Movin’ Up

4 August 2016

Arian Foster Dolphins training camp
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Miami Dolphin running back Arian Foster looked to be the pass-catching option out of the backfield as well as get occasional carries. He is looking extremely promising though in camp. Given his ability and career dominance when healthy, expect more from Foster.
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Of course, you will continue to have to worry about injuries. The rub with Foster is play him if he’s healthy, but seek alternative plans when the inevitable happens.z
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The big loser here is Jay Ajayi, who appears to have conceded his number one back gig before it started. He should be next in line when/if Foster goes down, but you can back him down your charts while giving Foster a bump.

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Jay Ajayi
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Arian Foster’s signing puts a damper on Jay Ajayi’s fantasy forecast for the upcoming NFL season. He is a running back that has topped 1,200 rushing yards with double-digit touchdowns in four of the past six seasons. As long as he can stay healthy, Foster should get plenty of touches this year, but there should be enough to go around.
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Foster will turn 30 before the year start. He has missed nearly half (23 of 48) of his games the previous three seasons. Most recently Foster lost all but four games of the 2015 season, which was cut short by an Achilles’ tear. He finished with 163 yards on 63 carries for a paltry 2.6 yards per carry average. Foster did manage to catch 22 passes. His receiving totals (227 yards, 2 touchdowns) exceeded his rushing totals (163 yards, 1 touchdown).
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That is the way I envision Foster doing most of his damage. He has proved himself capable of thriving in the passing game, catching 241 passes in 70 games since 2010. That is good for 3.4 receptions per game. He seems to embrace that role. In a recent interview with the Miami Herald, he stated that his strength at this stage of his career is “route-running and catching the ball out of the backfield” and that Adam Gase knows how to “steer the ship and that he’s happy to have a seat on the boat.” His is willing to accept whatever role the Dolphins find for him.
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Ajayi ran for 187 yards on 49 carries (3.8 ypc) as a rookie, adding seven catches for 90 yards in nine games. He should be able to improve in year two. The Dolphins drafted Rookie Laremy Tunsil and added Jermon Bushrod from the Bears to improve their guard play. Branden Albert has worked on his conditioning and should be more effective in 2016. Improved offensive line and having a year under his belt should help Ajayi develop in Year 2.
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Foster’s presence does make Ajayi more of a RB3 option. There is always the possibility that the veteran Foster wins the starting job about from Ajayi at some point. That’s something to keep in mind during your fantasy draft.


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While the NFL has become a quarterback driven league, fantasy football still remains a running back league. I know, wide receivers and quarterbacks have come a long way, and I do believe the elite ones like Aaron Rodgers and Andre Johnson are first round material, but we’re talking about the first overall pick here. To me, the first few picks are still reserved for the top running backs, and while he came out of nowhere, Arian Foster was easily the top running back last year.
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Foster opened the season with a bang, dismantling the Indianapolis Colts to the tune of 231 yards and three touchdowns. He went on to pile up 2220 yards, 1616 on the ground and 604 through the air. He racked up 18 touchdowns, 16 rushing and two receiving. That’s an average of 138.8 total yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game.
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He did it week in and week out. Aside from two poor outings (Week 5 against the Giants and Week 15 against the Titans), Foster delivered. He did not slow down either, as he recorded his second highest rushing total in Week 17 when he ran for 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Jacksonville.
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I know some of you are concerned that last year was a fluke, but keep in mind he ran for 97 yards and a touchdown in Week 16 and 119 yards (with 26 receiving yards) and two touchdowns in Week 17 of 2009. Foster will be just 25 and he has proven to be the perfect back for Houston’s zone blocking scheme.
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He has little competition for carries in Houston. Sure, Ben Tate is returning leg and ankle injuries, but he is the clear backup. After searching for a running back for years, the Texans have a winner in Foster. Don’t expect them to suddenly go away from him. Plus, with Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson there is no concern that opposing defenses will stuff the box to stop the running game. Johnson is far too talented for that. It’s truly a pick your poison situation in Houston.
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Also check out:

Boser’s Tweetbeat

24 February 2011

Boser’s Tweetbeat – Sifting through the hashtags to bring you the hottest trending Twitter topics in the Fantasy Football industry.
By Ryan Boser

