The fantasy owner is a very instinctive, reactionary creature. Often, the more conservative among us need to be reassured that everything will fall into place as expected, and our predetermined narrative for the season will play out in a beautifully choreographed theatrical performance.
What results is a hopeless quest for certainty in a game where there is none. That’s why as speculation continues to build that there will be a nearly even 50-50 split between Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis in the Kansas City backfield, Charles owners are breaking out in cold sweats while clutching a bottle filled with alcoholic nectar.
We were all aware that a time share would be coming in KC, especially after Charles’ ACL tear early last season that will likely prompt the need for caution this year. But surely the split would still favor the running back who’s only one year removed from having 1,935 all-purpose yards, 1,467 of which came on the ground.
Not so, says the Kansas City Star’s Adam Teicher, who spoke with Mike Florio during yesterday’s PFT Live and said that the platoon will be close to an even split in carries “in a perfect world”.
“They intend to get these guys a similar amount of work,” he added, also saying that the Chiefs’ total rushing attempts for the year should hover around 500.
You just spent a third-round pick on Charles, so this may trigger your face-to-palm reflex. It shouldn’t.
Charles isn’t a volume runner, and he isn’t a goal-line runner either. Even if the ideal scenario comes to fruition and he doesn’t struggle with his knee and he comes even remotely close to repeating his 2010 season, you didn’t draft him as a scorer. You drafted him to be an efficient yardage compiler, and that’s what he’ll do, even with a straight split with Hillis. In fact, Hillis will help Charles’ numbers by keeping him fresh.
Consider the 2010 season, and Thomas Jones’ role. Jones also had a fine season alongside Charles, finishing with 896 yards. How many carries did he receive? 245. Charles led the league in rushing yards while averaging an incredible 6.4 yards per carry, and adding 468 more yards through the air, although despite those gaudy yardage numbers he only scored eight times.
And how many carries did he get that year? 230. Yep, less than Jones.