Ryan Mathews has been a huge disappointment since the Chargers traded up to choose him. He wasn't supposed to be another LT, but he was supposed to be a star running back San Diego could ride to the playoffs ... much as they'd done with Tomlinson. Only it hasn't worked out that way, with Mathews missing 10 games his first three seasons and producing nearly as many fumbles (12) as touchdowns (14).
People here still believe he has the talent to be a star back -- provided he can stay healthy. But the clock is ticking. It's his fourth season, and it's about time he lived up to his promise.
"I don't want to think about the past any more," he said. "I want to talk about the future. With the new coaching staff and everybody they brought in it gives me a chance to start my career again."
Mathews is healthy now and hopes to stay that way for the first time in his career, which begs the question: If that happens, how good can this guy be?
"I think I can be a top-five back," he said, "and be up with the best of them. I just have to be consistent. That's the main thing, to be consistent with my play."
Fantasy owners may laugh at this, but it's good that Mathews believes in himself. In PPR formats, Mathews was 25th, 10th and 27th in FP PPG and he is the #25 RB off the board in fantasy drafts. His value is right where it should be, but a top 15 or top 20 finish is not out of the question if he can play a full season. Given his injury history, that's a big "if."