Ryan Mathews has been cleared for takeoff in San Diego


Fantasy Injury Updates: After missing the last seven weeks with a knee injury, Ryan Mathews returned to practice this week and is fully expected to return to the Chargers starting lineup after the team's much-needed Week 10 Bye. Branden Oliver did a bang up job filling in for Mathews at first, but his production has fallen off dramatically.

The Chargers desperately need Mathews back in their lineup and he should provide both fantasy owners and the Chargers offense with a much needed spark as soon as he returns to the field.

Mathews has always been able to produce for fantasy owners when he's healthy, but that rarely seems to be the case as he is almost always a member of the NFL injury updates list on a weekly basis. When Mathews is actually on the field, he can punch it in from the goal-line and catch passes out of the backfield.

With Danny Woodhead out for the year, Mathews should get the majority of work out of the backfield. Fantasy owners have already started to notice that Mathews will be returning soon as he's owned in more than 50% of ESPN leagues and 71% of Yahoo leagues.

Mathews needs to be owned in all fantasy formats and will provide a big boost for fantasy owners who are battling through bye week and injury issues at the running back position. If Mathews can stay on the field and off of the sidelines, he should be able to carry the Chargers and fantasy owners into the playoffs as he's a low-end RB2 and high-end Flex play when healthy.  Stay tuned to Fantasy Focus for the latest injury updates!