I don't like Charles as the starter. Not that I don't think he can do it, I just think we would do better with a two back system. Charles\Smith rotation sounds good to me.
Derrick Ward could be an interesting signing if he isn't too expensive. I'm just worried that a large part of his success came from running behind the Giants O-Line. Jacobs would be much better, but he'd be too expensive and will probably re-sign with the Giants.
I think Smith could be a good short yardage back.. seems like he always manages to squeeze through for an extra yard, and rarely gets stopped in the backfield like a certain #27.
Ward, Charles, Smith could be a pretty good and inexpensive backfield. Then the money can be put into both lines.
I should add though that I would rather just draft an RB. Any decent back can prosper behind a good o-line.
But the fact is that you've said noone could do any better, and yet someone did.
His being injured doesn't change the fact that when he got the football, he took it further that LJ did, when he had the ball.
And YPC is really the measurement of success for rushing. You can run for 1700 yards, but if it took more than 400 carries to do it, then it's just pretty good.
If you did it on 300 carries, then you had a much higher degree of success rushing.
A steady supply of fresh legs is more important than almost any individual RB.
Player A has 10 carries for 50 yards (5.0 YPC), consisting of (1) 50 yard carry, and (9) 0 yard carries.
Player B has 10 carries for 40 yards (4.0 YPC), consisting of (10) 4 yard carries.
Which players performance is more likely to result in a win for the team? Player A has a much higher YPC, but picked up 1 first down the entire game, and scored at most 1 touchdown. The other 9 carries he didn't move the chains and didn't help open up the pass.
That's my rant about YPC. Consistency is more important for me, which is why I'd rather have player B. It's not about how many yards you get, it's how and when you get them. It's also part of the reason why teams don't give someone like Jerious Norwood 20 carries a game.
Jerome Bettis had 3.9 YPC for his career and Tatum Bell has 4.9 for his career. You tell me which one you'd rather have.