The Burning Question

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You could see the writing on the wall for Andy Reid’s grand finale and official exit as a Philadelphia Eagles head coach. He had a long run in Philadelphia but it just seemed that change was needed on both sides. Still a heck of a coach it was no surprise that Reid was a top candidate for the many vacancies left open in the coaching ranks in the offseason of 2013.

He landed in Kansas City were the team has had offensive woes that ranked near the bottom of the league for a passing attack. The money spent on Matt Cassel was right up there for the money the Arizona Cardinals over spent on landing Kevin Kolb. If there is one thing about Andy Reid he knows how to run offenses.

The supporting cast in Philadelphia was always around for Reid to do so. In his first year in Kansas City how will he manage Alex Smith and have the Chiefs competitive in year one?

The answer to that question is to change his rather unique philosophies on game planning offensively. In Philadelphia it was no secret that Reid’s penchant was to throw the football. This year in Kansas City I expect Reid to tone it down quite a bit and ride the backfield starting with Jamaal Charles.

That’s the burning question for fantasy owners. Can they bank on Jamaal Charles even if Andy Reid is back up to his old tricks. Do the names of Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter and LeSean McCoy ring a bell? They should. Buckhalter’s name was brought in the mix to showcase that Reid has had success with a complimentary back having fantasy value. The rest were top tier running backs in their heydays, which McCoy is still in.

Jamaal Charles has that game speed shiftiness intangible that Reid has thrived with backs such as Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy. They do not necessarily have to carry the load with 300 carries in a season to be a top fantasy back. Reid ensures his stars are involved in the offense from a running back standpoint, but he mixes it up differently than most coaches do.

He’ll wear down defenses with the quick screen or just stretching the field overall with a simple dump pass route to the running back. One of his patented red zone moves with Donovan McNabb at quarterback was the inside the ten yard line quick shuffle pass to the running back from the shotgun formation. With all the presnap focus and confusing formations set on linebackers, it will continue to work in Kansas City.

Charles is an obvious first round fantasy running back candidate. The worries of Reid’s offense should be halted, as it is inflated conversation with actual results produced by his running backs. If Kansas City throws the football 58 to 60 percent of the time who cares as long as Charles is trending as a top back.

If Charles was a 1500 dominating back on a team that had little to offer a year ago, imagine what he will do with a consistent capable team on the field now?

I rate him right in the range of a first round pick between the 5th and 10th pick. That’s dependent on how quick the running backs fly off the board. If you end up getting him toward the later part of the first round you’ll end up smiling after week one, week two, week three, week four—hell the whole season.

Reid’s history with running backs speaks for itself. The talent of Charles will only spring that chemistry upward and give the Chiefs a chance to catapult as a playoff contender.


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