Mathews giving a preview of 2011?

Chargers rookie RB Ryan Mathews raced in for a 27-yard touchdown, and you could hear the fantasy world let out a collective, “thanks for nothing,” and all of the general grousing that comes along with a frustrated fantasy enthusiasts.

And while Mathews’ points are meaningless to not only his eliminated team, and fantasy players who seasons culminated in Week 16, congratulation to those of you who have still stuck with Mathews this season. Or even just picked him up for this week. Bravo.

Could this be preview of things to come?

Long term, though, Mathews could very well fulfill that promise the Chargers saw in him when the club moved up in the draft to select the kid out of Fresno State. Not to mention, the promise that some prominent fantasy prognosticators predicted for him.

Mathews should start off next season as the team’s top running back. There have been rumblings that Darren Sproles could be playing in his last game for the Chargers, and Mike Tolbert should move into a short-yardage role.

The one upshot of a poor rookie season means that Mathews will be available later in drafts next season. Kind of like Darren McFadden this year, Mathews could turn into a nice draft value in 2011. I would be willing to take a chance on his next year.

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