2011 Fantasy Outlook: Jamaal "the Ostrich" Charles Is the Biggest Bird in Town
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With all the changes that occurred before the start of last season, nobody quite knew what to expect from the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010, not the least of which being how running back Jamaal “The Ostrich” Charles would fit in.
In fact, what Charles accomplished last year might have been the most unpredictable and impressive of breakthroughs when you look at all he had working against him. Consider these moves:
Offensive guru, Charlie Weis, signed on as the new Offensive Coordinator and was known for his ability to vault wide receivers into stardom and QB Matt Cassel was back with a year under his belt and ready to show the city he was worth what the owners paid for him.
WR Dwayne Bowe was revitalized after spending the off-season in Larry Fitzgerald’s wide receivers camp and determined to put his 2009 four-game suspension behind him and All-Purpose RB/WR Dexter McCluster was drafted early in the second round (36th overall).
TE Tony Moeaki was drafted in the third round (fourth TE in the draft) with the expectation of being a contributor right away and lastly, one of the top running backs in the game in 2009, Thomas Jones, was brought on board to compliment Charles in the backfield while likely taking away goal-line opportunities in the process.
The number of adverse circumstances Jamaal had staring him in the face would have scared even the most solid of veteran players—much less an undersized, third-year, change-of-pace running back with only 257 career carries to his name. The thing is… it didn’t.
The statistics The Ostrich was able to accumulate over the course of the 2010 season are simply staggering. First off, he gained 1,467 rushing yards (2nd in the NFL) on just 230 carries for a 6.38 YPC. That’s right, 6.38 yards per carry!!!!!
This is not a number to be taken lightly, folks, as there has been just one other player in history of the league (minimum 150+ carries) who has put up a higher YPC; Jim Brown, 1963, 6.40 YPC.
That, my friends, is unbelievable. But of course, the numbers don’t end there. Charles also collected 1,935 total yards (2nd overall in the NFL) on just 275 touches, 468 receiving yards (9th), 45 receptions (15th among RBs), eight TDs (five rushing, three receiving), and most importantly, 241.5 fantasy points, good for fourth among running backs in 2010.
What I’m saying here is this: When it comes to fantasy football, you can’t judge a book by its cover because sometimes, the best things really do come in small packages. Just ask The Ostrich.
2011 Pros & Cons
(+) Even a workhorse back with 29 TDs the last two years and five straight 1,000-yard seasons (Thomas Jones) wasn’t enough to hold back Jamaal Charles
(+) In 2010, Charles was second in the league in rushing yards (1,467), ninth in receiving yards (468), and fourth amongst running backs in fantasy points (241.5)
(+) Prototypical RB for the way the running game has developed in the NFL today
(+) The Chiefs are a much-improved team with an offensive-minded head coach and an offense loaded with high-scoring capabilities
(+) Despite Thomas Jones’ age and inability to hold up over an entire season, he’s still under contract for one more year, so Jamaal will again be kept fresh throughout the 2011 season
(+) “The Ostrich” is one of the most electrifying players in the game and is a threat to go all the way any time he touches the ball
(+) Though thought to be too undersized for goal-line carries, Charles ended up with four rushing TDs from inside the 5-yard line (with two more receiving) compared to five out of Thomas Jones
(–) In December of last year, Jamaal got his big payday, so we’ll see how that affects his motivation going forward
(–) Sometimes his feet are too fast for the rest of his body to handle (the Barry Sanders Syndrome)
(–) He’s still too small to handle a full workload—had 20+ carries just three times in 2010 and never saw more than 26 touches in a game (averaged 17.2 touches/game)
For the rest of Jamaal Charles' Player Profile, CLICK HERE
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