NFL fantasy football: Ryan Mathews’ return still uncertain

Charging up: Like a wiggly tooth that’s bound to come out soon, San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews will return to the team. It’s just that no one knows when. After suffering a broken clavicle in the preseason, Mathews vowed that he’d be back for the season opener against the Oakland Raiders. That didn’t happen. Now that it’s Wednesday and he’s still not expected to return to practice, it’s pretty unlikely that he’ll play this weekend against the Tennessee Titans. The Chargers have been pretty vague about Mathews’ timeline, which does fantasy football owners no favors. The good news is that the Titans were gashed by Stevan Ridley last week, which bodes well for Ronnie Brown.

Steeling carries: After a relatively productive night, Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer may have earned extra touches for the team’s Week 2 game against the New York Jets. In the season opening loss to the Denver Broncos, Dwyer ran for 43 yards on nine carries while starter Isaac Redman struggled to an 11-carry, 20-yard day. Coach Mike Tomlin did leave open the possibility that Redman, the presumed Week 2 starter, could still see a majority of the carries if he gets hot. That would seem to be a tall task against a stout Jets defense, although that same defense was shredded for a handful of big runs by C.J. Spiller last week. It’s hard to imagine the combination of Redman and Dwyer doing the same thing this week, however.

Where’s Wes Welker?: That was a common question among fantasy enthusiasts in Week 1. Turns out, he was limited by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ game plan. The New England Patriots ran a number of three-tight end sets which limited Welker to playing just 43 of the team’s 67 offensive plays. Brandon Lloyd saw 57 snaps while Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez played all of them. Welker was targeted just five times and made only three catches for 14 yards. McDaniels admitted that the game plan could change depending on the week, but that’s not very encouraging. With Lloyd added to the roster, most people expected Welker’s production to dip. No one expected him to become ghostly.

– Marcas Grant

Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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