In 2015, Jamaal Charles tore his ACL and played in only 5 games. Now at the age of 30, he has resumed a running program, but did not participate in OTAs. He expects to be ready for training camp and is on schedule to be the week 1 starter. He will be one of the highest risk/reward players drafted in round 1 of 2016 fantasy football league drafts. Looking at his 2 year average prior to his injury last season: 15 games played, 232.5 rushing attempts, 1,163 rushing yards, 5.0 yards per carry, and 16.5 TDs. For 2016, I have projected Jamaal Charles for 1,129 rushing yards and 13 total TDs.
Charles suffered his torn ACL early enough in the season that he should be ready for Week 1 in 2016. I would be concerned that RB Charcandrick West and RB Spencer Ware could steal carries from him, but Charles should be the lead back in the rotation.
Charles is coming off an ACL tear, but should be fine for the season opener. The risk here is that the RBs behind him (Spender Ware, Charcandrick West) are more involved following success late last year.
The last time Charles tore his ACL, he came back the next season and rushed for 1,509 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Of course, he was 26 years old then, and now he'll be 30 going into next season, but this man has never had a season where he averaged less than five yards per carry! And in 2015, he was still dominant, with 541 total yards and five touchdowns through five games.
Will he be the same player at 30 years old, coming off a torn ACL? I can't answer that, but how about a player who averages 4.5 yards per carry instead of five-plus? That's not the same player, but it's a pretty darn good one, and this Kansas City team is also pretty darn good. These Chiefs are well-balanced, and they'll continue to get him touches and scoring opportunities. So, I'm still on board until he shows me I shouldn't be.