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Xavier Cromartie and I took some time last week to compare our top 3 ‘over/under’ win-total plays for the 2016 NFL season…this coming off the heels of our computer simulation of the entire 2016 NFL season, and subsequent discussions posted.
We’re releasing the transcripts of the discussions this week in a four-part series starting 6/14/16. This was an informal e-chat back and forth, so forgive our grammar or spelling…
Some of you will make some money here…hopefully.
RC: Your #2 best over/under is Kansas City over 9.5 wins…one of your three 15-1 projected teams in the Faux season (with GB and MIN).
I don’t think we disagree here…on the 9.5 over…your 15-1 projection is nuts, but not the 9.5 win total over.
I don’t even have a real argument to try to fan the flames on with you. So, I’ll try a different route for a debate here…
If I were the GM of the KC Chiefs, I would trade Jamaal Charles to highest bidder ASAP…and I would have traded him pre-draft to try to add more picks in my deal.
We went 1-4 with Jamaal last year, and 11-1 without him.
I’m sitting on Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West, talent and experience enough…and RBs don’t matter that much anyway.
I use that overrated, overpaid (for the market) asset (Jamaal), and use it to shore up my weaknesses. I can win a Super Bowl with 1-2 more key players. Jamaal Charles’s return doesn’t even really move my over/under win total meter, but a top O-Lineman, Corner or an inside linebacker might.
I know you love Jamaal…but are you willing to set it aside to do what’s ‘best for business’?
XC: I love the Chiefs. The Seahawks and Chiefs are closest to my idea of a prototypical championship team. They’re the only two teams that came in with more than 11 Pythagorean wins. The reason that they both lost to the Packers in my faux season is only that Aaron Rodgers is the greatest QB who ever lived. Seahawks v Chiefs is the Super Bowl I’d want to see.
Although I agree that RBs generally aren’t worth a bag of deflated footballs, I would not trade Jamaal Charles. First, no one should take that win/loss split seriously. The Chiefs blew the Bears game in the 4th quarter, after Charles left the game. “West-Knile” transmitted the football to their punter instead of the end zone, or even the first-down marker. And the first three losses were because the defense gave up 30+ points. They went 11-0 because they fixed the defense. The offense generally continued to play well without Charles, I admit. Spencer Ware deserves some recognition. That’s a manly man right there. I’d use him on up to 33% of the snaps as a spell/power/endgame RB.
I don’t trade Charles because I don’t get enough in return. Maybe the cockamamie Colts offer me a 2nd-round pick. With most RBs, I’d take that. But Charles is a special RB. He gives you 5+ yards per carry and can catch passes. Charles is more useful than whomever that pick would be. If I’m a championship team making a Super Bowl run, I’m not giving away one of my best players unless he has (1) a bad attitude or (2) a salary cap number I can’t handle. DeMarco Murray had both problems; the Eagles gave him away for nothing and I didn’t care. The Chiefs are tight on cap space, but that money isn’t going to Charles. If I’m going to trade someone from the Chiefs, it’s Justin Houston.
The thing that is holding back the Chiefs from a Super Bowl win isn’t an OT or ILB. It’s Alex Smith. And I’m a supporter of Alex Smith. I think he’s a top-10 NFL QB (not fantasy), and he is good enough to win a Super Bowl if everything goes right. But if I could make a zany, Maddenesque trade of Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, and Justin Houston for Russell Wilson, I would make that trade and win every Super Bowl thereafter. The Seahawks are the best overall team every year with Wilson.
RC: Just for fun…let me see how deep this love runs…
The Colts offer you a first-round pick in 2017 for Charles (they are trying to wash the Trent Richardson trade from everyone’s memory banks)…your 4-12 Colts in the Faux season projections, so it’s going to be a top pick to get. Do you do it? They also add a 4th-rounder in 2018 to the deal.
Given how close KC is, but also knowing the RB market/valuation and that they have Ware/West/Knile – would you make that deal or hold?
XC: A top-15 draft pick is a different story. With a second rounder, I get a solid starter, but I give up a great starter. With the first rounder, I get either a great starter or I trade it for at least 2 solid starters. So I could trade an old, great starter at a low-value position for a young, great starter at a more important position. Jamaal Charles (29) for a WR like Corey Coleman (21), straight up? If I were the Chiefs GM, that would be an easy decision. I would blow my cap money on QBs and WRs/TEs.
It would be a more interesting question if Charles were a rookie. That’s the debate the Cowboys had betwixt Ezekiel Elliott and Jalen Ramsey. Teams don’t typically value RBs highly, nor should they. But, using another chess analogy, maybe certain special RBs aren’t just regular pawns worth 1 point; they’re very well-positioned pawns. You have to at least consider how “well-positioned” they are (if there are no elite pass-catching prospects available to draft).
**Our ever-updating 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Guide and Cheat Sheets are now available at Fantasy Football Metrics.com**