Fantasy football owners were giving Mathews the benefit of the doubt in his relatively lost 2015 campaign, wherein he was stuck in a bizarre timeshare with ineffective fellow free agent signee DeMarco Murray. Murray was shipped off to the epicenter of Exotic Smash Mouth in Nashville (to great results), and Mathews was left to his own devices.
Or so we thought.[embedit snippet=”jeff-ads”]
Mathews is currently leading the Eagles in opportunities (carries + targets), but that doesn’t really tell the entire story.
Mathews is leading the Eagles in this category, but he is doing it at an incredibly woeful 11.2 opportunities per game. The fact of the matter is that the Philadelphia backfield is simply too fractured for Mathews to be a reliable fantasy football option until things clear out.
He’s been the leader in opportunities, but has been in an almost equal split with Darren Sproles. Even if Mathews had a big workload, he has a horrendous ability to actually move the football forward. It took his season best YPC (by nearly three yards a carry) last week against the woeful Washington rushing defense to get him to a below-average 3.9 YPC.
Even if Mathews had been a reliably useful fantasy football commodity this season, he is taking on an incredibly good Vikings defense that has been the bane of opposing running backs this season. Aside from two passing touchdowns week one from DeMarco Murray (which would go to Sproles, if they went at all), the Vikings have given up only one touchdown to RBs this season.
And it’s not like they have merely schemed to stop running backs in the red zone, it’s an overall dominance, holding opposing RBs to a paltry 3.5 yards per carry.
Ryan Mathews was all set to be a fantasy football contributor this season, but intermittent usage has worked against him, since he has gotten limited opportunities to produce for your squad. He also hasn’t taken advantage of the opportunities provided to them, going for a paltry 3.9 YPC and 6.0 yards per catch.
This week, Mathews takes on one of the best defenses of 2016, and one that has shut down opposing running backs. There are plenty of running backs that you should be starting ahead of Ryan Mathews, he simply doesn’t get the volume, is ineffective with the volume he gets, and is going up against a team that is set to stifle his opportunities.