Is Ryan Mathews Being Drafted Too Early?
I like Ryan Mathews this year. I think the rookie RB landed in the perfect home with San Diego. With their strong passing game, he should have plenty of running lanes to get the job done. I just think fantasy owners may be falling a little too hard for the rookie.
Mock Draft Central has Mathews with an ADP of 16 (11th RB off the board). I know he ran for 1808 yards and 19 TDs last year for Fresno State, but doesn’t that seem a bit high? We are talking about a pass-first team with another capable RB in Darren Sproles.
Yet, Mathews is going before RBs like Cedric Benson, Ryan Grant, Chris Wells, Pierre Thomas, Jonathan Stewart, Knowshon Moreno, and LeSean McCoy among others. In a pass happy league he’s also going before Reggie Wayne, Calvin Johnson, Miles Austin, Brandon Marshall, Roddy White, DeSean Jackson, Greg Jennings, and Marques Colston and others. Ahead of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, and Matt Schaub.
I think the hype machine went too far this time. Granted, he does have some nice match-ups against the Chiefs twice, the Seahawks, Raiders twice, Rams, and Colts, but that is not enough to warrant a selection over some of the most proven fantasy football players in the league.
What if he struggles to pick up blitz packages? What if he doesn’t adjust to the speed of the game? What if the Chargers defense struggles leading to more high-scoring games. When the Chargers are passing heavily, Sproles is more likely to be active.
Keeper leagues are a different story, but in standard leagues I prefer him in the late second or early third round.
Prediction: 1200 total yards, 8 TDs
When are you looking to take Mathews in your fantasy drafts?
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