I won’t be drafting Arian Foster in any league this year.
Yes you read that correctly. Let’s say you are a 25 year old man and you meet a beautiful 24 year old girl. In addition to being beautiful, you find out she has a crack-dealing ex-boyfriend. While you can overcome that, you find out she is a habitual drunk dialer, her father owns land in the desert, has a mysterious medical ailment, and has an eye twitch she claims is no big deal.
With all these warning signs, do you date the girl? I would hope not.
Arian Foster, of course, is this girl.
This wouldn’t be a very good article if I didn’t share the warning signs that could leave Foster owners shaking their heads before the fantasy playoffs. The biggest, and least talked about aspect of fantasy football is this: you cannot miss on your first two draft picks.
On the surface, Foster’s yards per carry (YPC) has reduced each of the past 3 years from 4.9 to 4.4 to 4.1. Similarly his yards after contact, as tallied by Pro Football Focus (PFF), declined from 2.59 to 2.50 to 2.18.
The warning signs do not stop there. Foster’s standard points per snap started at 0.4 and ended last year at 0.27, which is a 33% drop. His PPR points per snap saw a 32% drop from 2011 to 2012. In another stat that PFF keeps, yards per route run, Foster ranked at the top in 2011 with 2.35. However, 2012 saw Foster rank 48/49 with 0.6 yards per route run.
Using PFF’s missed tackle counter, Foster registered 8 touches per missed tackle in 2010. In 2011 it saw an uptick to 8.9 touches per missed tackle. And even worse, 2012 saw Foster register a missed tackle every 12.2 touches. 92 players beat him in this statistic. 92!
There is no doubt Arian Foster will see a lot of touches this season as long as he stays healthy. Just looking at 2012’s PPR points per touch, the top running backs would be (in order): CJ Spiller, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Doug Martin, Marshawn Lynch, Trent Richardson, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, Matt Forte, and then Jamaal Charles.
Of the 115 running backs I qualified for this statistic, Arian Foster ranked 53rd, wedged between DeAngelo Williams and Daniel Thomas.
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Do you still want to use your first round pick on Arian Foster?