I should have known something was wrong just by the way he spells his name. If I had asked myself the question: "Where did that second 'T' go?" I might have come to the conclusion that it was injured and never to be heard from again.
The San Diego Chargers' RB Ryan Mathews was the preseason lead-pipe lock to be the best rookie runner in the game. The type of talent that demands 2nd if not 1st round consideration. His average draft position of 14.8 bears this out. I'd never seen him run but like many others I got caught up in the hype and was disappointed when he didn't fall to me in the second round. My co-owner, typically a very reliable talent scout, dropped glowing endorsements all over Mathews. So high was his praise that when a computer glitch (that's what I'll call it) autodrafted Mathews for me in my Vegas league I considered it a gift. But I was wrong.
In 7 weeks, Mathews has racked up a depressive 49 points and has only had two outings in double digits. This is bad. What's worse is that before I truly came to understand the type of bust I was dealing with I let the aforementioned co-owner (did I mention his acumen?) talk me into trading our struggling, headache-inducing RB Joe Addai plus our IR'd Sidney Rice for Mathews when his stock was perceived as "low."
Of course saying that Mathews' stock was low in week 2 is like saying that the U.S. has experienced an economic "dip." Of course I don't know this yet. It's week 3, I've got Mathews in two leagues and all around me are promising notes from prominent fantasy writers telling me that next week is certain to be Mathews breakout week. Until he drops a fantasy loaf.
Now, I'm stuck with him. No one wants this guy. His trade value is at Marshawn Lynchian lows, if that's possible. He's the backbone of my 2-6 team, and if it weren't for the sickest crew of wideouts ever assembled and the continued faith I place in Jamaal Charles, he'd be driving my keeper team to an early grave too.
But still, CBS Sports gives him the vaunted orange sticker that indicates he's a hot player. How is that possible? I think I've got it figured out. It's a psychological test being run on us as unwilling and unwitting participants. Someone wants to see how much control those little player updates have on our roster habits. Will we start a buffoon all season long because someone in Yahoo! tower tells us to? Will we never start someone with a negative prognosis?
Well I, for one, and opting out of this cycle of destruction. Until that "T"-challenged jerk starts earning his keep with some 100-yard games, I'm benching the crap out of him. No more Mr. Hopeful guy. No more of this Childress-style of coaching. If the dude doesn't produce, he's not starting.
Hopefully, when Mathews reads this tomorrow morning he'll get the message loud and clear that owners like me aren't going to stand for this kind of namby-pamby play. Hopefully that will light a fire under him to play at a high level. Until then he can sit around and complain about the collard greens with Randy Moss.