|Ryan Mathews - Ignore the hype||Tweet|
|Written by Michael Amato|
|Friday, 05 October 2012 06:59|
Many people had San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews pegged as a first round fantasy pick coming into 2012. Even after Mathews broke his clavicle in the pre-season and it was clear he would miss the first few regular season games, plenty of poolies were still willing to take a risk. Now I'm not saying Mathews isn't a talented back, or doesn't have the potential to be a great player someday, but he simply hasn't done anything to prove it yet.
Although San Diego coach Norv Turner quite possibly may be the most monotone guy on the face of the planet, he does have a good track record of getting the most out of his running backs. However, there is evidence to show that with the departure of LaDainian Tomlinson and the emergence of quarterback Philip Rivers, the Chargers are now more of a passing team than ever before.
For instance, in 2011 the Chargers ran the ball on average just 27 times per game, which ranked 18th in the National Football League. The year prior they ranked in the top 10. Conversely, the Chargers threw for an average of 289 yards per contest in 2011, which was good enough for sixth overall. Their 36 passing attempts per game also ranked in the top 10. Combine that with Jackie Battle channeling his inner Thurman Thomas in recent weeks and posting four scores in the last three games, and all of a sudden you have a recipe for reduced carries for Mathews.
The third year man from Fresno State has also been quite injury prone over his brief career. The aforementioned broken clavicle this preseason, was preceded by missing six more games over his first two seasons due to injury.
Not to mention, that overall Mathews has a very small body of work so far. He has just five 100 yard rushing games in his career, and just barely cracked 1,000 yards in 2011. In order for a back to be considered a major player in the fantasy football world, he should at the very least have proven himself in the past.
The one area Mathews has proven himself in, unfortunately for the Chargers and his owners, is coughing up the ball. Mathews has 11 career fumbles in just 24 games, which works out to be nearly a fumble every other week. While fumbles themselves do hurt your fantasy squad, it's the ripple effect that can do the most damage. For example, a couple of weeks ago against Atlanta Mathews fumbled near the goal line. Turner then indicated the next day that he may consider removing Mathews from future goal line situations. This could mean huge lost points for poolies. There is nothing worse than watching your back carry the ball down the field, only to have another ball carrier collect an all important six points.
It doesn't really take much for a player to be overhyped. You see a talented runner like Mathews as a featured back in a potent offense and you think there is no way they shouldn't have great success. Expectations become so lofty it gets tough for a young player to meet them. Unfortunately fantasy football leagues are not won on potential. Mathews has an excellent shot to be great at some point, but he is just not quite there yet. The proof is, and always has been, in the pudding.
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|Last Updated on Saturday, 06 October 2012 06:41|