Running backs are always priced at a premium in fantasy football, but this year the severe depth disparity at that position has caused draft values to be thrown out of whack relative to where they should be -- it is leaving a lot of good deals on many draft boards.
This second part of a four-part series (the first can be found here) aims to assist fantasy owners in taking advantage of this by identifying some running backs who are being undervalued because of these market conditions.
1. Jamaal Charles
Current ESPN Live Draft ADP: 7.7
Current ESPN Live Draft positional rank: No. 6
The Football Scientist (TFS) positional rank: No. 3
It's true that the Chiefs' offense was terrible in a multitude of ways last year, but it wasn't because of Charles. According to my draft guide, he racked up a 9.3-yard mark in the good blocking yards per attempt (GBYPA) metric that gauges how productive a running back is when given good blocking (which is very roughly defined as when the offense doesn't allow the defense to disrupt a rush attempt). That mark ranked second only to Adrian Peterson (11.1 GBYPA) among running backs with at least 100 good blocking carries.
Kansas City's 47.6 percent good blocking rate (GBR) placed ninth in the league in that category, and could get even better with the addition of first-round pick Eric Fisher. Andy Reid may be a pass-first coach, but that should actually be a positive for Charles given his superb pass-catching abilities. The addition of Alex Smith at quarterback should be a big plus, as will having the elements of the pistol offense that Chris Ault will help to add. All in all, it looks like a perfect situation to vault Charles into the top three fantasy running backs this year, and yet he can be acquired with a mid-to-late first-round pick in most draft rooms.