Jackie Battle: What Fantasy Owners Should Expect from Chargers RB vs. Chiefs

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2012

September 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Jackie Battle (44) runs for a short gain during the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy owners shouldn't give up too much for emerging San Diego Chargers running back Jackie Battle this season.

Although the backup RB is averaging 7.3 yards per carry and has two touchdowns through the season's first three weeks, he's hardly a reliable fantasy starter moving forward. 

With starting running back Ryan Mathews slowly working his way back onto the field, carrying the ball 10 times for 44 yards last weekend against the Atlanta Falcons, Battle will play a smaller and smaller role as the weeks pass.

It's also important to put Battle's impressive Week 3 numbers into perspective. On paper, it looks like the former Houston Cougar rushed for more than 18 yards per carry against the Falcons. But in reality, Battle broke out for a huge run that accounted for 52 of his 55 rushing yards in the game.

Battle is a power runner, contrary to Mathews. Mathews is a much more valuable player as he is more versatile playing out of the backfield as a receiver—he caught five balls against Atlanta. Battle has carried the ball 17 times this season, but has yet to make a single reception.

Fantasy owners must not get caught up in the stats. If you discard Battle's big run against Atlanta then he has rushed for just 72 yards on 16 carries, which averages out to 4.5 yards per carry over the course of two games. That's not to say Battle can't perform, but he hasn't proven to be a better back than Mathews, and therefore won't receive the touches fantasy owners are hoping for against his old team in Week 4. 

Though Kansas City ranks 23rd in the NFL defending the run this season, Battle won't get the necessary attempts to make a difference in terms of fantasy production. 

Look for the Chargers' leading rusher to take a backseat to Mathews in Week 4. Don't expect him to get more than five carries at Kansas City this Sunday afternoon, and therefore, don't expect much fantasy production from the veteran backup.


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