Week Fifteen Analysis:
In a fantasy MVP-caliber season, Jamaal Charles has saved his best for last. He's scored five times in his last three games, and now leads all running backs with 13 touchdowns. He's also averaged 145 combo yards in those same three games, including three of his four highest rushing totals of the year. Expect him to continue to carry fantasy rosters on his back this week against the Raiders. In Oakland's last two games, opposing backs have totaled 310 combo yards and four touchdowns. Charles went for 128 combo yards and a pair of scores in the first meeting, and a repeat performance would surprise nobody.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
Jamaal Charles has cranked it back into high gear, racking up 277 combo yards and three touchdowns over the last two weeks, while averaging over 6.3 yards per carry. In addition to rushing for 70-plus yards in eight straight games, he's tied for the league-lead with 11 touchdowns, and ranks third in receiving yards, so he's a true triple threat. Washington has been absolutely brutal in two of those three categories. They rank 27th against backs in the receiving game, and the 16 touchdowns they've allowed to the position ranks dead last. In fact, opposing backfields have scored multiple touchdowns against Washington in six of their last eight games.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
Jamaal Charles has seen his rushing attempts decrease in each of his last five games, but last week's season-low 14 carries still netted him two touchdowns and a season-best 115 yards. On the season, he's the only back with at least 900 rushing yards, 400 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he managed just 72 scoreless total yards against these same Broncos two weeks ago. Denver's a top-five run defense, but they're bottom-10 against opposing backs in the passing game, and they've allowed a charitable 14 touchdowns to the position. Getting the ball to Charles in space is Kansas City's only chance, so expect a better box score in the rematch.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Because they play to shootouts, no team has faced fewer rushing attempts than San Diego's fraudulent fantasy run defense this season. They allow a very charitable 4.6 yards per carry, and after holding running backs out of the end zone for the season's first seven games, regression has finally caught up to them. They've allowed five scores in their last three outings, which is encouraging for suddenly-frustrated Jamaal Charles owners. After scoring AND topping 100 combo yards in each of his first seven games, he's gone scoreless in three straight, and fallen shy of 100 combo yards in his last two. But a big rebound should be coming.
Week Eleven Analysis:
Jamaal Charles comes out of his well-deserved bye week on pace for career highs of 386 touches, 14 touchdowns and just under 2,000 combo yards. A huge chunk of that production has come through the air, where he ranks top-three among backs in both receptions and receiving yards. That could be a strong angle for Charles this week, as Denver has given up a league-worst five receiving touchdowns to the position. They've also allowed a charitable eight rushing scores, despite only surrendering 3.2 yards per carry. In short, it's a break-but-don't-bend defense, so Charles is more likely to help you with a touchdown than he is with big yardage.
Week Nine Analysis:
Jamaal Charles' seven-game scoring streak finally came to an end last week, but he still managed to eclipse 100 combo yards for the eighth straight game. While he's averaging a career-low 4.2 yards per attempt, he's on pace to crack 300 carries for the first time, and he's now caught at least five balls in seven of his last eight games. Although Buffalo ranks bottom-five against opposing backs in rushing yards, they rank top-five in receiving yards, and they've allowed just two touchdowns to the position all season. Still, they've faced a very soft slate of opposing backs, so expect Charles to correct Buffalo's misleading defensive numbers.
Week Eight Analysis:
So just how awesome has Jamaal Charles been? Historically awesome. He's the first player to open the season with both a touchdown AND 100 yards from scrimmage since O.J. Simpson. In 1975. That's 38 years. The steady high-level production is directly correlated to his consistently heavy workload—in the last six weeks, he's averaged over 25 touches per game, with a low water mark of 23. Cleveland's once-strong run defense has allowed five touchdowns to opposing backs in the last three weeks, along with 161 combo yards per game. Go ahead and pencil Charles in for another big week.
