Arian Foster Injury Update: Possible Landing Spots

Arian Foster seems to finally be recovered from an Achilles tear he suffered in late October.

According to sources he is “hungry” to regain his 2012 form, and in spite of his injury troubles there are multiple teams interested in his services.

His most recent work out was with the Miami Dolphins in March. According to Dolphins executive VP Mike Tannenbaum, Foster’s visit “went well”, but that he was “still a little bit away” from being physically able to play.

But that was over a month ago, and Foster believes he will be in fighting form in time for training camp.

So which teams are the most likely to be interested in Foster’s particular set of skills

The Most Likely:

The Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are a running back down after losing Lamar Miller to the Houston Texans. Miami attempted to shore up the ship by drafting Alabama running back Kenyan Drake. As the third running back off the board, Drake was a pricey investment, but it’s a big risk to rest the fate of your running game on a rookie. 2015 back up Jay Ajayi played only nine games and rushed for a total of 187 yards and one touchdowns. Having a veteran back at the helm would be a boon for The Dolphins running game.

The fact that he’s already had a work out for the team is a good sign.

The San Francisco 49ers

Lead back Carlos Hyde easily lead the team in touches with 115 attempts and yet only played seven games in the season. While he looked good in the games he played in, there are still questions about him being able to shoulder the load of an everydown back. He also only caught 11 passes in those seven games. His back up Shaun Draughn fared a little better in the passing game catching 25 passes over the season, but only finished with 263 rushing yards and 1 touchdown. Foster when healthy is not only a great runner but also a competent pass catching back and a touchdown monster. The 49ers could do a lot worse for a dual threat back.

The Washington Redskins

The Redskins are another team going into the 2016 season short an RB. Last season starter Alfred Morris is now a Dallas Cowboy and the load is currently on the shoulders of Matt Jones. Morris and Jones were both saw some measure of success on the field, but Alfred received the bulk of the carries. Jones may be effective as a committee back but there’s no proof that he has what it takes to be a feature back. Foster’s experience and talent would be a big boost to a team that seems to finally be finding it’s offensive groove again.

Honorable Mentions

Detroit Lions- No feature back emerged for the Lions last season. Ameer Abdullah came the closest and finished with 597 rushing yards. Matthew Stafford had 159.

San Diego Chargers- Danny Woodhead is great at what he does, Melvin Gordon is not.

 

I don’t know why but my gut is saying Lions. I don’t think they are the best fit for Foster, but I think they may be the best place for him to land. He would have serviceable back ups, a veteran quarterback, and an offense in need of a spark.

But don’t expect any big moves until closer to the start of the season as Foster’s injury concerns are still not put to bed, no matter how optimistic he seems. Foster has only played two full seasons since 2009, but I’ll say this for the guy, when he’s at full throttle he’s a heck of a running back.

 

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Rob Gronkowski has missed a full weeks worth of camp: The Fantasy Implications

New England tight end and fantasy football stud, Rob Gronkowski, has been quietly absent from The Patriots mandatory minicamp.

While according to both Gronkowski and Head Coach Bill Belichick he has been busy doing “other things“, ESPN’s Mike Reiss is reporting that the star is “working back from [an] undisclosed ailment that isn’t viewed as a long range concern”.

Gronk has had a rocky injury history, including a broken arm in 2012 that had him on the sideline for six games, a torn ACL in week seven 2013 that ended his season, and four surgeries on his forearm in 2013. Gronkowski also had a lot of people worried in 2015 when he suffered a hard hit to his previously ACL repaired knee. Though the hit looked nasty, Gronk was only out one game.

While his current injury is very likely and as report a minor one, it is worth noting for fantasy players. Bill Belichick is doing all he can to keep his stud player fresh, but being Tom Brady and The Patriots go-to-guy does take a toll on the body. It makes sense that Belichick would continue to keep a close eye and a tight leash on Gronk through the 2016 season as well. The Patriots already took a step in this direction by drafting former Chicago Bear TE Martellus Bennett, and Bennett isn’t just a pretty face. He was a consistent performer for The Bears and beat out even Gronk for receptions in 2014. It’s hard to imagine him not eating in to some of Gronkowski’s fantasy points.

Gronkowski is one of the best offensive weapons on the field and barring injury it’s hard to imagine him not cracking the top five most productive fantasy tight ends in 2016. However, I’m tempering my usually high expectations for Gronk this upcoming season. According to FantasyPros.com his current ADP is in the first round, and that’s just too steep a price to pay for me.

 

CJ Prosise MiniCamp Injury?

While the word of CJ Prosise’s progress in camp is positive, it seems like the running back may be nursing a hip flexor injury suffered early in OTAs. Injuries like this often occur during sprinting activities and can range from a minor injury (quick recovery and still maintaining full function) to a major one. (all muscle fibers are ruptured resulting in complete loss of function) Luckily for CJ it seems like his injury is a minor one.

