To be fair to some fantasy owners, this might be Ryan Mathews third or fourth chance. Gluttons for punishment.
Mathews has, to put it mildly and generically, underwhelmed as a professional football player. There have been flashes of brilliance, like at the end of his rookie campaign when most of his owners had already written him off and were out of the fantasy playoffs anyway.
He was sworn off by most of those owners despite showing some potential. Other owners swooped in, thinking they got a value in his second season with Mathews on the upswing, only to be burned by Norv Turner’s dog house — who knew that was a thing?!? — and, to be honest, Mathews’ inability to fill up the stat sheet.
Mathews’ apologists, myself included, started the #FireNorv campaign on Twitter (it worked!) last season in a show of somewhat misplaced blame. Sure, Norv sucks. But so did Mathews.
New coach, new offense, new Mathews? That’s the hope for 2013. I’m playing the “value” card: Mathews is the 26th RB off the board in fantasy football mock drafts at Fantasy Football Calculator. He’s basically a 5th round pick. That’s pretty low risk for a guy who, in my opinion, could be a borderline RB1/2.
Other Second-Chance Players Worth a Look
Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders: Injury waiting to happen, but no competition. The backfield is his again. If McFadden can stay healthy and improve in the new scheme, RB1.
Mark Ingram, RB, Saints: Being drafted in the 8th round, could be a big steal. Chris Ivory is gone, Pierre Thomas is old and Darren Sproles catches 75+ passes so he’s basically a receiver. Ingram showed well at the end of 2012.
Michael Vick, QB, Eagles: New offense, new exciting head coach. Could be a one-year rejuvenation for Vick. He’s being drafted as a backup QB currently, so low risk.
Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots: Burning fantasy owners one injury at a time. Could be an absolute star in New England’s passing game. Stay healthy please!
Kenny Britt, WR, Titans: Contract year and another year removed from major knee injury. He’s a diva, so you know this guy wants to get paid.
Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers: With Michael Crabtree likely out for the year now, perhaps Davis will fill some of that void. We keep waiting for it …
Jared Cook, TE, Rams: I am #teamjaredcook again this summer. Hopefully a new offense, new quarterback and new location will help push his career forward.
Here are today’s great reads:
- Ben Roethlisberger had “minor” knee surgery on his right knee, but fantasy football owners shouldn’t be too concerned. Big Ben is nothing more than a QB2 heading into 2013. This news does little to his value, but does add a little bit more concern for those who do end up drafting him. [Shutdown Corner]
- Colt McCoy might be the No. 2 quarterback in San Francisco at the moment, but The Big Lead makes an interesting suggestion: What about Tim Tebow? Obviously he is no Colin Kaepernick, but if anyone can handle the Tebow circus it would be Jim Harbaugh. [The Big Lead]
- Speaking of Tim Tebow, for some reason he is still being drafted in fantasy football mock drafts. As the highest QB2 nonetheless! [Fantasy Football Calculator]
- Browns’ running back Trent Richardson had a nice rookie campaign on a bad team. Hopefully things improve for Richardson this season, but his summer is off to an auspicious start. The Browns are holding Richardson out until August due to wear-and-tear suffered carrying the load last year. [ProFootballTalk]