Football

Andy Reid: Jamaal Charles’ Wingman

jcharles

Jamaal Charles is someone fantasy players have been begging to see set free. The Chiefs’ poor offense has consistently held his fantasy value to modest levels even though his talent level suggests he should be a top five, if not top three RB every year. 2013 might be the year we get to watch Charles explode.

The two most influential changes to Charles’ outlook in during the offseason were the hiring of new head coach Andy Reid, and the signing of QB Alex Smith.

Andy Reid is notorious for getting his running backs involved in the passing game. Brian Westbrook was a fantasy stud not only because he ran the ball effectively, but because he was a huge part of the Eagles’ passing attack. LeSean McCoy was also a large part of the Eagles’ passing game in recent years. McCoy and Charles are very similar RBs. Both are smaller, quick, speedy backs that can catch the ball. Here are the numbers McCoy put up in his last three seasons in Philadelphia.

Year

Games

TAR

REC

YDS

Y/REC

REC/G

TDs

TAR/G

TD/G

2012

12

63

54

367

6.8

4.5

3

5.25

0.25

2011

15

61

48

315

6.56

3.2

3

4.1

0.2

2010

15

84

78

577

7.4

5.2

2

5.6

0.13

AVG

14

69.3

60

419.7

6.92

4.3

2.7

4.98

0.19

During McCoy’s last three seasons under Reid, he averaged 8.36 fantasy points from receiving stats alone in PPR formats. That is a very high number. Below is how Charles compared through the air. I excluded his 2011 season where he was sidelined by a torn ACL early in the season.

Year

Games

TAR

REC

YDS

Y/REC

REC/G

TDs

TAR/G

TD/G

2012

16

43

35

236

6.74

2.2

1

2.67

0.06

2010

16

61

46

483

10.5

2.9

3

2.88

0.19

2009

15

52

40

297

7.43

2.7

1

3.47

0.07

AVG

15.7

52

40.3

338.7

8.22

2.6

1.7

3.01

0.11

Despite having an average yards per reception 1.3 points higher than McCoy, Jamaal averaged 81 yards receiving less than McCoy per season – even though he played in more games. The only reason for this is because Charles was not given as many opportunities in the passing game as McCoy was. In fact, McCoy averaged nearly two more targets per game than Charles. Andy Reid will certainly give Charles more opportunities through the air than he received before Reid was hired.

For years, fantasy owners have been begging the Chiefs organization to give Charles more carries. He are the rushing stats McCoy put up during the same years we looked at earlier.

Year

Games

RA

RA/G

YPC

TDs

TD/G

2012

12

200

16.7

4.2

2

0.17

2011

15

273

18.2

4.8

17

1.13

2010

15

219

14.6

5.1

7

0.47

Average

14

230.7

16.5

4.7

8.7

0.62

McCoy was certainly no slouch running the ball under Reid’s regime either. Handing the ball to a RB 16.5 times a game is no longer a low number in today’s passing league, especially for a player like McCoy who does not need to get in a rhythm through a large amount of touches because he can break a long run at any time. Here’s what Charles did on the ground during the seasons we looked at earlier.

Year

Games

RA

RA/G

YPC

TDs

TD/G

2012

16

285

17.8

5.3

5

0.31

2010

16

240

15

6.5

6

0.38

2009

15

190

12.7

5.9

7

0.47

Average

15.7

238.3

15.2

5.9

6

0.39

Despite his much higher yard per carry total, the Chiefs handed the ball to Charles’ only 15.2 times a game, an attempt per game less than what McCoy was getting under Andy Reid.  Giving the Chief’s credit, Charles’ rushing attempts per game have risen with every healthy season.

Charles’ low touchdown numbers can be attributed to the fact that he does not get many goal-line carries. In 2012, despite playing four more games than McCoy, Jamaal had 11 fewer attempts from inside the five-yard line.

