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Wolf's Big Board:     Monday, May 29, 2017     Tier One - The Big Three   1 ) David Johnson (ARI) RB1   2 ) Le'Veon Bell (PIT) RB2   3 ) Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) RB3   Tier Two - High-end WR1 and RB1s   4 ) Antonio Brown (PIT) WR1   5 ) Julio Jones (ATL) WR2   6 ) Mike Evans (TB) WR3   7 ) Odell Beckham JR. (NYG) WR4   8 ) DeMarco Murray (TEN) RB4   9 ) Melvin Gordon (LAC) RB5   10 ) LeSean McCoy (BUF) RB6   11 ) Jay Ajayi (MIA) RB7   12 ) AJ Green (CIN) WR5   13 ) Jordy Nelson (GB) WR6   14 ) Michael Thomas (NO) WR7   15 ) Dez Bryant (DAL) WR8   16 ) Devonta Freeman (ATL) RB8   Tier 3 - Lower-end RB1 and WR1s, elite second options   17 ) Lamar Miller (HOU) RB9   18 ) DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) WR9   19 ) TY Hilton (IND) WR10   20 ) Leonard Fournette (JAX) RB10   21 ) Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE1   22 ) Brandin Cooks (NE) WR11   23 ) Demaryius Thomas. (DEN) WR12   24 ) Jordan Reed (WAS) TE2   25 ) Doug Baldwin (SEA) WR13   26 ) Amari Cooper (OAK) WR14   Tier 3.5   27 ) Todd Gurley (LAR) RB11   28 ) Carlos Hyde (SF) RB12   29 ) Christian McCaffrey (CAR) RB13   30 ) Jordan Howard (CHI) RB14   31 ) Marshawn Lynch (OAK) RB15   32 ) Davante Adams (GB) WR15   33 ) Alshon Jeffery (PHI) WR16   34 ) Isaiah Crowell (CLE) RB16   35 ) Tyreek Hill (KC) WR17   36 ) Keenan Allen (LAC) WR18   37 ) Spencer Ware (KC) RB17   Tier 4 - Elite QBs, Solid #2 RBs + WRs, side TE1s   38 ) Bilal Powell (NYJ) RB18   39 ) Tom Brady (NE) QB1   40 ) Sammy Watkins WR19   41 ) Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB2   42 ) Travis Kielce (KC) TE3   43 ) Terrelle Pryor (WAS) WR20   44 ) Allen Robinson (JAC) WR21   44 ) Mike Gillislee (NE) RB19   45 ) Mark Ingram (NO) RB20   46 ) Golden Tate (DET) WR22   47 ) Jamison Crowder (WAS) WR23   48 ) Greg Olsen (CAR) TE4   48 ) Tevin Coleman (ATL) RB21   49 ) Willie Snead (NO) WR24   50 ) Doug Martin (TB) RB22   51 ) Michael Crabtree (OAK) WR25   52 ) Brandon Marshal (NYG) WR26   53 ) Julian Edelman (NE) WR27   54 ) Donte Moncrief (IND) WR28   55 ) Drew Brees (NO) QB3   56 ) Ameer Abdullah (DET) RB23   57 ) Jimmy Graham (SEA) TE5   58 ) Tyler Eifert (CIN) TE6   59 ) Martavis Bryant (PIT) WR29   Tier 5 - Last Startable WRs and RBs + TE1 Candidates   60 ) Pierre Garcon (SF) WR30   61 ) Eric Decker (NYJ) WR31   62 ) Jarvis Landry (MIA) WR32   63 ) Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) WR33   64 ) Samaje Perine (WAS) RB24   65 ) Joe Mixon (CIN) RB25   66 ) CJ Anderson (DEN) RB26   67 ) Matt Ryan (ATL) QB4   68 ) Stefon Diggs (MIN) WR33   69 ) Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) WR34   70 ) Ty Montgomery (GB) RB27   71 ) Hunter Henry (LAC) TE7   72 ) Corey Davis (TEN) WR35   73 ) Adrian Peterson (NO) RB28   74 ) Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) WR36   75 ) Delanie Walker TE8   76 ) Paul Perkins (NYG) RB29   77 ) CJ Prosise (SEA) RB30   78 ) Eddie Lacy (SEA) RB31   79 ) Dalvin Cook (MIN) RB32   80 ) Theo Riddick (DET) RB33   81 ) Frank Gore (IND) RB34   82 ) Cameron Meredith (CHI) WR38   83 ) Mike Wallace (BAL) WR39   84 ) DeSean Jackson (TB) WR40   85 ) Martellus Bennett (GB) TE9   TIer 7 - side QB1s and Top WR and RB Lottery Tickets   86 ) Andrew Luck (IND) QB5   87 ) Derek Carr (OAK) QB6   88 ) Kirk Cousins (WAS) QB7   89 ) Marcus Mariota (TEN) QB8   90 ) Philip Rivers (LAC) QB9   91 ) Ben Roethlisberger QB10   92 ) Dak Prescott (DAL) QB11   93 ) Jameis Winston (TB) QB12   94 ) Joe Williams (SF) RB35   95 ) Derrick Henry (TEN) RB36   96 ) Kareem Hunt (KC) RB37   97 ) Jamaal Williams (GB) RB38   98 ) Davante Parker (MIA) WR41   99 ) Josh Doctson (WAS) WR42   100 ) Ted Ginn (NO) WR43  
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Stock Up: Peak-conditioned Arian Foster receiving first team work, impressing in camp

Arian Foster, currently sporting a consensus ADP price tag of #89 overall in PPR leagues and #97 in standard (RB38), is shaping up as a fantasy football must-own. The ceiling to cost ratio is completely imbalanced, and even if these prices rise a round or two, Foster offers enormous upside anywhere in the 6th and beyond.

