We can’t just wait here for sharks to rain down on us.
– Baz Hogan
Damn straight. Every disaster needs a plan. In the wake of Jamaal Charles’ injury, the RotoViz staff discussed which Kansas City running back we’d target on waivers, and how much we’d spend to acquire him.
Fantasy Douche – Charcandrick West – 35%
This blurb was originally written with advice to spend 55 percent of FAAB on Charcandrick West. But after perusing some FAAB reports in leagues I’m in, as well as looking at some data from Myfantasyleague, it seems like more often than not the winning bid on free agents ends up beating the next closest bid by a sizable margin. In addition, enthusiasm for West seems pretty low while questions persist about whether Knile Davis might either still be ahead of West, or might be in a timeshare with West. I’m going to be bidding on West but I’m also going to dial back my bid by not quite half. My guess is that I’ll get him in some leagues and miss out on him in others. I think that’s fine. There are questions on West that start with the Chiefs offense and end with his talent, so even though today the opportunity seems good, I’ll save some money in case there are other free agents worth bidding on later.
Anthony Amico – Charcandrick West – 100%
The bottom line here is that I’m all in on West. He is not an elite athlete, but still posted strong speed and explosion numbers at his Pro Day, along with a very favorable Workhorse Score while at Abeline Christian, as Matthew Freedman pointed out earlier this week. All reports right now look like West will get the first crack at the touches, and Andy Reid has traditionally been very good at getting his RBs active in all phases of the football game. He performed very well in the pre-season, and could end up being an excellent fit, especially in the passing game (He had 32 receptions as a senior). All of this has me buying West for whatever it will take. I am usually aggressive early on with my FAAB dollars, so I’ll probably be spending whatever I have left to get him, and in leagues where I still command a high portion of my budget, I will spend one dollar more than as many teams as I capably can to ensure his services. It is very difficult to find a waiver wire player with RB1 upside, and I believe West has that.
Aaron Butler – Pierre Thomas(?)/De’Anthony Thomas (Yahoo! RB/WR) – 1%
Charcandrick West might be a really good running back but I haven’t seen enough to blow a majority of my FAAB budget on an undrafted free agent with 14 career touches. I might put in a 10-15 percent bid just in case my league mates are comatose but I probably won’t win him anywhere. I would be slightly more aggressive if I were a Jamaal Charles owner. The thing is, Charles has put up RB1 numbers year after year by dominating snaps and being uber efficient. Under Andy Reid, the Chiefs are in the lower half of the NFL in rush attempts per game. There are other RB situations around the league that I would be more willing to spend everything to get the clear backup if the starter went down. I’m just not confident West is that guy. Of the two backs currently on the depth chart, I do favor West because it’s assumed he will have a larger role in the passing game than Knile Davis (28 recs in 2+ years). And yet, a couple of Thomas’s could usurp those opportunities as well. The Chiefs could sign Pierre this week or give RB-turned-WR, De’Anthony more work out of the backfield. In the end, this is likely a low rushing volume RBBC which limits the appeal of any of the options.
@14TeamMocker – Charcandrick West – 90-95%
I wrote in this week’s Monday Morning Waiver Report why West is the Chiefs RB I am looking to own. Knile Davis has had a pedestrian career behind Jamaal Charles, consistently posting far less efficient numbers in relief. The reason I am willing to spend so much of my remaining FAAB (it’s a lot in every league, I am very conservative with it early in the season) is because I am a firm believer in the volume of the Chiefs offense. For his last nine seasons in Philadelphia, Andy Reid was always 11th or higher in at least one of two categories: offensive plays run and total offensive yards.
Even though Charles had 206 attempts and 59 targets last season, 16th and 10th respectively for all running backs, he only had 49 percent of the Chief’s rushes and 12 percent of the team targets. Even if Knile Davis, Pierre Thomas or De’Anthony Thomas take significant work away from West, there should be a very healthy volume for West. The Chiefs are currently top 15 in the league in all three categories of offensive plays, points scored, and yards. Furthermore, they get the Ravens and Browns in Weeks 15 and 16, two defenses that Charles may have ran for three hundred yards on. Each.
