Over the length of his five-year career, Ryan Mathews has been known as Fantasy Fool’s gold. Much of that was due to the fact that he was unable to stay healthy.
Just watched #Eagles OTA’s. Demarco Murray gets the headlines, but Ryan Mathews looks VERY good. And they like him. A lot.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) June 8, 2015
All that changed in 2013. Mathews had a career season, rushing for 1,255 yards to go along with six rushing touchdowns and most importantly, he was able to play in all 16 games. Those numbers were good enough to finish 12th best in Fantasy scoring among RBs.
Coming off a big season, Fantasy players were quick to forget how Mathews had burnt them in the past and expected more good fortune in 2014…
Owners were wronged, as disaster struck again. Mathews landed funny on his knee against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2 and suffered a MCL injury that would cause him to be sidelined through the Charger’s Week 10 bye. After returning, Mathews then suffered a sprained ankle against the New England Patriots in Week 14 which effectively ended his season.
Now, once again labeled as injury prone, Fantasy owners don’t seem to be too excited that Mathews has ended up as DeMarco Murray’s backup in Philadelphia. His current Average Draft Position (ADP) according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com is 9.02.
This brings me to the point of this article: why Mathews is a bargain.
Ryan Mathews’ Handcuff Value
Mathews is the “backup” to one of the best running backs in the NFL, on one of the fastest and top-scoring offenses in the league. The 9th round price tag makes him worth drafting solely on the fact that if anything were to happen to Murray, Mathews would be the top dog in a very good offense. Let’s not forget that before last season, Murray was also labeled as an injury risk himself.
Ryan Mathews Still Important as a Backup
Yes, the Eagles signed Murray after having Mathews in the bag, but who wouldn’t want to steal one of the best NFL talents when he is on the field? Make no mistake about it, the Eagles wanted Mathews for his talented running ability and are not going to pay him millions to watch Murray rack up 400 touches. With and without Murray, he is going to be involved in that offense.
Ryan Mathews’ Talent Level
How about we add in the fact that Ryan Mathews is actually a really talented football player? Let’s not forget just how good this guy is at running the ball when healthy. Rotoworld recently reported that the Eagles said to expect Mathews’ carries for the season to be “in the mid 100.”
So because of his situation, favorable work-load, and talent, Mathews is shaping up to be an absolute steal on draft day.
Follow Jon on Twitter and be sure to check out “The Ultimate Fantasy Football Playbook: Win Your League in 2015” available now on Amazon!!!