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Charles in Charge

Jamaal Charles took apart a weak Buffalo rushing defense for 143 yards and one score.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Jamaal Charles became the primary tailback for Kansas City in Week 10, replacing Larry Johnson, and since then has been more than just a "fill-in." He's been very good and very consistent, two great assets to a fantasy owner.

In five games as a starter, he is averaging 90.6 ypg on the ground and another 23.4 ypg receiving. Charles has five consecutive games with a touchdown and is averaging 23.2 fantasy points per week. Over a full season, that average would put a running back in the top-three at his position. Since Week 10 he's scored more fantasy points than Maurice Jones-Drew (69 points), Adrian Peterson (80), Steven Jackson (86) or Ray Rice (88).

Yesterday, Charles took apart a weak Buffalo rushing defense for 143 yards and one score, posting his best fantasy effort of the season - 37 points.

Despite backing up Johnson for the first nine weeks of the season, Charles is 21st among running backs, well ahead of higher preseason draft picks such as LaDainian Tomlinson (8.0), Steve Slaton (ADP 13.5), Brandon Jacobs (14.4) and Marion Barber III (18.1).

Charles had a RapidDraft ADP of 114.8 in August, but now that he has gotten a chance to play regularly and touch the ball around 20 times-a-game, he is posting top-three numbers.

In round two of the fantasy playoffs, Charles and the Chiefs will face the Cleveland Browns. In contrast to their impressive Thursday night national television performance versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns run defense is not very good - ranking 29th among 32 teams (159.9 ypg). Charles should easily post another big day and is obviously a "must start."

Should you be lucky enough to make it into the championship round in Week 16, Charles might not be able to produce such gaudy numbers. He's schedule to face the tough Cincinnati Bengals defense which is currently ranked third against the run, yielding just 81.9 ypg. That might be a good time to seek alternative plans.

But for next week, Charles could and should be a primary building block towards your semifinal victory.

Jamaal Charles Statistics since Week 10
Week Opp Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Pts
10 OAK 18 103 5.7 1 4 14 3.5 0 26
11 PIT 17 58 3.4 0 2 8 4.0 1 23
12 SD 14 93 6.6 1 3 54 18.0 0 20
13 DEN 18 56 3.1 1 1 3 3.0 0 10
14 BUF 20 143 7.2 1 7 38 5.4 0 37


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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