Last year was certainly one that Ryan Mathews and the rest of the San Diego Chargers would like to forget. Mathews was set to be the lead dog for 2012 and was thought to be a star in the making. However, Mathews disappointed just about everyone who invested a draft pick on him. The former 12th overall pick found the end zone just once last season and was unable to reach the 100-yard rushing mark in any one of his 12 games. Not all of the blame can be put on Mathews though. The horrid offensive line that the Chargers put on the field didn’t help Mathews or anyone on offense much either (Philip Rivers was sacked 49 times last year).
As training camp is just a little over a week away new head coach Mike McCoy is determined to improve the 27th ranked rushing offense from last year. McCoy was the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos since 2008. He famously helped lead the Broncos to the playoffs behind Tim Tebow and the then number one rated rushing attack in all of football.
Despite bringing in Danny Woodhead and keeping Ronnie Brown, McCoy has been reported saying that he wants Mathews to “be the guy” for the Chargers this year. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. It is likely that Woodhead will be the third down back for the Chargers this year making Mathews “the guy” on only early down situations.
From a fantasy standpoint Mathews is a low end RB2 or even a FLEX option and is being drafted as such (ADP has him going in the 6th round). Mathews can still give you some good value in the 6th round as RBs are extremely scarce and will give you some receptions out of the backfield. The good thing about Mathews is that things can only get better from last year, but don’t look for it to be much better.