Fantasy Football: Spencer Ware vs Jamaal Charles

Fantasy Football: Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Fantasy Football: Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

With Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles set to return, Fantasy Football players have a big choice between him and fellow Chiefs running back Spencer Ware.

One of the most popular Fantasy Football tactics for drafting players is to get a “handcuff” running back.  That is a backup to your starting running back.  For players who drafted Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware has been a phenomenal handcuff.  However, with Charles looking to be returning to the field, there is a question about who to go with.

Normally, this would be an easy decision.  You bench the backup and roll with your superstar starter.  Well, that may not be the case this week.  Though Jamaal Charles is set to return, there is no guarantee on what kind of work load he will get.  It would make a lot of sense to bring Charles along slowly and leave the bulk of the work with Spencer Ware.

Also, Spencer Ware has proven himself to be a very good short yardage running back.  He is also excellent as a receiver out of the backfield.  So it would seem unlikely that the Chiefs would simply relegate him to the bench.  In fact, Ware now becomes a candidate to be the top touchdown “poacher” in the league.

With Ware set to continue getting the majority of snaps, as well as goal line opportunities, this week, one would think this is an easy decision.  Not so fast.  There is a major x-factor here that makes Jamaal Charles a real threat.  Charles is one of the best big play running backs in the NFL, and the Steelers have surrendered back to back 100 yard receiving days to running backs.

Sunday’s game actually shapes up very well for Jamaal Charles to have a big day.  The Steelers are just flat out struggling on defense, especially against running backs in the receiving game.  So Fantasy Football players know there is a very good chance for Charles to break off one of those huge plays.  He has done that before against the Steelers.

Fantasy Football owners are left with a conundrum.  The safe play here is Spencer Ware.  However, the big play ability of Jamaal Charles cannot be ignored.  This really could be a decision that makes or breaks a lineup this week.  As for myself, I’m fortunate to be playing in a large enough league that I can roll the dice and put both in.  For DFS purposes, I’m avoiding both players.

Next: Fantasy Football: Top 15 Running Backs To Target In 2016

Jamaal Charles should eventually take over as a dominant Fantasy Football running back this year.  However, Spencer Ware will remain an attractive option for fantasy players as a touchdown poacher and receiving back.  This actually makes it tougher to go with either player.  Of course, with the number of running back injuries that have popped up, playing both might actually work out pretty well.