When it comes to the "draft value" of the San Diego Chargers' No. 1 running back, there doesn't seem to be much of a fence. If you play the fake game, you either love his explosive potential or hate his outward fragility. (You leave your personal feelings about him out of it, completely, I'm sure.)
As soon as I heard about the broken clavicle that Ryan Mathews suffered on his first carry of the preseason, I wondered how adversely the injury would affect fantasy owners' perception of him (and, consequently, his ADP).
Still a 1? Pretty much.
Naturally, it was going to provide fuel for the view that he's injury-prone. That was also going to increase fear about selecting him.
A week ago, on Mock Draft Central, it would've taken a top-six choice to land Mathews. In non-PPR formats, his ADP has dropped to 23.93 (earliest pick: 5); in PPR setups, 27.47 (7). And, judging from the most immediate time he's come off the board, that number will continue to plummet.
Good. Let it.
The initial estimate of his recovery time was four to six weeks. He believes that he can be ready to play in Week 1. The third-year rusher told the media that his doctor informed him that he could recover in as few as three weeks. Yeah. OK.
Norv Turner doesn't seem ready to craft his game plan for the Oakland Raiders around Mathews quite yet. Can you blame him? But how much does this really set Mathews back? He'll miss the Bolts' first tilt, and maybe the second, or his work will be limited in those contests.
That sucks. But he already carried the "brittle" label. The projected per-game damage that he'll do hasn't changed much.
Last season, thanks to a strong finish, Mathews scored the eighth most fantasy points and averaged 13th most in non-PPR leagues among running backs. In PPR leagues, he was seventh and 10th, respectively. He did so while sharing carries and catches with Mike Tolbert.
In 2012, he's going to be Turner's main man, and he's prepared for that role. A freak occurrence in the preseason hasn't changed that; it has reminded you only of his durability concerns, which are a bit overdone anyway. His 16, or 20, fantasy points per game are going to look awfully good.
- You mock my risk.
- Fantasy football is risk, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
Mathews is a fantastic pick at any point in the second round - even better, now that he doesn't cost you your precious first-rounder.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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