Fantasy Football

The Fantasy Fool | I’ll have another Foster, please

Updated: 2012-10-22T20:06:24Z

By LADD BIRO

Special to The Star

Back in the 1990s, when many of today’s fantasy diehards wore diapers and stats were tallied with a calculator, the key to successful drafting was simple: Land Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith, and a postseason berth was yours.

Then, for several years, the Marshall Plan was in effect. Hand Marshall Faulk the ball, and it was all downhill from there.

Later, Priest Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson, Shaun Alexander and Adrian Peterson took their turns wearing the crown jewels of the fantasy realm.

Today, there’s Arian Foster, and there’s everyone else. The Texans’ workhorse just doesn’t have an off game. If he’s not racing for 100-plus yards and a touchdown, he’s pounding in two scores to make up for a sub-100-yard outing.

I don’t have to tell Ray Rice’s owners that their fantasy stud lacks Foster’s effortless consistency, after Sunday’s debacle in Houston.

I admit to having a bit of a man-crush on Shady McCoy, but I’d swap him for Foster faster than Mitt Romney can say “tax cuts.”

As Foster heads into his bye week to recharge for the second-half push, this seemed like a good time to pay homage to the best fantasy back in the game today. If he’s not on your roster, Week 8 would be an excellent time to face his owner.

FREE AGENT PICKS AND PANS

To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. Here's a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup.

Catch ‘em while you can

Rashad Jennings, RB, Jaguars. It’s somewhat astonishing that a 5’8” tailback can survive in today’s NFL, much less lead the league in rushing, as Maurice Jones-Drew did last year. So his owners should have prepared for the possibility that the veteran may succumb to injury by stowing away Jennings for this day. With news that Jones-Drew will miss at least Week 8 with his injured foot, his talented backup is a must-grab.

LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Cardinals. Consider this a tepid endorsement, at best, because investing in the Arizona running game is the diciest of propositions. What’s important to note is that Stephens-Howling received 24 touches to William Powell’s five on Sunday, and produced well against a solid Vikings run defense. If you are truly RB-challenged, the veteran could help in a pinch; though probably not this weekend against the 49ers.

Don’t be fooled

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers. One of my preseason sleeper picks finally came through Sunday night with 122 rushing yards in relief of both Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman. Unfortunately, it’s probably too little too late, since the rookie third-stringer will be relegated to the bench (or the inactive list) once one or both of the veterans return, which may be as early as this weekend.

Santana Moss, WR, Washington. Before you get excited over Moss’ two-TD outing against the Giants, note that he only caught three passes in total. In fact, the 12-year veteran hasn’t had more than four receptions in any game this season, and that trend is unlikely to change going forward, even with Fred Davis out for the rest of the season. Chris Cooley has already been signed to fill the void at tight end.

Jerome Simpson, WR, Vikings. I never understood the fascination with Simpson’s move to Minnesota. He’s been injury-prone throughout his short career, and he has rarely shown any semblance of consistency in his game. Well, you could say he’s been consistently awful over his last two games, with one 8-yard catch to show for himself. Feel free to eject.

Ladd Biro has been named Football Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association for two consecutive years (2010 and 2011). Follow all his advice at the Fantasy Fools blog (fantasy-fools.blogspot.com), on Facebook and via Twitter (@ladd_biro).

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