Chargers RB Ronnie Brown’s Week 1 Fantasy Outlook Vs. Raiders: Fan’s Take

Ryan Mathews Will Not Play on Monday Against Oakland

Yahoo Contributor Network

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews will likely miss the start of the regular season against the Oakland Raiders. Playing in one of the two Monday night games, it appears he'll miss Week 1 after suffering a broken clavicle against the Green Bay Packers on August 9 in exhibition action. Despite taking part in non-contact individual drills this week, Mathews expects to need more time in order to be ready for Week 2 action against the Tennessee Titans.

With this announcement, this leaves former Philadelphia Eagles running back Ronnie Brown, former Kansas City Chiefs tailback Le'Ron McClain, and Curtis Brinkley as the remaining players in the backfield. Brown, expected to start in place of Mathews, will be in line for a great opportunity against a Raiders defense that allowed an NFL-worst 5.1 yards per carry last season. With a likely majority share of carries in Week 1, what can fantasy owners expect from the former top running back with the Miami Dolphins?

Aside from a great matchup against the Raiders, Brown enters the regular season well rested this offseason. Carrying the ball just 10 times this preseason, he also had a light workload with the Eagles when he backed up star running back LeSean McCoy, carrying the ball just 42 times in 2011. While the lack of heavy carries could result in rust or low production, the 30-year-old could see a nice resurgence against Oakland.

Brown is also a favorite of head coach Norv Turner, meaning he could be the one favored running back in the rotation. Called a "complete player" by Turner, it wasn't too long ago when he put up good numbers with the Miami Dolphins. Definitely a decent Week 1 RB2, this opportunity could springboard into something bigger if Mathews falters early on this season.

One negative for the Chargers' Week 1 run game is the absence of starting left tackle Jared Gaither, who is out with a back injury. A key cog in the team's running plans, this news could also result in the Chargers opting for a pass-heavy attack against the Raiders, with quarterback Phillip Rivers targeting Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem, and Antonio Gates often. While the passing game definitely looks more appealing than the Chargers' makeshift situation in the backfield, Oakland's struggles against the run could still mean Brown sees close to 20 touches in the backfield.

Currently owned in 28 percent of Yahoo! fantasy football leagues, Brown could be a high-scoring fantasy running back against the Raiders in Week 1.

Ronnie Brown Week 1 prediction: 17 carries, 70 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Sources:

Chargers RB Mathews out for Monday's opener, The Sports Xchange

Ronnie Brown Profile, Yahoo! Sports

Slow start for Chargers run game, UTSanDiego.com

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Austin Chang is a lifelong football fan, San Francisco 49ers supporter, and fantasy football player since 2005. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

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