How is Arian Foster's stock impacted by his sore hammy?


When Arian Foster left Saturday night's game after re-tweaking his hamstring, it sent the fantasy football world into a tizzy as owners tried to determine what kind of impact the injury would have on his draft stock. There were those that said that Foster should remain the #1 overall pick while there were others that argued that he's no longer worthy of a first round pick.

Where does 4for4 fall? Somewhere in the middle. On Sunday, the Texans were feeling pretty positive about the injury and are targeting Week 1 for the return of their star RB. Of course, the fact that Foster has already injured the same hamstring twice in less than a month is somewhat worrisome. What if this lingers all season? 
For his part, Foster tweeted:
"4 those sincerely concerned, I'm doing ok & plan 2 B back by opening day. 4 those worried abt your fantasy team, u ppl are sick"
According to Foster, anyone that's worried about his hamstring for fantasy reasons is sick, so I guess we're all sick. I'm not going to get into the merits of that argument, but instead focus on the first part of his tweet -- he's intending to be back by opening day.
That said, intending to be back by opening day and actually being back by opening day are two different things. And what if he comes back too soon?
This all adds up to a small downgrade in Foster's stock. Even if he misses the first 3-4 games (giving him 5-6 weeks to completely heal), he's still a first round pick given his projected production. We here at 4for4 aren't terribly worried about Foster missing much time, but the concern is enough to bump him out of the top spot. We now have him ranked #3 behind Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson in both standard and PPR formats.
Anyone who drafts Foster should try to draft Ben Tate and/or Derrick Ward as a handcuff. We favor Tate a bit (RB55 vs. RB78) but if both backs are healthy, they would probably split Foster's workload. Tate has more upside but has struggled with other aspects of being a full-time RB, like pass-blocking.
Assuming the news out of Houston continues to be good, then we may move Foster back up towards the #1 spot. In the end, whether or not a fantasy owner ends up drafting Foster depends mainly on that individual's tolerance for risk. Foster still has the most upside of any back on the board.
Filed Under: Preseason, 2011

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