After sharing the running back duties with Mike Tolbert last season, Mathews appears ready to take over a workhorse back role with San Diego in 2012. Tolbert signed with Carolina as a free agent and the Chargers will enter the season with the uninspiring trio of Ronnie Brown, Le’Ron McClain and Curtis Brinkley in reserve behind Mathews. That should translate into plenty of touches for the talented Mathews. He enters the season having had a very productive 2011 with 1,545 total yards and six touchdowns despite missing two full games and playing nicked up in several others. Tolbert saw plenty of action last season both as a short yardage runner and the teams’ third down back, pilfering 10 touchdowns. Look for Mathews to assume most of that workload, giving him an opportunity to approach 2,000 total yards and reach double-digit touchdowns for the first time in his career. The only risk with Mathews is his penchant for getting hurt (six missed games over the first two years of his career) but reports out of San Diego indicate that he is in the best shape of his career. He is a legitimate RB1 in 2012 and likely to be amongst the top five fantasy producers at running back.
Ryan Mathews was placed on the active/NFI list by the Eagles Wednesday due to a sprained ankle suffered by the 28-year-old while working out in San Diego last week. (NJ.com)
FF Today's Take:Mathews has played 16 games only once in his six-year career. the injury doesn't appear to be serious but it's a reminder of why his fantasy value has trouble climbing any higher than a low-end RB2. Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner round out the Eagles depth chart running back.
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