2012 Team Outlook: San Diego
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI - Stud (low risk)
Some reports put Mathews back on the field in Week 3 of the regular season. I am holding off a bit here until we see how he progresses after the surgery to repair his collarbone. I've seen professional cyclists right back on the bike and racing within a few weeks of such an injury, but we are talking a premiere NFL running back who will be targeted with big hits and susceptible to further injury if he is not fully healed. I think Week 3 is wishful thinking and the San Diego offensive coaches will hold Mathews out at least until Week 4.
Ryan Mathews broke his collarbone on his first preseason carry. This is not good news for those of us who had him ranked high on our draft lists. It appears there will be one heck of a RBBC approach going on in San Diego until Mathews returns. Following his surgery, which was on Friday, Mathews is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. I tend to play it on the cautious side and say we will be waiting at least six weeks to see Mathews suited up. In his stead we will see the aging Ronnie Brown, Curtis Brinkley, Jackie Battle and maybe a few other faces - Jacob Hester
Mathews had his breakout season last year. Look for him to continue to tear it up this season. The only concern reported is his durability. Mathews now has Ronnie Brown to back him up. This should help shoulder the workload. I suspect Mathews will have another stellar season. He is a stud running back. I see no need to worry about Brown. He is an asset in this situation. Mathews will see the bulk of the work and as long as he is productive, we will see this persist.
RB Le'Ron McClain, --- - Low Potential
McClain wll be used to open running lanes and play the FB role. Jacob Hester might be called upon in this role too. McClain runs downhill and will open lanes like no other given the right schemes. Look for Mathews and Brown to run behind McClain for many plays. He will be valuable in this role this season. He might go under appreciated in fantasy circles, but will deserve much credit for the production of his teammates.
WR Vincent Brown, --- - Quality Backup
Brown's broke ankle has been surgically repaired and it has been reported that any ligamentous injury was minor. This means Brown will miss about 8 weeks of action. The San Diego wideout corps should expect to see Brown back for the second half of the season and for down the stretch.
Brown is a second season wide out with potential. He has good hands and has been reported to be working diligently on his route running. If Brown continues to work hard he may find himself getting more playing time. I like Brown as a sleeper option at receiver this season. He is on the radar, but not too many are quite ready to take a big chance on this guy. I say go for it.
WR Malcom Floyd, --- - Sleeper (undervalued)
Floyd has always been a favorite target for Rivers. Floyd has the ability to make plays and Rivers enjoys throwing the ball where Floyd can convert yardage with a difficult grab. Floyd will step into a new role this season and likely see more action. My only concern is his health. If he stays healthy he is worthy of a draft pick given his team and their desire to throw the ball often.
WR Robert Meachem, --- - Quality Backup
Meachem is left to fill some big shoes - Vincent Jackson. Rivers will look early and often to Meachem and the hope is that they develop solid chemistry. Meachem should compete with Floyd and Gates for receptions with some other wide outs factoring into the equation. I like Meachem and think he will have consistent numbers this season.
WR Eddie Royal, --- - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Eddie Royal is a receiver who I think can do great things on the field. After a few solid seasons, he has changed teams and has not been that productive. I think Royal could resurge this season under the right circumstances. Royal has good hands and can run routes. We will have to see how he fits into the schemes and watch to see if Roscoe Parrish competes with him for the roster.
Royal will likely take the field this season as SD's top slot receiver. He remains a super sleeper fantasy-wise, but if you picked him up late or get him on waivers, he might be worth your while. His groin injury should be a thing of the past.