Maybe we should have seen this coming…
Jamaal Charles’s up-and-down saga hit a new low point today. Still struggling to recover from ACL surgery last October, Charles has officially been ruled out for the Chiefs week 8 matchup against the Colts. For Ware, this means that he’s catapulted to an elite fantasy play against a hapless Indy defense. But I can’t help but wonder, what does this mean for Charles?
As Dr. Parekh notes, a full ACL recovery can take anywhere from 9-12 months. Well, it doesn’t take a mathematician to realize that Charles is a full calendar year into his recovery.
Translation: there’s been a setback. Multiple setbacks, frankly. And the first warning signs popped up in July. So you can throw any initial timetables out the window, because the only way we’re going to gain clarity from here on out is by by monitoring Charles’s practice participation over the next few weeks.
As of now, it’s not looking good. And it pains me to say this, but I don’t think Charles is an essential hold in redraft leagues for the rest of the season.
Here’s the breakdown…sorry, poor choice of words.
Reason #1: Knee Pain & Swelling
This is the 2nd ACL tear of Charles’s career, formerly in his right knee and most recently in his left. Charles experienced swelling in his knee last week. He suited up on Sunday vs. the Saints, but amassed a mere two snaps and two totes. Today, Reid admitted that Charles’s knee “acted up” during the game…on two snaps…
Charles longs for long TDs. It’s kinda his thing. But if he continues to push himself before he’s ready to score said long TDs, it could be a long time until he’s ever healthy.
Fortunately, Big Red is being cautious with his star RB. Hey, Rex! Take some notes!
Reason #2: Ware’s the Fire
Spencer Ware has been running hot. Like really hot. While his name would be more befitting a Hogwarts larpy than a professional athlete, he is currently RB #8 in standard and #10 in PPR, boasting an impressive 5.2 YPC (tied for 3rd in the league). It’s no coincidence that Kansas City’s two losses this year came in games where Ware had 14 or fewer touches. There is no need to risk Charles’s health while Ware keeps making magic things happen on the football field.
Even IF Charles is able to get healthy enough to handle meaningful reps, Ware will continue to mitigate his upside for the remainder of 2016.
Fantasy Spin: Shop Charles to the Ware owner to see what he’d be willing to fork up. But if you don’t get any bites and have to cut bait, shed a tear and pull the trigger. Someone will almost certainly pick him up due to name recognition — but it’s officially time to stop evaluating Charles based on draft capital and former glory. His days as an elite RB1 are officially over.
Until next year…maybe.
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