Mathews expected back, but Tolbert still an option

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Ryan Mathews (ankle) put in a full practice on Wednesday and appears ready to return to work for the Chargers. That means the potential for a backfield timeshare with Mike Tolbert is now staring fantasy owners right in the face.

However, I still see Tolbert as the better option, both for coach Norv Turner and in fantasy football.

He’s clearly been the team’s most productive running back, which was evident the past two weeks. With Mathews on the sidelines, Tolbert rushed for a combined 214 yards and two touchdowns. His nine rushing scores are also tied for the third-most in the NFL.

With a matchup against the Raiders and their porous run defense next on the schedule, fantasy leaguers shouldn’t be shy about using Tolbert as a No. 2 fantasy back or flex starter. Even with Mathews back, I still expect Tolbert to see more work — and all of the goal-line carries.

As for the rookie, I wouldn’t use him unless I was desperate for a flex option in a deeper league.

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