As you rigorously prepare and research leading into each week of DFS, injuries are always going to change the landscape. “Next Man Up” is a series that examines players who are now being propelled into the starting role (thus creating a larger opportunity for that player), whether it be via injury, or simply a change to the depth chart. 

 

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Charcandrick West — RB, Kansas City Chiefs

 

Week 5 hit us with just about the most impactful injury that exists in fantasy football — an ACL tear to one of the most elite player in the game. Everyone feels for Jamaal Charles, who will miss the rest of the season for the second time in his career with the same injury (one to each knee). Very few players come to mind when you think of guys that can match Charles’ fantasy value — Gronk, Julio, Bell … it’s not a long list. Amazingly, Charles has averaged at least 5.0 YPC in every season of his career (which dates back to 2008). It’s impossible to just plug another player in and replace that value.

If you have Charles on your season-long squad, well, good luck finding a replacement. The beauty of DFS, however, is that after an event like this, we simply keep moving along. So what’s left in the Chiefs backfield?

In years past, the answer had been Knile Davis. Charles only missed a couple games during Davis’ short career, but when he did, Davis did a good job carrying the load from a fantasy perspective. Just take a look at this three-game stretch from last season Davis put together while Charles was banged up.

Courtesy of ESPN.com
Courtesy of ESPN.com

Davis didn’t have any value before Charles went down, but even post-injury, it’s looking like Davis is still going to be in a relief role — he got only two carries after Charles left Sunday’s game. The next man up will be Charcandrick West.

West recently started getting snaps with the second team, and now will be propelled into the spotlight. After being a practice squad player in 2014, West has accumulated just 48 yards on 12 carries through the first five games of the season. A LOT more is about to be asked of him.

Obviously, the 1-4 Chiefs will turn to using Jeremy Maclin (now their most explosive weapon) more than they had been. Another given is that KC doesn’t expect West to give anything close to what Charles was able to every single week. Davis will be mixed into the rotation more than he had been when playing behind a stud like Charles. But on workload alone, West will live up to his opening price tag of $4,000 on DraftKings in Week 6.

The bottom line is that Charcandrick (please find me a nickname) West is still a giant question mark. The only thing that’s for sure is that he’s about to be given a big opportunity, which makes him worth consideration in all formats, especially at his discounted price.

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