Although yesterday’s news of Foster beginning camp on the PUP list drew concerns and eye rolls in equal measure, any doubt should be erased after he reportedly “annihilated” his physical and impressively returned to the practice field today:

This is crucial for a number of reasons. His recovery and return to form after Achilles surgery was no guarantee, yet players with limitations don’t typically “annihilate” their physicals.  Additionally, there’s a real chance Foster’s abysmal 2015 rushing  performances (2.6 YPC average) were largely due to health and lingering effects of his groin surgery. Yes, at age 30, Foster may have lost a step after some serious workloads; if he regains some juice now back to 100%, Foster’s in line for some steady RB2 production whenever he touches the field, and the ceiling for far greater exists.

Talent-wise, a healthy Foster is among the most fluid runners, with elite patience and vision in his reads. He seems to just glide, and is truly a treat to watch. Moreover, the long time Texan is the consummate do-it-all “workhorse.” His all around game, specifically his route running and receiving ability, has already been praised on numerous occassions by new head coach Adam Gase. Upon signing Foster, Gase made the following remarks:

“I just think it adds great competition to that group. I really like his skill set. I’ve been an admirer of his for I don’t know how long he’s been playing. It just feels like forever. A great opportunity for us, him still being out there. We had been in conversations with him for a while. We had brought him in on a visit and we had a really good talk and just kind of allowed him to get healthy and work to get back. It’ll be interesting when we get him out there and just to see how he kind of fits in…

On his route running, Gase said: “I’ve always been a fan of how he does things. He’s the type of guy that he can run his route tree similar to what a wide receiver’s is. When we worked him out, I put him in a couple of spots just to see how that looked and he runs about as smooth as any running back that I’ve ever seen. I’ll be interested to see how far we can grow the running back position with him.”

Foster himself has said, “I still feel like I’m a Pro Bowl-caliber player, and I intend to show it.” Though positive comments are expected, I never mind a motivated and confident player, particularly someone with such historic excellence as Arian Foster.
These type of comments can’t be taken lightly, as Gase’s offensive scheme is very kind to RBs. Gas loves to feature do-it-all backs in featured roles. When discussing his run-game philosophies, Gase noted:

“Any time you’re playing that spot in this offense, you have to be able to do it all. It’s not a one-trick pony type of offense. You have to be able to protect. You have to be able to run the ball. You have to be able to catch. So we really don’t believe in, ‘Hey, you’re just a first- and second-down back.‘ I don’t know what that means. We look for guys that can stay on the field all three downs because we’re not looking to ‘sub’ personnel. We want guys that can be in great shape, stay out there and then, if we need to switch somebody out because we’re having a long drive, then so be it. But really, whoever the guy is that we’re starting with in the series, that’s the guy I want to finish.”

So what you’re saying is your fully against committees? My kind of guy.

This type of volume and varied usage has helped backs like Knowshon Moreno and C.J. Anderson in Denver, as well as Jeremy Langford and Matt Forte in Chicago, achieve RB1 status. From that list, only Matt Forte rivals a healthy Foster as a runner and receiver. In his first practice, he flashed these skills with a one hand grab:

Nice grab, @ArianFoster.

A post shared by Miami Dolphins (@miamidolphins) on

(Side note – how fresh does he look in the Dolphins colors?)

After the team had previously been endorsing Jay Ajayi as “the guy” all offseason, Foster’s exact opportunity / usage in Miami initially appeared to be the most glaring question mark.  Since the signing, however, all the chatter about Foster’s role has done nothing but improve his fantasy outlook. After the Miami Herald labeled him as “the favorite to start,” Foster worked with the first team offense throughout his first day of camp:

Plus, the team features strong surrounding talent; Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker form a dangerous duo at wideout, while Miami’s line should rank among the top-half in the league with health and the addition of first round mauler Laremy Tunsil. Foster is among the most dangerous backs at the stripe, as any previous owner who revels in his bows would know. He should have a fair share off red-zone capping chances in this offense.

To summarize — an ultimate three down threat is annihilating physicals en route to the starting role in a scheme that features workhorses. And he’s available in Rounds 8 and 9? Yes, please, thank you.

I know Foster is going to miss time. That’s why investing in the entire backfield, and locking up Ajayi too as his price plummets, is the best course of action. Whoever’s starting will yield weekly RB2 numbers in Gase’s offense, and a revitalized Foster offers an RB1 ceiling.  When all’s said and done, Foster soars up to my RB22 (updated cheat sheet here) and #61 overall (updated Big Board here), with the potential for a further boost if he keeps showing well. This remains one of the most important backfields to track all summer.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Rankings: Top 150 Big Board – Roto Street Journal

  2. Pingback: Fantasy Football Stock Report: Andrew Luck struggling in training camp – Roto Street Journal

  3. Melia

    May 20, 2017 at 3:45 am

    this post made me emo again aunty terri! :-X thank you so much for being there, and being part of the celebrations. i just wish yi was around, and she coulda been here too. and yes, if you had made the cake, it woulda been even more perfect!!! :plove, kisses and so much hugs for just being the wonderful aunty terri that you are, the beautiful pictures u took, the lovely words u wrote, and the very sweet presents u gave meXOXXOXOXOXOXOXOXO.OXOXXXOXOOO

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