NFL fantasy football: Jamaal Charles undervalued?

More than enough: Per Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star, the Chiefs would like running backs Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis to touch the ball a total of 500 times. Presuming Charles does not lose a step, his current status as a No. 2 running back in fantasy football drafts means owners can get a possible top-ten talent for a discounted price. Though Hillis is sure to vulture some touchdowns, his presence shouldn’t distract from Charles’ potential. In 2010, when Thomas Jones had a near perfect split with Charles, the two backs combined for a total of 534 total touches (receptions and carries). Charles finished the season touching the ball 275 times, racking up 1,935 total yards and eight touchdowns, good for third in scoring among all fantasy football running backs. As was the case in the NFL fantasy football experts league, expect Charles to go off the board in the second round of drafts.

Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis will have plenty of opportunities in 2012. (US Presswire)

Trusted source: Speaking with 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart believes Adrian Peterson will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s ready. You can never count Adrian out.” Gerhart praised the veteran back, adding “the way he comes to work every day, the way he pushes himself. I mean, he was flying around, straight-line speed, moving out there.” While the news is a positive sign for fantasy football owners contemplating selecting Peterson in drafts, it still remains to be seen how he performs in live action. As NFL fantasy guru Michael Fabiano points out, it might be best to err on the side of caution and take the Oklahoma product in the third or fourth rounds.

Under the radar: NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus believes Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett will “start Week 1 at flanker opposite (Brandon) Marshall.” The Vanderbilt product was quarterback Jay Cutler’s teammate in college, and the two have shown some chemistry during their time with the Bears. Now that Marshall provides a true No. 1 threat, Bennett could find success as defenses turn their attention elsewhere. He will still have to fight off Devin Hester and rookie Alshon Jeffery in order to cement his role, making this one of the many camp battles to watch for fantasy football owners looking for sleeper candidates.

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