KANSAS CITY MO - JANUARY 09: Running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for a first down against the Baltimore Ravens during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9 2011 in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
If you're defending the Kansas City Chiefs you know one of your top priority, if not the priority, will be to stop RB Jamaal Charles. He's one of the top 3-4 running backs in the NFL and has the ability to make you pay if you don't defend him right.
Last year, Charles made a lot of teams pay. He finished the season second in rushing with nearly 1,500 yards and an almost legendary 6.4 yards per carry. Since the second half of the 2009 season, he's been the most effective running back in the league on a per-carry basis.
With fantasy football starting up, Charles' name is a popular one right now. Yahoo! Sports has him ranked third overall. ESPN has him fourth overall, as does CBS Sports. In short, the days of Charles quietly approaching game days are over. Everyone knows who he is.
"That's over," Charles told Bill Williamson of ESPN from Chiefs training camp. "Teams are going to be looking for me now after last year. I'm going to have to step it up. I'm not going to surprise anybody anymore."
He really wasn't surprising anyone last year either and still dominated.
I think he has the body to do it. I'm not basing this off of anything scientific but, as 610 Sports' Nick Wright pointed out at the start of camp, Charles looks a little bigger, like he put his work in this offseason to stay in shape. Let's hope that pays off.