The Chiefs have signed former Jets RB Thomas Jones to a two-year contract. The move will keep Jamaal Charles from being overworked next season, but it certainly won’t improve his fantasy value.
Charles was one of the biggest fantasy sleepers of the 2009 season. Owned in a mere 39 percent of NFL.com leagues in Week 1, he went on to finish 12th in fantasy points among running backs after a late-season run that saw him record 149 points over the final eight weeks.
Titans RB Chris Johnson was the lone runner with more points during that time.
With Jones now in the backfield mix, Charles will no longer hold a true featured spot in the Chiefs backfield.
His value won’t take an enormous tumble as a result of the move, but Jones will see around eight to 10 touches per game, including short-yardage and goal-line work.
Those lost carries in the red zone will hurt Charles’ draft value the most.
Overall, fantasy owners should still see him as a viable No. 1 running back. Charles will receive a greater majority of the carries than Jones and is still a good bet to post 40-50 receptions, 1,400-1,500 scrimmage yards and somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 touchdowns in the offense of new coordinator Charlie Weis.
He also has the best FPA rating of any running back in the league, so Charles will have more than his share of favorable opponents to dominate.
Jones, a top-five fantasy back on NFL.com in each of the last two seasons, simply puts a cap on Charles’ statistical ceiling. He’s also now one of the better fantasy handcuffs in the league.