Head Coach Pete Carroll finds the setback “frustrating”, due to his “big plans” for his new running back. To find out what I think those big plans could be check out my newest article at YourFantasyFootballCoach.com:

CJ Prosise: Fantasy Profile

Rookie muscle, tendon, and bone injuries seem to be becoming more commonplace. I’m not sure if this is because of the increased availability of information, so we’re simply more aware of the issue, or if there is some kind of breakdown in the conditioning needed to transition new recruits into the demanding expectations of the NFL. While Rookies are often expected to start proving themselves early on, often their bodies and conditioning aren’t up to snuff. This site hopes to delve more into this issue in the future.

 

 

 

Kevin White’s Possible Return?

Kevin White’s NFL debut was over before it had even begun, but it looks like there’s now a chance we’ll see him take the field. With the deadline for teams to submit their final 53 man roster, check out my article at Jock Journal, about White’s odds of a playing in his first rookie game of 2015.

http://jockjournal.com/2015/11/18/bears-kevin-white-injury-update/

Le’Veon Bell Leaves Game Due to Serious Injury

Le’Veon Bell left the game this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals with what appears to be a pretty serious knee injury. Anytime a running back is unable to support his own weight on a leg is scary, and it appeared he was clutching his knee in particular.

Initial reports are slightly optimistic. It appears Bell may have avoided a serious ACL tear, and the staff is hoping his injury is limited to his MCL. MCL tears are typically easier to recover from than ACL tears. If Bell escapes with just a torn MCL, the Steelers star running back could be back on the field in six to eight weeks depending on severity. If it’s an ACL tear he will of course be out for the season, and require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Le’Veon Bell is an amazing running back and an integral part of The Steelers. We’re all wishing him a speedy recovery. Check back for updates on his injury status.

The Steelers went on to lose the game 10-16.

Fantasy Football: Carlos Hyde is out Week 8 vs the Rams

Carlos Hyde will miss Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams due to a stress fracture in his foot. With Hyde being ruled out early, there’s a lot of speculation he’ll also miss Week 9. The good thing is the 49 Niners have a Week 10 bye, so Hyde will have plenty of time to rest up and finish the season strong.

On game playbacks, Hyde looks good. He is a great downfield runner with a lot of strength. He proved that early in Week 1 against The Vikings. After that performance he led backs in yards after contact, and total rushing yards. But since has fizzled out. In his first game as feature back, he annihilated The Minnesota Viking defense for over 160 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Hyde also did well Week 5 against the New York Giants, gaining 93 yards on the ground. It was the only other game so far this season he got close to breaking 100 rushing yards, and was the only other game in which he scored a touchdown. So what’s going on with Hyde’s fantasy numbers?

A lot of it comes down to the offensive line. The 49ers have a minus-36.7 run-blocking grade on the year. Even the most talented running back is going to struggle with a lackluster performance from his line. The holes just aren’t opening up for Hyde. Ironically enough, The line seems to get their act together against some of the better defenses. The Vikings and The Giants have cracked the top 10 for fantasy defenses, and both employee in impressive pass rushing defense. But it was against these two teams that Hyde and the San Francisco 49ers excelled.

The Niners are going to have to make some changes. They are going to have to bolster their offensive line somehow, and Colin Kaepernick is going to have to become more mobile and make some big downfield passes to open things up offensively. Carlos Hyde is by far their biggest offensive weapon. If Hyde does indeed miss Week 9, his fantasy stock take a substantial hit, if you can get him for cheap in a trade Week 10 or 11 pull the trigger. I predict a big swing in his fantasy performance. If the SF line can get their act together, Hyde should finish the 2015 fantasy season strong.

Julius Thomas Injury Update

Julius Thomas and the Jacksonville coaching staff are still mum on a timetable for for the return of their pricey tight end. The Jaguars certainly didn’t expect for Thomas to be sidelined going into week four after signing the tight end in March to a five year $46 million dollar deal. Thomas has been dealing with a broken finger that he sustained on his only catch during The Jaguars preseason. He underwent surgery on September 2nd after his healing wasn’t progressing as the Jacksonville coaching staff would like. He was originally set to return in week four, but obviously that’s not going to happen. He has received a check up as recently as Tuesday which Thomas said was positive. “The good news [from the surgeon] was no bad news”. Coaching staff has speculated that he should be back in time for their London game against Buffalo Bills, October 25th.

In spite of not having played a single down of football and still having no set timeline for his return, Thomas is owned in over 55% of fantasy football leagues. Fantasy owners, and the Jacksonville coaching staff alike, are eager to see him take the field. The Jaguars are desperately in need of a offensive weapon. They are currently tied for 29th as the lowest scoring team in the NFL, ahead of only the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, fantasy owners have him stashed in a valuable roster spot, in the hopes that their sacrifice will pay off. Thomas was very successful in his last two seasons with the Denver Broncos where he averaged 54 receptions, an 11.8 YPC average, and 12 touchdowns. With the Jaguars desperate need of an offensive boost, it’s likely that once Thomas returns, he’ll put up strong fantasy numbers. At least this is what his owners are banking on. Expect his fantasy stock to rise as we get closer to week seven. My advice is to pick him up early week six if you have the roster space.