Saturday, August 24, 2013
Woodhead's role will impact Mathews
By Brent Sobleski
The San Diego Chargers have high expectations for Danny Woodhead. Woodhead was asked to do a lot of things in New England before he signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract with the Chargers. He'll now be asked to do even more in San Diego.
"The expectation is for the 28-year-old to be assigned in the Chargers offense a role resembling what Darren Sproles knew during the final years of his 2005 to 2010 tenure," Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote. "Only a small sample will be seen in Arizona, but Woodhead figures to be active in the third-down and two-minute offense this season. The Chargers can line him up in the slot. Considered a more natural rusher than Sproles, he can motion back into the backfield and pose a threat as a runner, even on early downs."
Sproles provided a change of pace first to LaDainian Tomlinson and then Ryan Mathews before he left the team via free agency. Sproles averaged 313 rushing yards, 44.3 receptions and 453 receiving yards during his final three seasons with the Chargers.
The fact Woodhead is expected to be used as much as he will be San Diego's backfield also means Mathews' value as a starting running back drops:
K.C. JoynerMost overvalued fantasy RBs: No. 7 Ryan Mathews
"Mathews didn't do much with the good blocking he received last year, as his 6.3 GBYPA ranked 34th. His durability is in question not just because of his injuries (which can happen to anyone) but because he doesn't seem to have the fire to consistently fight through physical woes.
Mathews does have pass-catching ability, but he's in a backfield with Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown, so Mathews might not see as many passes as he is used to. These barriers place him fairly close to the RB4 level."