Posts Tagged ‘foster’

In a few months it is going to be time to start nailing down your fantasy football league; but its never too early to start researching who are going to be fantasy studs and busts.  More often then not the running backs are drafted early so its good to have an understanding of who is going to be the best options.  In free agency we saw a load of running backs go to different teams, sign huge contracts, and some are now on contract years.  Below is my list (as of right now) of the best value running backs going into the 2014 season.

It amazes me how far some of the 2013 “elite” runners have fallen down this list.  Just last year everyone was after players like Ray Rice, CJ Spiller, and Trent Richardson.  Now I think people are going to be very careful about drafting them because they are now considered risky instead of reliable.  On the opposite end there are now running backs who were just rookies last year and now they are going to be fantasy studs like Eddie Lacy and LeVeon Bell.  I know this list is going to change before the season starts, but for now if this was a final list you can see that some of the backs from last year, are not going to be the backs you want this year.

1. Jamaal Charles – Chiefs
2. LeSean McCoy – Eagles
3. Adrian Peterson – Vikings
4. Matt Forte – Bears
5. Marshawn Lynch – Seahawks
6. Eddie Lacy – Packers
7. LeVeon Bell – Steelers
8. Arian Foster – Texans
9. DeMarco Murray – Cowboys
10. Alfred Morris – Redskins
11. Gio Bernard – Bengals
12. Reggie Bush – Lions
13. Zac Stacy – Rams
14. Montee Ball – Broncos
15. Doug Martin – Bucs
16. Andre Ellington – Cardinals
17. Ben Tate – Browns (new team)
18. Knowshon Moreno – Dolphins (new team)
19. Toby Gerhart – Jaguars (new team)
20. CJ Spiller – Bills
21. Frank Gore – 49ers
22. Chris Johnson – Jets (new team)
23. Ray Rice – Ravens
24. Ryan Mathews – Chargers
25. Rashad Jennings – Giants (new team)
26. Shane Vereen – Patriots
27. Trent Richardson – Colts
28. Steven Jackson – Falcons
29. Fred Jackson – Bills
30. Darren Sproles – Eagles (new team)
31. DeAngelo Williams – Panthers
32. Maurice Jones-Drew – Raiders (new team)
33. Darren McFadden – Raiders
34. Danny Woodhead – Chargers
35. Stevan Ridley – Patriots

Remember when you are choosing running backs there are numerous factors you need to take into consideration.  You need to look at previous years and their stats.  Are they progressively getting worse like Ray Rice; or are they getting better like with LeSean McCoy?  How long have they been on their team?  If they just got to a new team it may take them some time to adjust to the new playbook like we saw with Trent Richardson in 2013.  How is their offensive line?  Did they get any new coaches?  Before the season starts I will post more answers to these questions, but these are things you will want to find out before draft day.

Three weeks of the 2013 NFL season is now in the books and it has already been a crazy ride.  There are teams that were supposed to do well that are not, teams that were not supposed to good who are, rookies making big plays, and crazy trades.  I made some predictions a few months ago about who I think was going to win their division and obviously I need to throw those out the window.  Below is some new predictions based on what has happened so far in the first three weeks thus far.

In the NFC East the big surprise for me is that the New York Giants are 0-3, while the Dallas Cowboys are 2-1.  Also, a lot of people had high hopes after the Eagles opening game, but after winning their first game they have dropped two straight.  I had some high hopes for the Washington Redskins, but I was way off on that since they have started their season 0-3.  With what has happened so far it would not surprise me to see the Cowboys take the NFC East; the only other team that might have a shot is the Eagles, but Vick needs to step his game up for that to happen.  As long as Romo keeps playing the way he has they should be able to roll through the rest of the season.  Romo in three games has had 6 touchdowns and only one interception which is a huge improvement since the 2012 season.

In the NFC North the Bears are on top with a 3-0 record behind their powerful defense.  The Bears are only allowing 88 yards per game on the ground and less than 300 passing yards a game.  The Bears are also passing the ball better and Marshall has already pulled in 20 receptions and two touchdowns.  The Bears offensive line is getting the job done as well only allowing 3 sacks so far this season.  On the other end the Vikings are 0-3 even with Adrian Peterson scoring 3 touchdowns so far this season.  The Detroit Lions have had some close games but they are at 2-1 behind a brutal passing game.  Stafford already has over 1,000 passing yards and 6 touchdowns, and with all the weapons the Lions have on offense this may be the year they make a playoff push.  The surprise here is the Green Bay Packer losing to the 49ers and to the Bengals.  Rodgers does have 8 touchdowns, but the Packers are pretty banged up when it comes to the running backs.  As long as the Bears and Lions keep playing the way they have been I think one of them could take the division.

