As fantasy football players gear up for their draft days in late summer, numerous columns are going to come out listing the writer's opinions on players to reach for and players to avoid. Jamaal Charles is understandably going to be listed time and again in the latter. Given his status coming off of a season ending ACL injury, it's easy to see why fantasy players would want to steer clear.
Jamey Eisenberg of CBS Sports has come out with his list of "frightening" players to avoid drafting in 2012, and Charles is near the top of his list. Despite Charles' big play ability, he clearly needs to see it to believe it when it comes to Charles health. He writes:
This entry should be about a player I would avoid in Charles and someone I would target in Peyton Hillis, who is now the No. 2 running back for the Chiefs. I don't expect Charles to live up to his draft status. For starters, Charles is coming off a torn ACL suffered in Week 2 last year. He should be fine for the beginning of the season, but with the addition of Hillis, Charles' production won't be the same.
Hillis can play on all downs, and he will most likely take away goal-line opportunities. On top of that, Hillis is being reunited with his former offensive coordinator in Cleveland, Brian Daboll. We can see Hillis having a bounce-back year, and he presents better value on Draft Day then Charles since you can get Hillis with a mid-round pick.
Eisenberg still predicts Charles to run for 1,400+ yards and 5 touchdowns, so it's not as if he doesn't believe that he'll have a fine year. Instead his take is more about Charles' draft status as an elite back in fantasy football.
For those of you playing fantasy football this year, do you have the same reservations?