Week Seven Analysis:
Jamaal Charles' low water mark is 100 combo yards, and he's scored at least once in every single game. In fact, his seven touchdowns have already surpassed last season's total. Charles is also on pace for 88 catches, and his 147 touches lead all backs, so he's blowing away even our most optimistic preseason projections. This week he'll square off against a backsliding Houston run defense. Over the past three weeks, the Texans have given up 4.7 yards per carry and a touchdown per game to opposing backs. It's a surprisingly good matchup, and Charles has earned this No. 1 spot.
Week Six Analysis:
Jamaal Charles has made a strong case for the Most Valuable Running Back Award through five weeks, as he's scored AND topped 100 combo yards in every single game. He's been especially dominant in full PPR leagues, where he leads all backs with 44 targets, and ranks second with 28 receptions. Oakland is a mid-range run defense that just gave up 12 catches for 79 yards and a score to San Diego backs. Somehow, Charles totaled 14 carries for 14 yards in the home-and-home series with Oakland last year. The way he's currently going, he could easily produce ten times that rushing total this week.
Week Five Analysis:
Jamaal Charles has scored in each of his four games under Andy Reid, and his low water mark has been 100 combo yards. That's invaluable consistency at an extremely turbulent position. Half of Charles' touchdowns and 42 percent of his scrimmage yards have come through the air, as he's racked up 20 catches in the last three weeks alone. His 35 targets are eight more than the next back on the list, and that dual-threat production makes him virtually bust-proof in any kind of game script. The Titans are just a mediocre run defense, and they've given up 15 receptions to opposing backfields in their last two games.
Week Four Analysis:
Jamaal Charles has been one of the few first-round running backs who's actually justified his draft position. He's both scored and surpassed 100 combo yards in each of his first three games, including last week's 172-yard explosion in Philadelphia. Charles leads all backs in targets, and his 18 catches trail only Matt Forte, so he's been especially lethal in PPR leagues. The Giants have given up over 140 combo yards and a touchdown per game to opposing backfields, so there's no reason to expect anything less than excellence from Charles.
Week Three Analysis:
Jamaal Charles is still nursing a minor quad injury, but he's the only back in the league who has cracked 100 combo yards and scored in each of his first two games. Philadelphia's lousy run defense has yet to be exposed, as opponents have been tilting pass-heavy to keep pace. We saw that kill Alfred Morris' fantasy value in the opener, but it plays right to the strengths of a dual-threat like Charles. San Diego backs notched 10 catches against the Eagles last week, and Charles is coming off an eight-catch game himself, so he's a great play this week—especially in PPR leagues.
Week Two Analysis:
A big lead and an injury scare resulted in just three quarters of action for Jamaal Charles against Jacksonville, but he turned his 19 touches into a helpful 100 combo yards and a score. Thankfully, it appears that his quad will be just fine for this week's matchup with Dallas. We didn't get a true read on the Cowboys run defense in the opener, as they were the beneficiaries of the Giants' running back dysfunction. They were bad last season, but with outstanding inside linebacker Sean Lee back in the fold, this looks like a neutral fantasy matchup for Charles.
Week One Analysis:
The blazing Jamaal Charles has sprinted to a 5.8-yard per carry average over his five-year career, and he's never dipped below 5.3 yards per carry in a single season. This week he makes his much-anticipated debut in the Brian Westbrook/LeSean McCoy role of Andy Reid's offense, and he he'll have a great chance to hit the ground running. Jacksonville ranked bottom-five against opposing backs in both rushing yardage and touchdowns last season, and they did virtually nothing to upgrade that deplorable run defense. Charles scored touchdowns of at least 80 yards in two of his last four games, so plan your bathroom breaks accordingly.
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If not for Adrian Peterson, we'd be talking about how Jamaal Charles tore up the medical playbook last season. Less than a year after blowing out his ACL, Charles posted career highs of 285 carries and 1,509 yards. The Chiefs finally have something resembling a competent quarterback in Alex Smith, and Charles has stated that he "gets chills" when he thinks about how perfect new head coach Andy Reid's offense is for him. You should, too. Considering Reid's history with fellow dual threat backs Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy—particularly as pass-catchers—Charles' fantasy upside is intoxicating. The sky truly is the limit.
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