The Imminent Demise of Arian Foster is Greatly Exaggerated

Every fantasy season, we just love to label players. It’s truly a great thing. It comes out of nowhere and tends to be the flavor of the month. Then we go ahead and label someone the rotten apple of the bunch or a bust. We find things and just run with it. This year the flavor of the month is Doug Martin. He is the guy you better take outside of Adrian Peterson. He is the guy your momma should take if she asks you who to pick in the first round. Then we have our first round bust, this year it is Arian Foster. This is the guy whose ADP is way too high in the first round, the guy who is on the PUP and the guy whose yards per carry has been decreasing every year. This is our first round bust… Am I doing it right?

Well let me just say this. This whole “Arian Foster is a first round bust” is a bunch of malarkey. I do not know how you can tell me a guy is a first round bust when he is coming off a fifteen touchdown season, which led the league by the way, and was fourth in the league with 1,424 rushing yards. I will take that any day of the week from my running back, real life or in fantasy world. Yet this guy is labeled as this year’s bust. Make the argument that his yards per carry have gone down each year, going from 4.9 in ’10, 4.4 in ’11 and 4.1 in ’12, and I will tell you that I don’t care about his yards per carry, he is not an old veteran on his last leg, and this is fantasy football, a point based craze that we have been addicted to. Do you think last year Foster owners were like, “ Man, Foster’s YPC are down this year.” No they were laughing to the bank and celebrating because he was a guaranteed lock for points. There is no team stat in our world for yards per carry. But there is a stat for yards and touchdowns. Those count in our world. Add those points plus a zone blocking scheme and you have a recipe non stop success for a running back like Foster.

I will gladly take a running back who is getting the carries, and Foster is getting the carries and is still young, twenty six years old to be exact. He is getting the points as well, top three in points at the running back position. I am sorry but I’ll take that. Go ahead, make the argument that getting the carries are a bad thing for him and say all these carries create problems for him, but go and draft Matthew Stafford who leads the league in pass attempts and is completing 59% of his passes. Because Stafford has the yards to go with it, who cares how you get the yards as long as you get the points?

Every week we make additions to our teams, adding players on bad teams because they get the points in garbage time. We don’t criticize that player on how he gets his points. Neither should we criticize Foster for all of the things I have mentioned. The next thing in question is Foster’s health entering the season and how he has not been activated, has not practiced this season. He is a running back, in a violent sport. Preserving the body is the most important thing for any player. Every player is at risk of getting hurt every year. A couple days ago Tom Brady had a little scare, are we scared he will get hurt again to the point where we won’t draft him? It is a risk we take when drafting any player in fantasy football.

Last year Arian Foster had seven 100-yard rushing games and four multi-touchdown games, yet he is the bust entering this year. In all but three games, Foster made his way to the end zone. But he is the bust, the guy you avoid this year.  Even though we are raving about a player who got 36-percent of his touchdowns in one game, who did not sniff the end zone in six games and accounted for 17-percent of his rushing yards in a game. That guy is Doug Martin, the guy we are all raving about this year.

I will happily invest a high first round pick in a player who has been consistently a top-three player at the running back position. What makes top players top picks is their consistency week in and week out. That is what makes you big time in our word, and Foster is big time. But he is this year’s bust. Go ahead keep labeling him a bust, while the team that drafts him is getting an elite player, who consistently puts up points and does not care about real life factors and only cares about fantasy playoffs.