Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

17 Aug 2011

Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall

I can keep one of these guys as my 1st round pick. I pick 9th in a 10 team league. I was suprised to see KUBIAK thinks Mendenhall will get more yards this year and Charles will get less. With Big Ben starting the season, won't that cut into Mendenhall's stats? KUBIAK predicts a significant drop in Thomas Jones, D. Bowe and Matt Cassel's FPs. I guess they don't like KC this year?

Should I keep Charles or Mendenhall??? If I keep Charles, there's a slim chance Mendenhall will still be available for my next pick (#12). Please Help!!!

Posted by: CheeseHead on 17 Aug 2011

11 replies , Last at 23 Aug 2011, 11:39pm by DRohan

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by JuridianSantaal... :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:01pm

I'm not 100% sure why, but I do know that last year FO and KUBIAK liked the Chiefs a lot based largely on what was projected to be a very soft schedule. My guess is that it's not seeing those players being worse players, so much as seeing them play a more league average schedule and thus regressing to the mean.

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by boone88rr :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:17pm

I wouldn't over think it. I think Charles has the upside. He could legit finish as the top RB (maybe even player) in fantasy. I think we saw Mendenhall's ceiling last year, personally. Given who you can keep, I wouldn't expect to see anybody with JC's upside at #9.

KC schedule is certainly tougher on paper than it was last year. Still I think the projection for JC's receptions are on low side.

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by nkowal :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 3:16pm

I found Charles' projections a bit low (IMO).

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by Shea9840 :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 9:16am

If I were in your position, I keep Charles.

Charles has the potential to be the top RB overall. Look at his stats based on the number of carries he had. His yards per carry average is unbelievable and best of all, he has not been overused in either college at Texas or with Kansas City.

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by Yaguar :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 10:56am

Keep Charles. First of all, KUBIAK's projections are just based on numbers, not scouting. Most people's eyes tell them that Charles is the better player. Second, he holds better trade value. You could try to dump him for someone who is excellent and doesn't have a poor KUBIAK projection. Third, you might still get to pick Mendenhall.

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by CheeseHead :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 2:39pm

Ugh...just got the FOA and KC has the toughest schedule in the league and PIT has the 3rd easiest. Last year KC had the 5th easiest schedule and PIT had the 8th toughest. Here's a quote about KC: "Gone are the 49ers and Cardinals of the world, having been replaced by the Packers and Bears. Goodbye Bills and Browns, hello Patriots and Steelers. Worst of all, they play these four juggernauts in a brutal five-game stretch between Week 11 and Week 15, with the fifth team being the New York Jets. Needless to say, those aren’t the kinds of opponents conducive to a successful playoff run."

I'm thinking maybe FO is right and the "consensus" is wrong...

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by Zheng :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 4:13pm

Is KUBIAK taking into account a smaller role for T. Jones in KC compared to last year?

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by CheeseHead :: Sat, 08/20/2011 - 10:03am

Yes, in my league, KUBIAK is projecting 26% fewer FP T.Jones than last year.

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by nkowal :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 4:30pm

KC scheduling is brutal, and it's brutal in the playoffs. I agree with a lot of that.

In my opinion some of it might come down to what type of a drafter you are. If you looking for guys with higher ceilings I'd suggest going Charles. If you're a much more conservative drafter then maybe you keep Mendenhall. I'm not a giant risk taker, but I prefer the upside of Charles.

There is no doubt he faces a tougher schedule this year, and missing a prime matchup (unless you play to Wk 17) against Denver (a team he has shredded recently) doesn't help either. The question is whether you think Charles will take another step forward this year or not. The projections view 2010 as a "peak" type of season and project some regression from those numbers. There's a (decent) argument to be made that Charles will play better this year than last year, as he gets some more touches and the coaches figure out how best to utilize him.

Mendenhall was incredibly solid last year, and I bet you he will be again this year. He's consistent week-to-week because of the TDs he scores. However, he rarely blows up. Charles is much less consistent, but is much more capable of winning you weeks.

If you're risk-adverse and feel comfortable sitting in the middle of the pack and are confident all your other picks will help you win then consider Mendenhall. He likely will be in the top 10 scoring for RBs. Charles should be in the top 10 RBs (even with regression) but has the potential to be THE #1 RB based on his skill set. It's a risk-reward type of thing. In my opinion you don't win in fantasy football by drafting a lot of above-average guys, you win because you get that guy who does simply amazing.

(Side note: SF actually was a good Run D last year. SF was #2 in YPC last year. So losing them isn't a bad thing (Charles did well against them)).

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by Tutenkharnage :: Tue, 08/23/2011 - 1:31pm

KUBIAK correctly predicted the Chiefs to win the West last year, and JC's monster season. If it's looking at the flipped schedules and rating Mendenhall higher, you should give that prediction strong consideration.

On the flip side, some of this is very league-dependent. For example, if most players in your league will turn to NFL.com and ESPN to rank players, or use your league's auto-draft feature (if it has one), then you should familiarize yourself with those rankings so you'll know what your opponents are thinking. If the popular sources say Charles will beat Mendenhall strongly this year, keep Charles, and expect to draft Mendenhall at #9; if they agree with KUBIAK, keep Mendenhall and try to draft Charles at #9 if nothing better presents itself.

Re: Jamaal Charles v. Rashard Mendenhall
by DRohan :: Tue, 08/23/2011 - 11:39pm

I like Charles better, just think he's a stud. So even if Mendenhall has a better year this season, in a keeper league I think I'd want Charles for the long run. Plus, as you say, you may be able to still get Mendenhall at #12, and you absolutely won't have Charles sitting there waiting for you.

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