Will Charles and Hillis split 50/50 in KC?
This has been hinted at for a while now. When the Chiefs opened camp, the two running backs were reportedly taking turns as the team's featured runner. Hillis was also said to have arrived at camp in great shape, and he looked like his 2010 self on the practice field. In addition, Jamaal Charles is coming off of an ACL tear, so the Chiefs obviously won't want to overwork his recently reconstructed knee.
It is a bit surprising, however, due to the fact that Charles slaughtered defenses two years ago to the tune of 1467 rushing yards on an astounding 6.4 yards per carry. With numbers like that, one would expect the Chiefs to get the ball in his hands as much as possible. Perhaps they prefer to go with a thunder and lightning combination, or maybe they don't trust Charles' 6'1'' 200 pound frame holding up through 300 carries.
Regardless, expect Charles to end up taking the bulk of outside running plays, screens, and passing plays, while Hillis will pound the rock on early downs and be the Chiefs' first goal line option. Both backs are versatile, however, and can be successful in either role (besides Charles as a goal line bulldozer). Charles will certainly end up with the majority of big plays and boast a higher average on both running and receiving plays, making him the better fantasy option.
If the two backs do split touches evenly, however, I like the value of Hillis better. You have to think that what Charles gains in his explosive plays, Hillis could come close to making up for in vulturing touchdowns. With Charles' ADP in the middle of the second round, and Hillis' in the late sixth, I'd suggest waiting on Hillis rather than reaching for Charles - that is, if you truly believe they will split touches evenly.