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Adrian Peterson
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ADRIAN PETERSON VS. ARIAN FOSTER
That didn’t take long. The debate for the rightful No. 1 pick in next season’s redraft leagues has already materialized. After compiling 18 touchdowns and 2,218 combo yards last year, Arian Foster did more than enough to earn the top billing for me. However, Adrian Peterson backers certainly have a solid case — he’s finished as a top-5 fantasy back in each of his first four seasons. His most productive year was 2009, with 18 scores and 1,825 combo yards. It’s no coincidence that it was the only season he’s lined up behind a quarterback better than Shane Falco. When Brett Favre struggled to move the chains in 2010, Peterson saw less scoring opportunities and got a preview of what’s to come in 2011. In addition to the probable lack of a passing threat, Peterson’s patty-cake offensive line does him no favors. Moreover, the Vikings’ offense will be in transition under new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, with a (potentially) shortened offseason program to acclimate. Peterson cleaned up the fumbling issues last season, and he’s dispelled early-career injury concerns. He’s the best running back in the NFL, and I consider him a safe, worthy top-3 selection.
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Arian Foster’s only done it for one year, but while some see this as a negative, I see it as fresh legs. Sure, things likely would have been different had Ben Tate stayed healthy last season. Instead, Foster emerged as a bona fide superstar, and Tate will enter 2011 as a redshirt rookie coming off a severe ankle injury. Gary Kubiak will return (by the skin of his teeth) with his zone-blocking scheme that fits Foster perfectly. He’ll have plenty of incentive to lean on the 2010 NFL rushing king — the pitchforks are sharpened and the torches are ablaze in Houston. Unlike fellow breakout back Peyton Hillis, Foster finished very strong, and had no problem shouldering a heavy workload. With Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson forcing defenses away from the line, Foster will again have plenty of room to operate, and it’s a safe bet that the No. 3 Houston offense will spend a lot more time in the red zone than the No. 23 Vikings. The versatile Foster is built for fantasy use, and at the end of the day, I think his situation trumps Peterson’s talent.
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THE FINLEY EFFECT
After a relatively slow start last season, Greg Jennings rebounded for a career year (76/1,265/12). It’s no surprise that his surge coincided with the ultra-talented Jermichael Finley’s season ending knee injury. While everybody seems to agree that Finley’s return will cost Jennings some looks in 2011, experts are split on the degree to which it will effect his production. In early mocks, I’ve seen Jennings drafted anywhere from third to eighth among receivers. Those bullish on Jennings will cite that the geriatric Donald Driver is clearly on the decline. They’ll argue that Aaron Rodgers’ magnificence can accommodate a top-level tight end, support an elite wide receiver, and part the Red Sea. I’m finding myself on the other side of the argument. Donald Driver’s decline was more than offset by the progression of James Jones and Jordy Nelson. The two had inconsistent moments, but the numbers don’t lie — they combined for 151 targets, 95 catches, 1,261 yards and seven scores. Jones’ status in Green Bay is on uneven ground, but Nelson appears ready to take the next step even if Jones departs.
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That brings us back to Finley. He’s an athletic specimen who’s literally open on every play, and with Jennings working downfield routes, Finley’s typically open quicker. The two have played exactly 16 full games together in the last two years, giving us a nice round figure to work with. Jennings’ production in the pieced-together season has been disappointing — 59/1,035/6. Coincidence or not, those numbers would’ve ranked 20th in standard scoring among receivers last season, one spot ahead of Braylon Edwards. I won’t go so far as to say he can’t be a No. 1 fantasy receiver, but unless Finley is sidelined again, I’ll have a hard time trusting Jennings in that spot.
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LION KING
Believe it or not, china doll Matt Stafford is at the center of heated draft discussions. There’s an aggressive assembly that views Stafford as a low-end QB1 with top-10 upside. Then there’s me and my red marker. I get it, Stafford has the blue chip pedigree, and he’s shown some promising flashes in his first two seasons. He has an upper echelon receiver in Calvin Johnson, and a decent set of secondary pass catchers that includes Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, and Jahvid Best. You could even recklessly extrapolate his 2.5-game 2010 sample size into a mouth-watering 45-touchdown, 3,424-yard fantasy feast. Stafford certainly appears to have all the skills to excel in the NFL, except one — the ability to stay on the field. Yes, that’s a skill. Brett Favre wasn’t just the luckiest guy in the league for the last two decades. And it’s not like Bob Sanders habitually walks under ladders. Where there’s smoke there’s typically fire, and Stafford’s sending off more signals than Bear Grylls.
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As a result of knee damage and three injuries to his throwing shoulder, Stafford’s missed 19 of 32 career games (59%). His offensive line has improved in protection, but quarterbacks inevitably get hit, especially in a division with Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews, and Jared Allen. I don’t necessarily disagree with the premise that Stafford has top-10 potential, but he shouldn’t be drafted that way. Until he can correct his horrific rate of DNP’s, I see him as a mid-to-low level fantasy QB2.
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MOCKING 2011
I’ve recently had the pleasure of partaking in a series of 2011 mock drafts with a group of around 25 fellow industry writers, analysts, and amateur comedians. We’re using a slow draft format with several drafts going on simultaneously, and this first series is strictly PPR. It’s been a blast, and with about a dozen mocks in the books, we’re beginning to accumulate some early ADP knowledge. There have been a few interesting nuggets that have jumped out to me. The momentum of Aaron Rodgers’ outstanding postseason run has propelled him past Michael Vick for top quarterback honors. There appears to be no consensus top wide receiver. And if you’re high on Josh Freeman, Jamaal Charles, and Hakeem Nicks heading into next season, join the club — their stocks are soaring.
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The “Draftmaster” series is organized by Jim Day of FantasyFootballWhiz.com, and with the help of Pro Football Focus’ Mike Clay, here’s a first glimpse at our early results. If you’re a strong drafter with interest in participating in the Draftmaster series, feel free to reach out to Jim Day (@Fantasytaz) on Twitter for more information.
That wraps up my first installment of “Lester’s Tweetbeat.” Be sure to check back here in two weeks for the latest insider buzz circulating throughout the Twitterverse.
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Ryan Boser has contributed writing and analysis for FantasyVictory.com, KFAN AM 1130′s Fantasy Football Weekly program, and numerous other fantasy football outlets. Ryan’s own website, Out of My League, covers both fantasy football and the Minnesota sports landscape.


