the season.
While you cannot throw away Sunday's performance, realize that Charles dominated an 0-3 New Orleans Saints team whose defense is missing its leader in linebacker Jonathan Vilma and head coach Sean Payton.
The Saints have the worst run defense in football thanks to Charles' big day, but New Orleans allowed 372 rushing yards in the first two weeks of the year. This was the perfect matchup for Charles, and to his credit, he took advantage of it.
If you have a deep fantasy roster, and are willing to risk that Charles will continue to get plenty of carries for the rest of the season, then don't trade him. He could certainly have a bounce-back season, it's entirely possible.
However, until he shows a bit more consistency, Charles can't be viewed as a real No. 1 RB option in your fantasy league. If there is an area of weakness on your roster, or you need to upgrade at a certain position, using Charles to make a bold trade would be a good idea before Week 4.
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