In the NFC South the Saints are off to a big start at 3-0 behind the great play of Brees and Graham.  Jimmy Graham has already pulled in 4 touchdowns while Brees has thrown 6 touchdowns.  I am a bit surprised that the Falcons are 1-2, but with Roddy White and Steven Jackson injured it makes a little more sense.  Once the Falcons can get healthy they should be able to make a comeback from their terrible start.  The Panthers are being led by Cam Newton but the rest of the team is letting him down and they are 1-2 so far.  I am surprised that the Bucs are having this many issues already.  They are 0-3 and the defense is not playing up to the standard people had anticipated; and the offense is not getting the ball into their playmakers hands.  Vincent Jackson has 15 receptions and is yet to reach the end zone.  Doug Martin is doing his best to carry the team with 297 rushing yards, but he has only reached the end zone one time.  I think the Saints are going to be a strong contender this year and the will be tough to beat.

The NFC West has the Seattle Seahawks on top with a 3-0 record behind the outstanding play of Russell Wilson and the defense.  The Seahawks have only allowed 27 points in 3 games with is only a 9 point average.  The Seattle defense is also only allowing 146 passing yards a game which makes them the best defense in the NFL right now.  As for the 49ers, they are having some major struggles right now after a lot of people predicted them to be one of the best teams.  They have 3 key players out right now with injuries (Davis, Crabtree, and Manningham), but Colin is not playing well.  The 49ers can turn it around but they need to step it up in every aspect of the game.  The Cardinals and the Rams are both 1-2 which was to be expected from both of them.  I think the Seahawks will be the team to beat, but the 49ers could come back from this and be a contender.

In the AFC East the Patriots and the Dolphins are both 3-0.  Yes; you heard right, the Miami Dolphins are undefeated.  The Dolphins have been laying excellent defense, but Ryan Tannehill is becoming a leader for the team.  Tannehill may not put up the number Tom Brady does, but he knows how to win.  Speaking of Tom Brady, he is adjusting well to the young receivers around him while he waits for Amendola to heal.  The Patriots defense is making a huge contribution as well by only allowing 34 points so far.  They are only allowing 188 passing yards per game as well.  The surprise for me is the New York Jets; they are now 2-1 behind their rookie QB Geno Smith.  Even with Geno learning he has found a way to lead the Jets to victory with a dismal running game, and a banged up receiving squad.  The Bills are 1-2 behind their rookie QB EJ Manuel, but the Bills are having more issues than anticipated.  Spiller is not putting up the numbers people had expected so its putting a lot of pressure on Manuel.  I can see the Patriots making a playoff push, but honestly I think the Dolphins could be a Wild Card team as long as they keep pulling wins.

In the AFC North the Bengals are playing some good football which has made them 2-1.  Andy Dalton has already put the ball in the end zone 5 times and has been connecting with AJ Green for a lot of them.  The Bengals have an improved run game as well with Ben Jarvus Green Ellis and Giovani Bernard making them a difficult offense to slow down.  The Ravens are also 2-1 even with the absence of Ray Rice and Jacoby Jones.   The Browns have traded away Trent Richardson and are talking about trading Greg Little and Josh Gordan which has made them a 1-2 team.  No one is really sure why the Browns are getting rid of all their playmakers, but thats Cleveland for ya.  The biggest surprise here is the Steelers being 0-3.  Big Ben and company have had a lot of offensive struggles and has been putting too much pressure on the defense.  I don’t see the Steelers making a playoff push this year, but I do think the Bengals have a strong chance to take the division.

The AFC South is a race thus far with the Texans, Titans, and Colts all being 2-1.  The Jaguars are exactly what we thought with a 0-3 record.  The Texans offense has not been as deadly as last year but they are finding ways to win.  Arian Foster is only averaging 3.9 yards per carry and has only had one rushing touchdown so far.  The Titans running game is much of the same with Chris Johnson only averaging 3.7 yards per carry and is yet to find the end zone.  The Colts acquired Trent Richardson from the Browns and is splitting carries with Ahmad Bradshaw which gives the Colts a huge advantage in the back field.  Andrew Luck is throwing the ball well and finding all his receivers in crucial situations.  The Jaguars are struggling everywhere, Maurice Jones-Drew is yet to have a breakout game, and the defense has allowed 92 points already which averages 30 points a game for opposing teams.  With three teams having the same record its hard to say who will come out on top, but as of right now I think the Colts have the best chance.

Finally the AFC West its the Broncos and Chiefs who have 3-0 records.  It has been a shock with the Chiefs since they were the worst team in the NFL last year and now with a new head coach and new players they are undefeated.  Alex Smith is not going to put up Peyton Manning numbers, but Smith does have 4 passing touchdowns and zero interceptions.  Jamaal Charles is also stepping up by having 2 rushing touchdowns and averaging 4.3 yards per carry.  The Broncos are playing behind their veteran QB Peyton Manning who leads the NFL in touchdown passes with 12 and zero interceptions.  Manning also leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,143 and completing 73% of his passes.  The Raiders and Chargers are both 1-2, but the Chargers are showing life in Rivers.  Philip Rivers is second in the NFL in touchdown passes with 8 and only 1 interception.  The Raiders are struggling, but they have found a diamond in the rough with Pryor.  The Broncos will win the division, but the Chiefs could be a wild card team.

 

 

The story of Arian Foster is a true under dog story that is inspirational to all players who want to be in the NFL.  Arian Foster has been considered one of the best running backs of the decade due to his speed, agility, and determination.  Every fantasy football draft for every league; he is always one of the first players chosen.  His story to how he became what he is today is a true Rudy like story and proves that if you set your mind to something and work hard; you will get what you want out of life.

Arian Isa Foster was born on August 24th, 1986 in New Mexico.  His father Carl Foster was a former receiver for the University of New Mexico and his mother Bernadette was an administrative assistant for the university.  Foster spent 2 years at Valley High School in New Mexico; then in 2000 his parent got divorced and he moved to San Diego with his father.  Foster finished high school at Mission Bay Senior High School where he played linebacker for awhile, but transitioned over to tail back his senior year.  As a senior he racked up 2,093 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns.  He was in the newspaper a lot for his efforts in high school and Tennessee took notice of his success and offered him a  scholarship to come play football for them.

In 2004 he joined Tennessee’s football program and was red-shirted for his first season.  In 2005 which was his freshman year; Foster earned the starting running back position and in that season he still had limited playing time, but gained 879 yards.  In 2006 Foster delt with a handful of injuries which really limited his time on the field; and he had a few off-field issues that made him more of a liability then Tennessee wanted.  In 2007 Foster got his stuff together and had a nice break out season and rushed for 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Due to that season he was offered to join the NFL Draft; he decided to stay for his senior year, which actually ended up hurting him more than it helped.  He dealt with more injuries and everyone kind of forgot about him in his senior year.  Due to his injuries he turned the ball over a lot, had bad pass protection, and he sat out of the NFL Combine.  All of these factors made it so Foster was not drafted in the 2009 draft; some teams showed some interest to have him sign as a free agent and he chose the Texans.

Foster signed with the Texans on May 1, 2009, and he was released that same year, but picked up again by the Texans for their practice squad.  Due to his hard work in the weight room and on the practice field; he made the final roster on November 17th, 2009.  In the 2009 season he did not play much, but he did show a glimpse of what he could be on special teams and a back up running back. 

Then came 2010; Foster beat out Steve Slaton for the starting running back position and the first game of the season was against the Colts.  No one knew Foster that well; so no one expected him to do what he did that day.  In his first career start against the Colts he rushed for 231 yards and 3 TDs.  It was an absolute jaw dropping performance that made him almost an over night star.  A few weeks later he broke a franchise record 74 yard touchdown run against the Raiders.  A few weeks after that Foster had another game where he rushed for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns which earned him the 2010 Rushing Title and he totaled 1,616 rushing yards for the 2010 season.

2011 got off to a rocky start for Foster as he was dealing with a hamstring issue and missed some time early in the season.  But that did not stop him from busting out 155 yards against the Steelers in Week 3.  In 2011 Foster got to show off how good of a pass catcher he is as well.  The Texans used him a lot as an extra receiver coming out of the back field which earned Foster the title of an All-Purpose Back.  In 2013 the Texans reached a new deal with Foster that will keep him a Texan for another 5 years and he is now worth $43.5 million. 

In his career so far he has totaled up 4,521 rushing yards, 44 rushing touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry, 167 receptions, 1,531 receiving yards, and 6 receiving touchdowns.  Now remember that this is in a 4 year career so far; but his first season he really didn’t play much.  Which means he is averaging about 1,400 rushing yards per season, 13 rushing touchdowns per season, 53 receptions, 479 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns on average.  Those numbers are very good for a running back, and the only other running back who could post numbers like that was Marshall Faulk.

In his short career so far he has already earned 3 Pro Bowls, 2 All-Pros, 2010 NFL Rushing Title, and 6 franchise records for the Texans.  Foster is a very inspiring player to me because he had multiple chances to just give up.  When he did not get drafted he could have given up, when the Texans cut him the first time he could have given up, when he was told he would always be on the practice squad he could have given up, and when he was injured he could have given up.  Foster chose to fight through all the adversity and now he is one of the best running backs in the NFL.