Thank you, Chargers

I was disappointed to see C.J. Spiller go to the Bills, but thrilled the Chargers gave up a lot to move up and grab RB Ryan Mathews. As we said in our pre-draft report, we feel Mathews is only complete feature back type in the draft, and while I’m sure a few other guys will likely surprise us and prove to be lead backs, it’s still great to see Mathews land in such a great situation in SD.

Granted, the OL here isn’t great, but it’s certainly good enough for Mathews to get a lot of work done. We also broke down their schedule for 2010, and it looks really good. It remains to be seen how much they’ll use him on 3rd down, but my sense is he’ll get some chances if he proves to be an effective blocking and understands how to protect at the NFL level.

Given the proliferation of timeshares and dual backfields in the NFL, I’m already slotting Mathews in the 15-20 range at the RB position. We may go as high as 15 because, given his ability (he’s not truly special, but think better than Matt Forte) and opportunity, I see very little downside with Mathews on the Chargers this year.

As for Spiller to the Bills, it’s hard to get too excited because of the horrendous OL and overall offense. At least he’s very elusive and capable of creating a lot on his own. He should be in a dual backfield, and he will be with Fred Jackson. Jackson’s more of a methodical runner, so the fit makes some sense in some ways. But Jackson’s value does take a hit, especially if Spiller excels in pass pro because Spiller is extremely dangerous in the passing game. Marshawn Lynch should be gone. Spiller’s going to play a lot, as they attempt to inject some juice into a pretty lifeless offense, but he’s going to be a tricky fantasy pick given the circumstances on this bad team and with the solid Jackson a good bet to continue to get consistent touches.

Category: Fantasy Football


2 Responses

  1. Nathan says:

    I share your sadness about Spiller, John. I think anything he creates will indeed be “on his own”. I was surprised the Bills didn’t go QB.

    I also think Matthews will be fine. It helps that SD’s identity is clearly that of a passing team and that while he’ll be in a leading role it will be in a supporting function. I would expect 2010 production on the level with the declining LT of last year and if no unpleasant surprises the promise of better years to come. For fantasy I doubt I’ll own him, though. Based on situation alone he is nicely positioned to be the most overreached-for player in this year’s drafts.

  2. Bob says:

    I feel completely opposite of Nathan on Ryan Mathews. Although the Chargers haven’t had a good running game for the past few years must of the blame has to be on the decline of LaDainian Tomlinson. It was brutal to watch that guy play the last two years. I look for Mathews to have a nice year in San Diego, somewhat comparable to that of Matt Forte’s rookie season (1200/8 and 40-50/400/2-4). I’m actually aggressively ranking him in my top 10 running backs for next year in a PPR league and look to target him at the end of round 2/start of round 3.

    If you take a look at San Diego’s schedule, it’s soft, real soft. San Diego should be able to get up on teams away early with the pass and put them away with the run. Hey San Diego must have moved up 15 spots for a reason. What do you think John?

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