Ryan Mathews
Ryan Mathews
33-Year-Old Running BackRB
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Ryan Mathews in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Released by the Eagles in August of 2017.
Let go by Philadelphia
RBFree Agent
August 15, 2017
Mathews (neck) was released by the Eagles on Tuesday after passing his physical, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
The move will save the Eagles approximately $4 million in salary-cap space, and was fully expected after the team signed free agent LeGarrette Blount to head their backfield in 2017. Now that he's been cleared following offseason surgery to address a herniated disk in his neck, Mathews will look to catch on elsewhere. There are several teams in need of running-back depth, but first Mathews will need to re-prove his health and conditioning in order to be in a position to make a run at a starting or backup job, no matter where he lands.
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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2016 NFL Game Log
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Ryan Mathews lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2020 Ryan Mathews Split Stats
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Measurables Review
How do Ryan Mathews' measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
6' 0"
220 lbs
40-Yard Dash
4.37 sec
Shuttle Time
4.33 sec
Cone Drill
7.00 sec
Vertical Jump
36.0 in
Broad Jump
121 in
Bench Press
19 reps
Hand Length
9.25 in
Arm Length
31.00 in
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The former Charger had his usual trouble staying healthy in 2016, missing three games and being limited to fewer than 10 snaps in three others due to various injuries. Mathews was still effective when healthy, recording a career-high eight rushing TDs and sneaking into the top 10 in the NFL with 11 carries of 15 yards or more. Mathews' upright running style and dwindling elusiveness make him a magnet for contact, but he still has enough speed to pick up yards if he gets into the open field. He ended the year on IR and underwent offseason surgery to repair a herniated disc, and the Eagles' signing of LeGarrette Blount seems likely to make him a salary cap casualty, but Mathews might still have something to offer an NFL team.
Every football coach gets ornery when injuries and fumbles come about, and those have been the Mathews bugaboos since he turned pro in 2010. He's only made it through one full season, and he's put the ball on the carpet 18 times through the years. But when Mathews was able to suit up for the Eagles last year, he was clearly the team's best back. In addition to his outstanding YPC, he also made 2.7 yards after contact (per Pro Football Focus), an outstanding rate. Mathews is now viewed as a starter with DeMarco Murray out of town. The competition doesn't look like much — rookie Wendell Smallwood checks in at a modest 208 pounds, and Darren Sproles turned 33 in June. Mathews can also be a handy receiver, with a career 78-percent catch rate and a solid 7.6 yards per grab. What with Philadelphia's uncertain QB situation (can veteran Sam Bradford hold off rookie Carson Wentz?), Mathews will probably be an efficient player again this fall. The big question is how many games to pay for. We suggest ponying up for what you think 12-13 starts would be worth, and consider anything past that gravy.
Mathews looked to have put his fragile ways behind him after he stayed healthy for a full season in 2013, but a Week 2 MCL sprain last year quickly quashed any such hopes. He played just six games, and his career with the Chargers ended on a sour note. Mathews showed excellent burst and speed when he entered the league, with enough strength and elusiveness to churn out extra yards, but those traits have become harder to spot in the wake of multiple lower-body injuries. Despite that, the Eagles moved quickly to sign him after they dealt LeSean McCoy, but Mathews was bumped out of the starting job when the team also signed DeMarco Murray. As Murray's backup, and with Darren Sproles on hand as well, Mathews figures to see a reduced workload, but fewer snaps does mean fewer chances to get hurt. Should Murray, also no stranger to the trainer's room, be sidelined, the Eagles' offensive line and Chip Kelly's system could make Mathews extremely productive, for as long as he stays in one piece.
Mathews' injury-prone ways, especially in 2012, made him a draft-day value in 2013, as he delivered the best season of his career thanks to staying healthy for all 16 games. His YPC bounced back from 3.8 to a solid 4.4, and he assumed a workhorse role for the Chargers – especially down the stretch, as he carried 24 or more times in each of the season's last four games. All the potential is there for a repeat or even improvement by Mathews in 2014, his age-28 season. He struggled through a high-ankle sprain in the playoffs, but that's all healed up, and he has no serious competition for carries. Danny Woodhead is a receiving specialist out of the backfield, ex-Colt Donald Brown has never proven to be a worthy starter, and sixth-round draft choice Marion Grice is smaller and significantly slower than Matthews. However, because of Woodhead's presence, Matthews' PPR value will continue to be limited; a 50-catch man three years ago, he had just 26 last season while Woodhead came in and caught 76 balls. Mathews has the look of a strong, physical runner with good speed, but his on-field performance has rarely lived up to the measurables, especially in terms of physicality and elusiveness. He recorded just 13 broken tackles all season; perhaps not coincidentally, he only broke five rushes for more than 20 yards. It's also no coincidence that he saw only seven touches at the goal line – and that's his career high. In short, he's not great at any part of the game, but he's good enough to be the Chargers' primary early-down back, and there's value there.
