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Mike Tolbert - is he for real?

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Mike Tolbert - is he for real?

Postby Shockers » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:38 am

Just read this from Rotoworld:
"The San Diego Union-Tribune expects Mike Tolbert to play more snaps than Ryan Mathews "for the foreseeable future."
The Union-Trib points out that Philip Rivers is "the most important man" on the Chargers, and Tolbert is light years ahead of Mathews as a pass protector. In Week 1, Tolbert handled nine of San Diego's 12 pass-blocking opportunities. Jacob Hester executed two, and Mathews just one. In terms of early-down carries, Tolbert and Mathews are expected to rotate series. When the Chargers are passing or deep in the red zone, Tolbert will be in the game."

The Chargers have a favorable run schedule this year and Tolbert was getting the goalline carries anyways. I had no idea he was going to be taking over the majority of the load and 9 receptions last week? I don't get to see the Chargers play much. Is he the real deal?
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Re: Mike Tolbert - is he for real?

Postby jcgage0 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:46 am

I believe he is for real. Take a look at last years stats. He was still putting up numbers when Mathews was healthy. He is a better pass blocker, better receiver, and better goal line back. His YPC is not going to be spectacular aroun 4 or so but he probably is getting stuffed a lot less than many backs including Mathews ( just a guess have not consulted the stats on this one). With all those things known the scenario painted above just seems to make sense.

Combine all this with Mathews injury history from last year and you got yourself a potential top 10 RB. If you didn't have Tolbert on your radar in drafts this year you were missing out on one of the best values out there IMO.
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Re: Mike Tolbert - is he for real?

Postby Cards24 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:31 am

"Is he for real?"... He has been since last year.
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Re: Mike Tolbert - is he for real?

Postby Shockers » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:06 pm

if he is potential top 10 would trading a 1st round rb and 3rd tier WR for a 1st tier WR and tolbert make sense? seems like i could get more for a mid 1st round rb but if tolbert is that good, it's something i am beginning to look at.

jcgage0 wrote:I believe he is for real. Take a look at last years stats. He was still putting up numbers when Mathews was healthy. He is a better pass blocker, better receiver, and better goal line back. His YPC is not going to be spectacular aroun 4 or so but he probably is getting stuffed a lot less than many backs including Mathews ( just a guess have not consulted the stats on this one). With all those things known the scenario painted above just seems to make sense.

Combine all this with Mathews injury history from last year and you got yourself a potential top 10 RB. If you didn't have Tolbert on your radar in drafts this year you were missing out on one of the best values out there IMO.
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Re: Mike Tolbert - is he for real?

Postby jcgage0 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:50 pm

You would really have to give actual names and your team to answer that trade question.
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Re: Mike Tolbert - is he for real?

Postby ampant » Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:25 pm

Dude had 11 TDs last year. . . . he was real then. He's real now. Matthews drop his value a bit, but the dude plays hard, catches balls like nobody's business, and pounds the goal line.

He's basically what Shonn Greene wishes he could be, except you could get him 5-7 rounds later than Greene.
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Re: Mike Tolbert - is he for real?

Postby Cards24 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:59 pm

ampant wrote:He's basically what Shonn Greene wishes he could be, except you could get him 5-7 rounds later than Greene.


Well said ;-D
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Worried about ... Tolbert?

Postby ramble2 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:06 am

(re-posted from another thread. Didn't see this one, sorry!)

I don't know why I read these things, but did anyone else see the article on ESPN's fantasy page that was down on Tolbert?

http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/footb ... ting110921

It's not AJ Mass, it's Ken Daube, whose work I'm not familiar with. I don't really read ESPN's fantasy stuff very much. The basic line of argument is that he's pretty down on Tolbert moving forward, and thinks that his current fantasy value masks some underlying worrying issues. Namely (1) Tolbert's yards-per-carry is very low; and (2) SD is targeting RB in the passing game at about twice the historical rate. Thus (1) we should worry that Mathews will start getting more of the carries and (2) we should expect Rivers to stop targeting his RB at such a high rate.

What do people think about this argument? Is he just trying to be contrarian, or is there merit to his claims?

I think the yards-per-carry worry is a red herring, personally. Tolbert gets the goal-line and short-yardage carries, and is splitting carries with Mathews. So he's getting carries in situations we shouldn't expect a huge ypc, and there's a low sample size of carries. For him to lose his role in the rushing game to Mathews, we'd need to see Mathews start excelling in short-yardage situations and become a better pass blocker.

There's more merit, I suppose, to SD moving away from including RB in the passing game so heavily, meaning both Tolbert and Mathews targets go down. Still, Tolbert has good hands, and it wouldn't shock me to see SD keep them both involved in the passing game.

I like Tolbert (and Mathews) moving forward this season. They're both involved in the running game in SD, and I expect that to continue. RB is also a kind of funny position this year, and it wouldn't shock me in the least to see a few RB finish in the top ten that aren't every-down kind of backs. That's a huge shift from even five or ten years ago, but that's today's NFL.

Still, I doubt Tolbert finishes as a top five or even top ten back (though top 15 isn't a bad bet). He's on my team, and I'd definitely consider taking advantage of his nice start and moving him for a better RB. The big question would be who, as Tolbert, in my opinion, is likely to be a good steady producer, even if not always a flashy one.
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Re: Mike Tolbert - is he for real?

Postby teezy33 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:25 am

^^ Rather than quoting all of this, I'll just reply below...

First off, I don't think many people expected Tolbert to finish in the top 10, and honestly, hoping that he finished the year as a top 15 back is a little ambitious as well. For the rounds that most of us drafted Tolbert in, I think he's seen as a flex play given the match ups. He wasn't drafted before any starting NFL RB, but at the same time, he probably was drafted before most (if not all) "handcuff" or back up RB's, because of his usage - and if Ryan Matthews goes down again, oh baby, what a tasty prospect Tolbert then becomes...

Ryan Matthews has been a pleasant surprise so far, but he's still not a better pass blocker than Tolbert, and Tolbert is an excellent receiver as well, so I think the Chargers keep rolling Tolbert out there on passing downs. Furthermore, Tolbert looked pretty bad last week at the goal line vs NE, but let's not forget that the Pats D-Line is pretty damn good with Haynesworth, Wilfork, and Shaun Ellis. I don't think one week is enough to take short yardage duties away from Tolbert, and he's got a perfect opportunity to redeem himself against KC this week. All else remaining equal, I think he'll be fine, and while his YPC isn't high, he's still a threat to rack up receiving yards and TD's on a weekly basis. I need to see more suckage before I declare time to jump ship.
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