After the scintillating action that was the NFL Combine (running! jumping! multiple choice questions!), our focus this week turns back to real football players and the start of free agency.
The "last year" rules related to the expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement have produced an odd and cautious free agency period. Many players who should have been on the market this year aren't, and the free agent talent pool is shallow. The only massive splash in free agency is the Bears' uncharacteristic "all in" acquisitions of
Let's set aside, for the moment, that Chicago still has a long way to go in building a competent offensive line. So far, the only step they've made in that direction is throwing the carcass of
So then, what exactly are the Bears thinking, bringing in an older version of current starter
There's nothing thus far to suggest that Taylor can bring something to the table that Forte doesn't. Maybe he's being brought in to push Forte, but that really doesn't matter to fantasy owners. Taylor will be good enough in tandem with Forte, however, in fantasy terms, having two similar RBs on the same roster kills both their values. As if Forte could sink any lower after last year's debacle...
In contrast to Chicago's poor choice of free agent RBs, Kansas City did the right thing. Former Jet
When Charles took over the starting job in Week 10, he proved that a talented RB could overcome the limitations of the Chiefs' subpar O-line by averaging 121 yards per game. That's certainly impressive, but it's very hard for a sub-200 pound back to keep that up over the course of a season with no reliable backup/headbanger. Charles did well enough on the inside, but he's a rock star running on the edges.
Additionally, the number of rushing touches he got ostensibly kept him from contributing much in the passing game, which is where he has the tools to excel. Jones' presence as a pile-pusher frees up Charles to do just that. That's not to say that Jones is just going to be some change-of-pace schlub. Dude rushed for at least 1,100 for five years running, so he'll be a significant contributor.
If the Chiefs keep up their run-pass split of 43-57, you have to figure that Charles and Jones will get close to half of the offensive touches. That doesn't make either one of them a fantasy superstar, but they'll both have good value. It's a bit of a blow to Charles' value, as he was shaping up to be a first-round pick. Don't drop him too far, though; maybe the third round or so. Jones will contribute enough to be a solid mid-round pick.
Why do coaches insist on making their lives more difficult? Since the beginning of the
Which brings us to