Image courtesy of Icon SMI
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Having players go in the Thursday night games gives you a little bit of advantage. If your players do good, you can perhaps be a little more cautions with your team. If your players failed to put up good numbers, perhaps you will want to take a bigger risk, hoping for a bigger reward to make up for it. You also get a feel for your match-up depending on how your opponents players did. Let’s take a look at how fantasy owners will be feeling about their players.
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Top of the World
With the fantasy playoffs on the doorstep, you can’t help but swell with pride based on the numbers these guys dropped.
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Michael Vick – My #1 ranked QB this week did not disappoint. He threw for 302 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. He added 48 yards on the ground. He’s definitely in the MVP hunt (both in fantasy and reality).
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Matt Schaub – Vick did his thing, but Schaub was no slouch. He threw for 337 yards, 2 TDs, and an INT. If you stuck with him (despite my #18 ranking) kudos to you. If you sat him because of me, my apologies.
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Arian Foster - Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow. 109 total yards (83 rushing, 26 receiving) and a score on the ground and through the air. You’ve been counting on  him all year, and he didn’t disappoint.
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LeSean McCoy – Not to be outdone, McCoy accumulated 130 total yards (44 rushing, 86 receiving) as well as a rushing and receiving touchdown. If you own McCoy, you can breath a sigh of relief.
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Andre Johnson –  So he didn’t score a touchdown. His six catches for 149 yards and two carries for ten yards got his owners off to a great start. It wasn’t enough to change your strategy, but it’s certainly a good start. continue reading »

I profiled C.J. Spiller and Arian Foster earlier this summer (click their names to read the articles), suggesting that both RBs would be solid RB3 or flex players. Both RBs had teammates succumb to injuries in recent days that cleared the path to additional carries. The question now is whether or not they have become legitimate RB2s.

