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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fantasy football: Mike Tolbert, fantasy starter

Prior to the season, the last four words of the headline above would have seemed about as likely as Shonn Greene getting outplayed by LaDainian Tomlinson, Jamaal Charles getting 11 carries per game, John Kuhn being a factor in Green Bay's featured back equation and Felix Jones and C.J. Spiller being less exciting than the WB's prime-time lineup.

Wait, all of that has happened? Let's just move on.

Tolbert, a 5-foot-9, 243-pound fullback and special-teamer in his first two seasons with the Chargers, might be the featured back Sunday at Seattle.

Rookie Ryan Mathews was limited to five carries last week because of a high ankle sprain, and he's missed practice this week because of the ailment. Thursday, reported it was unlikely he would play against the Seahawks.

Enter Tolbert, who had 16 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2 -- pretty impressive for a back who had 38 rushing attempts in 29 games in his first two NFL seasons.

The Seahawks rank fifth against the run, but since Tolbert, and not Darren Sproles, should get the goal-line carries, I'd consider the former a No. 2 fantasy back this week.

Sproles is most effective in point-per-reception leagues. He had 45 catches, compared to 93 rushing attempts, last season. In Week 2, even with Mathews missing most of the game, he had only five rushing attempts, but piled up 100 total yards (37 rushing, 63 receiving) and caught four passes.

Sproles is a decent flex play in deeper leagues this week if Mathews sits.

As for Tolbert, should Mathews miss more than one game, San Diego's schedule is very favorable in Weeks 4, 5 and 6. The opponents -- the Cardinals, Raiders and Rams -- rank 31st, 29th and 30th, respectively, against the run this season.

I believe in Mike.

In our News-Herald PPR league, six of the top seven backs thus far are Jahvid Best, Arian Foster, Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, Darren McFadden and Jason Snelling.

Tolbert should fit right in.

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