Running backs whose fantasy values went up or down in Week 1 of the NFL preseason:
With the exception of Brett Favre, nobody’s stock has risen more in the past week than Foster.
The Texans opened camp with a lot of uncertainty at their running back position. Last year’s star Steve Slaton has fallen out of favor, due in large part to the fact he’s (predictably) become injury-prone. That led to rookie Ben Tate becoming everyone’s darling as the potential replacement for Slaton in the starting lineup.
And then there was Foster, who adequately held down the role of Slaton’s backup last year.
Well, things have changed. Tate suffered a leg injury that will prevent him from playing this season. And since Slaton remains in the doghouse a bit, the door has swung wide open for Foster to be the Texans’ primary ballcarrier this season.
The top back on a high-scoring team is always a great fantasy asset. With that label now etched into his shoulder pads, Foster would be a GREAT fourth-round pick.
Given the number of touchdowns Mike Bell scored last year as basically a third-stringer in the New Orleans backfield, the club’s signing of Betts is significant. But probably not for the reason you’d assume.
You see, Betts isn’t at all like Bell. He’s more like Saints starter Pierre Thomas – an every-down kind of guy who’s not necessarily at his best near the goal line.
So the bottom line here is: With new goal-line specialist Lynell Hamilton having been lost for the season with a knee injury, expect those touchdowns now to go to Thomas. Without Hamilton (or Bell) around, there’s really no reason to pull Thomas near the end zone.
I considered Thomas a risky second-round pick before Hamilton’s injury. Now there’s no risk to it.
When you’re going to score about 10 points a game, it’s hard to recommend anyone from that team. But …
The Bills had hoped to bring rookie standout Spiller along slowly. Now that might no longer be an option.
With Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch both injured, Spiller is looking at a busy start of the season. If he does well, it’s going to be awfully hard for Jackson to wrestle his job back.
Given his new status, Spiller makes an intriguing third running back.
News of Glen Coffee retiring from the 49ers hardly created a fantasy ripple … until the club reached out for longtime fantasy favorite Westbrook to replace him.
OK, make no mistake about it: Westbrook has little fantasy value as long as Frank Gore is healthy. But even at his advanced age, he’d become an intriguing option if that weren’t the case.
At the very least, I’d strongly consider grabbing Westbrook in the late rounds if I’d exhausted my first or second pick on Gore. Heck, I’d recommend doing it even if you hadn’t taken Gore. As a fifth running back, at least he’d have a little potential.
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