 


I’ll start with Spiller, who had not one, but two teammates get hurt. Fred Jackson broke a bone in his hand, an injury that should cost him between 4-6 weeks. If the injury lingers to the high end of the estimated recovery time, Jackson would miss two weeks of the season. Marshawn Lynch suffered a sprained ankle, which could cost him 3-4 weeks, or right before the season opener. Spiller will get the rest of the preseason to take all the first team reps. Given the lofty expectations that come from a top ten pick, Spiller could take hold of the starting job and never let go. With his big play potential, Spiller becomes a legitimate RB2 in my eyes, with a legitimate shot at 1200 total yards.

 


Meanwhile Arian Foster’s job security was bolstered when rookie Ben Tate suffered a season-ending ankle injury of his own. Tate was expected to challenge, and possibly overtake Foster for the role of starting RB. Not only did he lose his primary competition, but Steve Slaton’s fumbling problem resurfaced. Nothing gets you in a coaches doghouse faster than putting the ball on the carpet. Slaton figures to have a significant role in the offense, especially in passing situations, but if the fumbles persist, Foster could get an even heavier workload. With such a potent passing attack, Foster should be able to turn in a productive season and join Spiller in the RB2 ranks.

 

Click here to see my updated RB rankings.

 

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

Ben Tate Injured

15 August 2010

The Texans were dealt a blow when rookie RB Ben Tate suffered a significant ankle injury in their preseason opener against Arizona. Tate was expected to part of a rotation with Arian Foster and Steve Slaton. Slaton didn’t do himself any favors as his fumbling issue surfaced during the game. Arian Foster, who was the favorite to start the season as their lead back, not only solidified that role, but improved his fantasy stock. As the unquestioned starting RB in a potent offense, Foster should be considered a low-end RB2.

 

In other news, Green Bay RB Ryan Grant left the Packers’ preseason game with an apparent concussion. While you shouldn’t worry about his Week 1 status, there is t he concern of future concussions. I’m not lowering my expectation for Grant, or his ranking, but I understand if you do.

 

Finally, don’t be alarmed if you don’t see Dallas Clark when the Colts open their preseason today. He is out with a minor leg injury. Its worth mentioning since he is one of the most highly ranked TEs in the game, but nothing to lose sleep over.


Image courtesy of Icon SMI

 

A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.

 

Houston RB Arian Foster is going with the 182nd pick according to Mock Draft Central. That is good for the 56th RB selected, meaning he’d be a RB4 or RB5 in 12-team fantasy leagues. He is going behind the likes of LenDale White, Larry Johnson, Tashard Choice, and Glen Coffee to name a few. LenDale doesn’t even have a gig. Foster is even behind teammates Ben Tate (26th RB, 58 overall) and Steve Slaton (39, 95).

 

The problem is, nobody informed Texans Coach Gary Kubiak. He called Foster “mature beyond his years” and hinted that Foster could have a firm grip on the top stop in Houston’s depth chart. Obviously he would split carries with Slaton and Tate, but clearly Foster should be going ahead of unsigned free agents, washed up backup RBs, and backup RBs that don’t figure to have many carries.

 

It’s not like Foster struggled last year. He ran for 257 yards on 54 carries (4.8 ypc) for 3 TDs. He added 8 catches for 93 yards. He did this in very limited playing time. When he got his chance in Week 16 and 17 he combined for 242 total yards (216 rushing) and 3 TDs. His ypc in those two games was 5.5.

 

The second-year back isn’t taking the competition lightly. He is quoted as saying “I wasn’t up at 5:30 (a.m.) this offseason for nothing, so my mentality isn’t, ‘This spot is mine.’ My mentality is, ‘This spot is going to get taken. I am going to take it.’”

 

We’ll have to see how things play out during the next few weeks, but with quotes like that from Foster and Kubiak, I am willing to move Kubiak up my draft board. I would take him as a low-end RB3 or high-end RB4 if he continues to keep Slaton and Tate at bay. Click to see my update 2010 fantasy RB rankings.

 

What are your thoughts on Arian Foster?


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