Jamaal Charles is the Chiefs best player on offense which, in this day of the NFL, means he is their most impactful player if not best player overall. The arrival of Andy Reid and his reputation of calling 580 pass plays a game means some are concerned about how much Charles will be able to help.
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star
Time will tell like it always does, of course, but Im not worried about this and as the proud owner of both Charles and Eagles running back Lesean McCoy in fantasy football I want to tell you why:
If Charles puts up McCoys numbers, and gets McCoys chances, hell actually be used a bit more than weve become used to.
The key and this is part of what Randy was writing about is in pass receptions.
Here are McCoys rushes, receptions, and total touches the last three years:
2010: 207, 78, 285.
2011: 273, 48, 321.
2012: 200, 54, 254.
Here are Charles numbers, and Ill use his 2009 season since he basically missed all of 2011:
2009: 190, 40, 230.
2010: 230, 45, 275.
2012: 285, 35, 320.
So, and I think we all realize this is a crude comparison and there are a million factors were not accounting for, each backs usage is essentially the same.
McCoys 2011 and Charles 2012 wash out, each players 2010 are similar, and McCoys 2012 was a little higher usage than Charles 2010.
Statistically, anyway, the biggest difference is that in the seasons were measuring here Charles played all but one game; McCoy missed six.
So, a different way of calculating, here are each players average in these three seasons:
McCoy: 16.2 carries, 76.9 yards, 4.7 y/a; 4.3 catches, 30.5 yards, 7.1 y/r; 20.5 touches, 107.4 total yards.
Charles: 15 carries, 87.1 yards, 5.8 y/a; 2.6 catches, 21.3 yards, 8.2 y/r; 17.6 touches, 108.7 total yards.
So by this measure, McCoys been used slightly more in both the running and passing games, an average of about three more touches per game for about the same yards because Charles is ridiculously good.
But Sam, maybe youre saying, dont compare McCoy to Charles because for years weve been complaining he should get the ball much more. Compare Reids usage of his star back to that of other star backs in the league.
OK, will do. Over the last three years, here are the top 10 running backs ranked in total touches, with average per game in parentheses:
Arian Foster: 1,115 (24.8)
Maurice Jones-Drew: 819 (22.8)
Ray Rice: 1,055 (22)
Adrian Peterson: 933 (21.7)
Steven Jackson: 973 (20.7)
Chris Johnson: 991 (20.6)
Michael Turner: 905 (18.9)
Marshawn Lynch: 875 (18.6)
LeSean McCoy: 860 (20.5)
Matt Forte: 835 (19.4)^
^ Frank Gore has one fewer touch over this time than Forte.
So, at least by this measure, McCoy is among the leagues most used backs only six have averaged more touches, and two of those by the equivalent of one extra touch every five games. Body type and other factors make it easy to see why Foster, MJD, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are getting more than one extra touch per game.
Which is one reason I dont think Reid is going to ignore Charles.
The other: Reid is a smart football guy, and Charles is one of the best backs in the league.
To reach Sam Mellinger, call 816-234-4365, send email to email@example.com or follow twitter.com/mellinger. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com.