Games Inside 5 Attempts I5A/G
Charles 16 3 0.19
McCoy 12 14 1.17

Andy Reid’s commitment to his feature back when the field is shortened will boost Charles’ TD numbers in 2013. To get an idea of what Charles’ 2013 totals could look like under Andy Reid, I averaged McCoy’s and Charles’ efficiency numbers to simulate how Charles’ efficiency will likely drop with an expanded role.

Games

Rush Yards

Rush TDs

Targets

Receptions

Rec Yards

Rec TDs

15.7

1391.1

9.7

78.2

67.5

511

3

That stat line is huge. Here’s how it compares to not only McCoy and Charles’ 2012 season, but also the historic season Adrian Peterson had last year.

Charles

McCoy

JC + Reid

Peterson

Standard/G

13.16

12.61

16.97

19.71

PPR/G

15.34

17.11

21.27

22.21

Jamaal Charles’ 2013 season, with the opportunities Andy Reid gave LeSean McCoy, falls less than 3 points per game short of Peterson’s 2012 season in standard scoring formats, and less than a point short of the historic performance in PPR settings. While it is ignorant to fully expect Charles to put up these eye-popping numbers, if Andy Reid gives him the same touches he gave LeSean McCoy they are certainly in reach.

The slight red flag for Charles’ production is Alex Smith. According to profootballfocus.com, Alex Smith threw 69.9% of his aimed passes for less than 10 yards. In 2012, the Chiefs QBs Matt Cassel, and Brady Quinn combined for 428 combined aimed passes. Cassel, who started the beginning of the season, threw 60.5% of his aimed passes for less than 10 yards, while Quinn threw 67.2% of his passes for less than 10 yards. Averaged together, the Chiefs’ QBs threw 63.9% of their passes for nine yards or less. The Chiefs’ were not known to stretch the field whatsoever in 2012, and yet Alex Smith still threw 6% more of his passes for nine or fewer yards. Smith’s conservative passing and willingness to dink and dunk his way down the field should mean his RBs benefit in the passing game, correct? Wrong. Alex Smith was injured in week nine of the 2012 season, and Colin Kaepernick kept the starting role, but here is how productive the 49er RBs were through the air with Smith under center in the first eight weeks.

Week

Targets

Rec

Yards

TDs

1

2

2

16

0

2

7

4

38

0

3

3

2

11

0

4

3

3

22

0

5

1

0

0

0

6

5

5

26

0

7

7

7

65

0

8

2

2

17

0

AVERAGE

3.75

3.13

24.38

0

Smith may have been throwing a ton of short passes, but Frank Gore and the rest of the San Francisco RBs certainly didn’t benefit from his conservative passing style.

The RB Similarity Score App has no idea that Andy Reid is the new coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, yet when you consider that Charles had a quality season in 2012, the app seems to favor his near future more than many other top backs.

jcharles

 

Fantasy owners who claim he should be used more in the running game have often criticized Andy Reid on his use of LeSean McCoy, but the statistics prove he was used very effectively during Reid’s time in Philly. Charles will likely struggle to match the TD numbers our prediction table boasted, because the Chiefs offense is less productive than the offense McCoy was a part of, which led to more opportunities at the goal line. Although those TD numbers will be hard to reach, I certainly expect an increase in Charles’ TD averages because of Reid’s willingness to use smaller backs along the goal line. Peyton Hillis had 4 attempts inside the five in 2012, which was one more than Charles. I expect Hillis to see fewer goal line carries in 2013, leaving more opportunities to score for Jamaal.

History tells us Jamaal Charles will have the opportunity to be 2013’s top fantasy RB. If he can continue his yards/touch success and the rest of the Chiefs’ offense can show consistency in moving the chains, Charles could easily be fantasy football’s most feared player in 2013, especially in PPR formats.

Subscribe for a constant stream of league-beating articles available only with a Premium Pass.

By Jacob Myers | @JMyersFF | Archive

No Comment

Leave a reply