Arian Foster is currently being drafted as the number 2 running back in fantasy football drafts and has been a consensus #2 draft pick for 3 years running. But in light of his May injuries and previous years regression, will he hurt you come draft day? If you've been living in a cave you should know that Foster has been recovering from back and calf injuries since May and came off of the PUP 8/21. He has been regressing in recent years which further dampens my liking him at at #2.
Injury Risk & Football Shape
Coach Gary Kubiak has expressed optimism that Foster (back, calf) will be ready for Week 1. But there's no way he's going to get a full dose of carries until he's in "football shape". Also, I'm concerned that someone currently being drafted as the #2 fantasy running back could re injure himself because calf strains are susceptible to aggravation. I'm not telling you to avoid Foster in your fantasy football draft, but I'm telling you to drop him down your cheat sheet, we dropped him in ours.
Foster has seen his yard per carry drop from 4.9 in 2010 to 4.4 in 2011 and 4.0 in 2012. It appears that Foster is a little worn down after averaging 371.6 touches over the last three years. Typically when we talk about regression and fantasy football we talk about regression toward the mean. But in the instance I'm just looking at a straight up drop in production year after year. Nevertheless, Foster is a great running back with a solid offensive line. Houston will see the red zone regularly and Foster will get his touchdowns if he can stay on the field this year.
Predicting Arian Fosters End Of Season Statistics
11 touchdowns, 1200 yards and 40 catches are very possible. It will take a prefect storm to meet those totals in my opinion. He'll need to start the year off under a full "normal" workload and not aggravate his calf injury. Chances are he will stay healthy, but the Texans have no reason what so ever to risk their number 1 running back. I expect we will see a lot more of Ben Tate early in the season as well as Tate getting more opportunities down the stretch. This is actually good if you drafted Foster, as it should keep him fresh and productive. But on the flip side, it will limit the opportunities for him to live up to that #2 average draft position.
I'm drafting Foster in the second round, unless I'm sitting around pick 10 or 11 and there's been a hard run at RB. In which case it would make sense to try and secure the potential Foster offers while accepting the risk that exists.