Ryan Mathews (groin) is listed as a game-time decision for today’s Week 9 game against visiting Green Bay. He didn’t practice Friday, which is usually a death nil for playing two days later. It completed a week in which he saw no practice time.
Fantasy football’s eighth-best running back is constantly an injury risk just a year and a half into his NFL career. San Diego Union-Tribue Chargers beat writer Kevin Acee tweeted on Saturday that he thought Mathews would play today, but said it was “just a feeling.”
What if Green Bay gets out to a big lead? What will Mathews’ role be then? What if Green Bay gets out to a big lead? Why would the Chargers leave Mathews in there? What is Green Bay gets out to a big lead? What would the use of the San Diego running game be then?
Taking Mathews’ groin injury into consideration, his not practicing all week and his injury history altogether, there is no way I am throwing the Chargers’ running back into my starting lineup. I would never take the risk of knowing I could loser my RB1 when he shouldn’t be in the game in the first place.
Mike Tolbert, listed as probably with a hamstring injury, should take the lead at running back for the Chargers. And he could actually be a good play in PPR leagues. The Chargers are certainly struggling on offense, but Green Bay, despite being the eighth-best team in the league against fantasy running backs, is giving up 6.4 catches and 58.7 yards per game to backs. Tolbert will be a good check down option for quarterback Philip Rivers. Tolbert has 28 catches for 231 yards and two scores this season.
Curtis Brinkley, who stepped in for both Mathews and Tolbert when they were out with injuries last week, will also see some production, but not enough to be fantasy worthy if Tolbert can go the whole game. He suffered a concussion in the Kansas City game Monday night and just took to the practice field for the first time on Friday. Receiver Malcom Floyd (hip) is also questionable and is a game-time decision. Receiver Vincent Jackson is probably with a hamstring injury. And then what Antonio Gates are we going to get?
This has all the makings for another dud of a fantasy game for the San Diego Chargers, save for Tolbert in a PPR.
By Corby Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter