Fantasy Impact Of Arian Foster Injury
"Arian Foster to require surgery for a groin injury."
Well, that's just great. We can't even get into the preseason games before we're hit with a catastrophic Fantasy injury. Foster has always dealt with injury issues, but no one expected this, and this latest piece of news has sent the Fantasy Football world into a tizzy. So what are you to do?
First, take this as yet another example of why you should wait until after Week 3 of the preseason for your draft. Ideally, you should simply draft the weekend before the season starts to avoid any last-minute crucial injuries and/or role changes.
As for what to expect from the Texans backfield, that's a little less clear. If Foster lands on the injured reserve/designated to return, the earliest we could see him is Week 10. That basically knocks him way down draft boards to the point where he is a deep roster stash. If your league has IR spots (as it should, in fact, I say unlimited spots… there is no reason to up the luck factor by punishing teams with poor injury fortunes. All sites force you to pull active players off the IR anyway, and if not, just make it a league rule) you can draft and stash Foster with one of your last picks. In fact, if it's Round 13-14 and no one excites me on the draft board, I'll pounce. What player could have a bigger late-season and playoff impact than a healthy Foster? Not many. But if your league does not have an IR spot, I would not spend a draft choice on a player who could waste a valuable roster spot for too much of the season.
With Foster out, the biggest question is, "Who do I draft now?" The simple answer is that no one in Houston is going to replace Foster 100 percent. The team likes Alfred Blue quite a bit, and he's the first man up and clear favorite for lead work, but we're not talking 300 carries over 16 games as Foster could do. Blue simply isn't good enough in the passing game. Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk are still in the mix. Grimes is a good option for the passing game and Polk has a strong short-yard/goal line game. The Texans have rookie Kenny Hilliard too, who they might give a look, but he'll have to surprise to unseat that trio. Of course, the Texans could go shopping for a replacement too. Chris Johnson, Ray Rice and Pierre Thomas are still out there, but early word is that they'll stick with their trio.
As of today, Blue is the best pick among the bunch, but he's not an every-down option or rock-solid RB2. He settles in behind a few rookies and options such as LeGarrette Blount and Latavius Murray, which has him in the mid-20s. If you're drafting today (please, don't!) consider Blue a risky, low-end RB2 and don't overlook Grimes or Polk as late-round fliers. And of course, if you have IR spots, stash Foster just in case.
Photo Credit: Shutterbug459
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