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Jamaal Charles' Instant Fantasy Reaction for 2013 Fantasy Playoffs

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 08: Running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after rushing for a first quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 8, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2013

This just in: The Chiefs are good. Jamaal Charles is better. And the Redskins are an absolutely abhorrent football team.

Kansas City, losers of three straight games coming into Sunday, pulled out its beat-down stick in the first half against Washington. Within the game's first 20-plus minutes, the Chiefs had pulled out to a 31-0 lead against a Redskins squad that looked to be imploding at FedEx Field

You'd probably need a Rolodex to discern the number of stars performing well for Kansas City, but for fantasy owners, it comes down to two: defense/special teams and Jamaal Charles.

Let us focus on the latter. Since, like, [does "yuck" face] defense.

This has been an interesting season for Charles, who came into the 2013 campaign an unquestioned RB1 and performed well enough on a weekly basis to easily keep that standing. What's been interesting about Charles' campaign is how he's staying relevant.

Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) rushes the ball against the Washington Redskins during the first quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Rather than being the king of the breakout run as he had been throughout most of his career, Charles has become adept at working within Andy Reid's system to create shorter, more sustainable runs. He has only three rushes of longer than 20 yards on the season, which pales in comparison to his 11 such gains in 2012.

But Charles has made up for it and then some by becoming a consistent, regular fixture in the end zone. His counting stats in the first half against Washington aren't all that impressive. He's off to a solid enough start with 10 carries for 48 yards and has added one reception for five yards. That's just good enough to keep owners satisfied, but not nearly enough to win a week—even prorated over an entire game.

Luckily, Charles has you covered by getting into the end zone. He waltzed in on a two-yard gain to cap off a five-play, 13-yard drive following a Griffin interception, and his one reception was a touchdown that gave Kansas City a 24-0 lead in the second quarter.

That's the same efficiency that's been there all year for Charles—and that had never been there in his five previous seasons. His first-quarter rushing touchdown gave him 10 on the season, the first time he's ever even approached a double-digit total. And in PPR leagues, Charles has been even more effective, as he already had a career-high 55 receptions coming into Week 14.

Truth be told, I'm telling you nothing you don't already know. Charles is a weekly start, one of the two or three best fantasy backs in all of football. As long as he has two working legs and a beating heart, he should be in your starting lineup.

It just helps when your studs have awesome games when you need it most.

 

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