NFL Fantasy Sleepers
Well my favorite time of year is fast upcoming. It is almost NFL season and that means fantasy football, an addiction so great it deserves its own version of AA. There have been days I’ve spent more time researching prospects than sleeping and I know that I am not alone in that feat.
Fantasy football leagues aren’t won in the first 3,4 or even 5 rounds of the draft. They aren’t won with the Petyon Mannings or Chris Johnsons (although those guys certainly help). They are won with the under the radar guys, guys like Miles Austin or Jamaal Charles, guys that were drafted in the very last rounds or in most leagues, not drafted at all. Fantasy leagues are won in the later rounds with those guys who are just one injury or opportunity away from becoming the next big thing. I have some candidates for that guy, the one that everyone will say at the end of the season, “Man I wish I had taken the chance on him”. Each day I will list one or two of my sleeper picks and why I think this is their year to breakout. Granted some of these guys may not get the chance and may fizzle out and I’m sorry but thats the way it goes, nothing is a sure fire pick. However I think a late round pick is a very low price to pay for a chance at greatness. Without further ado, my first sleeper pick of the season is……….
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Photo Courtesy of Nick de la Torre of the Houston Chronicle
I’ve been high on this guy since the beginning of the off-season. With the recent and apparently severe injury to rookie Ben Tate, the path is becoming clearer for Foster to have a strangle hold on the starting gig in Houston. Foster, at 6’1″, 215 is a solid back who has the speed to beat guys but also can power through the hole and run in between the tackles. Foster played four years for the Volunteers before joining the Texans as an undrafted free agent. Foster didn’t even see the field till week 14 of last season and only managed 41 yards on a limited 15 carries through two games. But, when given the role of feature back, Foster proved more than competent gaining 216 yards on 39 carries while scoring 3 tds in the final 2 weeks of the season. He also added 26 yards on 3 receptions. The two opponents, the Dolphins and Patriots were both respectable defenses. As I mentioned before, Ben Tate is out of the picture and really the only other competition is Steve Slaton (and to a much lesser degree, Chris Henry). Now asking Steve Slaton to hold on to the ball is like asking Rex Ryan to resist an all you can eat buffet, its just not going to happen. Foster looks primed to take over the starting running job and also factor into the Texan’s lethal aerial attack. Don’t be surprised if this guy is the last starting running back hanging around on the draft board. He could be a late round pick that could be the difference maker between missing the playoffs and winning a championship, you just never know.
Fearless Forecast: ~30 receptions, 1200-1300 total yards, 11-13 total tds