How Ryan Mathews Injury Affects RB's Fantasy Value
Ryan Mathews was supposed to emerge as an elite fantasy running back in 2012. He also wasn't supposed to get injured in the team's first preseason game.
They say the word "potential" means you haven't done anything yet.
Although Ryan Mathews had over 1,500 all-purpose yards in 2011, this is another injury that will again set him back on what has been an arduous journey to reach the immense potential the Chargers saw in him when they drafted him in 2010.
On his first and only carry in the team's first preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Mathews was tackled to the ground and broke his collarbone. The injury is said to sideline the former Fresno State runner for four-to-six weeks, according to ESPN.com.
From a fantasy standpoint, this is devastating for Mathews owners, or owners who planned on using a first-round pick on San Diego's feature back.
The Chargers have "talked all offseason about giving Mathews over 300 touches this season," according to NFL.com, but now questions about his durability have rightfully resurfaced.
If everything goes well in the rehabilitation process, Mathews could play in the team's season-opener on Monday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders. However, there's reason to believe the Chargers coaching staff will take precautionary measures with the third-year back.
With another injury hurdle to overcome, the team must be smart with Mathews.
He's clearly no longer worthy of a first-round pick. We aren't sure precisely when he'll return, and the injury history is worrisome.
Fantasy experts Chris Harris of ESPN and Alex Miglio of ProFootballFocus and Bleacher Report have pegged Mathews in an ideal spot following the injury:
That's where he landed for me too! RT @writerboyespn Mathews is now RB12 on my list, No. 25 overall.— Alessandro Miglio (@AlexMiglio) August 10, 2012
This means Mathews is worth a selection somewhere between Round 3 and Round 4. You'll have to be quite the daring owner to take him any earlier than that or rely on him as your primary running back in 2012.
Another unfortunate injury for Mathews has dropped him from a potential Top-10 pick to the mid-stages of the third round.
You simply can't take huge risks on running backs in the early rounds of fantasy football drafts. Right now, Ryan Mathews defines the word "risk."
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