Over the past two weeks, the Roto Arcade customer service team has been inundated with questions about Charles Sims. Our call center has in fact created a dedicated Sims hotline. Brad's interns are staying late at the office every night, tweeting responses on his behalf. We have never before experienced this sort of volume, except during the Tebow surge of 2011.
To better assist anyone with an urgent need for info about Sims, here are some FAQs:
Sims is great, right? The greatest? Like, he's the best at football?
Well, Sims has a clear shot at fantasy relevance. That's about as far as I'll go. He was a hugely productive four-year collegiate player, first at Houston and later at West Virginia. He gained 1,457 yards from scrimmage as a freshman in 2009, catching 70 passes and crossing the goal line 10 times. In his final season, he delivered 1,496 total yards and 14 TDs. Here's a highlight reel. Not too shabby. Sims has good-if-not-spectacular speed (4.48), quick feet and great hands. But no, he is probably not the very best at football.
Sims will be the Bucs every-down running back for the next decade, right? And it starts in Week 10?
Just dial it down, please. When Sims makes his NFL debut — presumably this week — it's reasonable to expect him to have a supporting role. Again, he's a gifted receiver. He caught over 200 balls in his NCAA career. Sims could easily have PPR appeal at some point in the second-half. But for now, Bobby Rainey appears to have the starring role in the Tampa's backfield — he's the guy you should be flexing in fantasy leagues. Rainey has averaged 4.6 YPC for the season, and he's coming off a game in which he delivered 121 scrimmage yards.
Also, after a decade passes, Sims will be 34. Remember, his first collegiate season was '09. He's actually only six months younger than Mikel Leshoure.
Sims is 100 percent healthy right now, correct? Or maybe even healthier — like possibly 105 percent?
He suffered a significant right ankle injury back in August, undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament. Initial recovery estimates had him returning perhaps by Week 13, so he beat that timetable. We can only assume that he's fully healed and rehabbed, ready to go. Just understand that he's not coming back from some mere sprain.
It's not possible to own too many Bucs in a fantasy league, right?
Try to limit yourself to only one, if at all possible. This is a team with a poor offensive line, averaging only 18.8 points and 303.9 total yards per game. Not an offense on which you want to bet big, no.
OK, so what's a realistic expectation for Sims?
I'd say you can anticipate a modest workload in his debut, not much more than a cameo role. He's a legit weapon as a receiving threat and, in all likelihood, a competent runner. He profiles as a really useful member of a backfield committee. Best-case scenario, Sims gets an extended look in the closing weeks, when the Bucs' schedule is particularly RB-friendly. Tampa will face Carolina and Green Bay in Weeks 15-16, which is about as inviting as it gets for a running back. Those defenses have allowed the third-most and tenth-most fantasy points to opposing backs on a per game basis, and each allows 4.8 YPC. If you're thinking of Sims as an end-of-season lottery ticket — and not as a Week 10 must-start — then you're taking the right approach.