Charlie Kleinheksel – It Depends – 25%
Not to cop out, but I think it depends on how much you need a RB. Because let’s be honest – you’re basically deciding how much money to spend on lottery tickets. First you need to spend enough to get CharcNado. Then you need the Chiefs to not sign Pierre Thomas (or Ben Tate). And you need West to earn enough work to be worthwhile – and to be effective with that work. And then you need Knile Davis to not earn work or be effective with his work. Oh, and you need De’Anthony Thomas to not eat into the available workload. And Andy Reid to not change his play calling too much. So I’m not inclined to spend more than 25 percent of my budget on either West or Davis.
I’ll probably try to zig when others zag. According to MFL, Eric Ebron and Rishard Matthews are among the most-dropped players. According to Fleaflicker, the same two, along with Karlos Williams, are among the most-dropped players in the past week. Ebron should return soon and was a TE1 before getting hurt. He’s the undisputed starter. Matthews has been having a solidly productive season as well, and Williams has already demonstrated ability this season. Unless I’m truly desperate at RB, I’ll probably use the cover of SharkNado to sneak in some lower bids on other players. And if I am desperate at RB, I’ll probably wait until later this week and hope the Chiefs sign Pierre Thomas, then get him in first come/first served waivers.
Greg Conejo – Charcandrick West – 35%
Despite Jamaal Charles’s fantasy dominance, the rushing opportunity in Kansas City actually hasn’t been as valuable as I expected. Using the Fantasy Efficiency App, Kansas City actually had the fourth lowest expected rushing points for running backs through the first four weeks of the season. Charles was able to transcend this by hogging 18.7 percent of the team’s targets, resulting in the most valuable receiving workload among RBs (38.3 reEP).
While Charcandrick West did catch a number of balls in his last year at Abilene Christian, I can’t bring myself to think that Andy Reid will simply plug in West for Charles. Maybe Charles’s targets instead get parceled out to Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce, or De’Anthony Thomas puts in an appearance, or the backfield simply becomes less lucrative without Charles to drive it.
Nonetheless, FAAB is worth less and less as the year progresses, and West could be a viable RB2/RB3 the rest of the season, so teams with a need at the RB position should be prepared to spend for him.
Justin Winn – Charcandrick West – 15%
Jamaal Charles is the kind of guy who dictates you give him touches. So with his absence I expect RB involvement to go down across the board. Knile Davis is still around and while his career 3.4 Y/A is bad, the Fantasy Efficiency App gives him a per attempt score of 0.19, which is actually quite a bit above average. Then the Chiefs also have De’Anthony Thomas, who is basically a WR in name only, and they’re looking at Pierre Thomas and Ben Tate. I think West or any of these backs would have to dominate the touches to really be valuable, and that’s only a prerequisite for value, not a sufficient condition on its own. They’d probably need a high volume total or high efficiency in addition to that. Realistically, I might spend as much as 20 percent if I really need a RB, but I’m likely not going to end up with West in my leagues.
On the bright side, the Chiefs have a very favorable schedule for RBs through Week 16 according to the Buy Low Machine.
Matthew Freedman – Charcandrick West – The Whole Enchilada?
Per my profile of Charcandrick West, I’m moderately bullish on him. I don’t think that he’s overly talented, but he is probably good enough to warrant midrange starter touches in the absence of someone head coach Andy Reid likes better. With those touches, he should be a decent flex option or RB2. But who knows? He could have RB1 upside, and most importantly West might represent your last decent realistic chance to acquire off of waivers RB projected to be his team’s starter for the rest of the season. What else would you be saving your money for? Another RB who you can acquire next month, when your team is in a worse position and you won’t get as many starting performances for the money that you’ll spend?
In part, I’m willing to use the rest of my FAAB budget on West because I don’t have much money left, because I used most of my budget earlier in the season acquiring players I like better.
So I like West a decent amount, and I think he’s worth blowing your wad on. I just don’t have much wad left to blow.