Mathews had more broken collarbones (2) last year than touchdowns (1) or 100-yard games (0). The injuries book-ended his awful campaign as he missed the first two and last two games of the season. Mathews also missed six games during his first two years in the league and was limited or removed from numerous others due to a variety of nagging leg injuries. Perhaps it's actually a good sign his lower body went through last season relatively unscathed. When he was on the field, Mathews was largely ineffective – he averaged a career-low 3.8 YPC, saw his YPT drop from 7.7 to 4.5 and spent some time on the bench because of costly fumbles. A new coaching staff this season should give him a fresh start, but in terms of red-zone play calling, it's hard for a running back to do better than Norv Turner. There's still a lot to like about Mathews, however. He has good vision, balance and burst, and at 6-0, 218, he's built for goal-line work. He's also just two seasons removed from a 1,500-yard-from-scrimmage campaign in only 14 games.
Mathews followed up his disastrous rookie season with a much better sophomore campaign, albeit a frustrating one at times, as he continued to deal with nagging injuries. Despite missing two games and finishing with 532 snaps (18 other backs had more), Mathews’ 1,546 yards from scrimmage was the fifth most in football, his 3.2 YPC after contact was the fourth highest and his 50 receptions tied him for seventh among all backs. He was also effective near the goal line in limited opportunities, converting 4-of-5 attempts for scores, while Mike Tolbert went just 5-for-18 there. San Diego let Tolbert leave via free agency and didn’t address the RB position until round seven of the draft, so the team is clearly turning full-time duties over to Mathews. Coach Norv Turner has plenty of faults, but he consistently produces big seasons from his lead backs, and San Diego is a perennial leader in goal-line opportunities, so this is an ideal situation. Mathews has the physical skills to take full advantage, with terrific vision and sneaky speed, but there’s reason for skepticism because of past health issues. Moreover, Mathews’ five fumbles tied for the most among running backs, despite a modest 222 carries.
Mathews’ rookie season was nothing short of disastrous, especially to those who spent an early fantasy pick on him. A high-ankle sprain suffered in Week 2 cost him a game, but worse, he returned too soon, and the injury limited him for the remainder of the season. He went 0-for-5 at the goal line and also fumbled a whopping five times, losing three, on just 158 carries. As a result, Mike Tolbert ended the year as San Diego’s most valuable fantasy back. Mathews did show flashes of his ability, however, highlighted by a 120-yard, three-TD performance in Week 17, and the Chargers still consider him their franchise back. San Diego is consistently among the league-leaders in providing scoring opportunities at the goal line, and coach Norv Turner has traditionally preferred a lead ball carrier. There’s top-five upside here if Mathews seizes the opportunity.
Mathews racked up 1,808 rushing yards (6.6 YPC) with 19 touchdowns during his junior year at Fresno State, and the Chargers felt compelled to trade up to select him. He’s not a burner and is unlikely to be a tackle-breaking machine at the NFL level, but Mathews is capable of carrying a full workload and should easily churn out high yardage totals despite not being an exceptional athlete. He didn’t pass block much in college, and he wasn’t used as a receiver often, but Fresno State’s scheme is similar to San Diego’s, so the transition should be relatively easy. Few rookies have ever been put in a position to succeed as quickly out of the gate as Mathews, who inherits a role that produced an incredible 28 goal-line rushing attempts last season — the second-most in the league since 2004 (which also happened to go to San Diego’s lead back). Coach Norv Turner already stated a desired goal of getting Mathews 290 touches, so he'll have plenty of oppourtunities to succeed. The Chargers don’t view Darren Sproles as anything more than a third-down back, so Mathews will see a lot of work on 1st and 2nd down. Not only does Mathews have a high ceiling as lead back in one of the NFL’s best offenses, but as crazy as it sounds, thanks to his role he’s also one of the safer picks, even as a rookie.
More Fantasy News
Medically cleared
RBPhiladelphia Eagles
August 15, 2017
Mathews (neck) has been medically cleared, with a decision on his future likely coming at some point Tuesday, Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
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Meeting with team doctors
RBPhiladelphia Eagles
August 14, 2017
Mathews (neck) returned to Philadelphia on Monday to meet with the Eagles' medical staff, Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
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To have neck scanned next week
RBPhiladelphia Eagles
August 11, 2017
Mathews (neck) will have a scan on his herniated disk next week and will be released if the results are favorable, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
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Remains away from team
RBPhiladelphia Eagles
July 31, 2017
Mathews (neck), whose future with the Eagles isn't expected to be determined until he's 100 percent healthy, remains away from the team while continuing his rehab, Conor Orr of NFL.com reports.
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Excused from training camp
RBPhiladelphia Eagles
July 23, 2017
Mathews (neck) has been excused from training camp, Dave Spadaro of the Eagles' official site reports.
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