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An Ode to Arian Foster and All the Fallen


Every single year I’ve wanted to own Arian Foster in fantasy…but my brother always drafted him first (curse you, Sam!). Foster was one of the surest bets you could make: he was reliable, beastly, and made running and scoring touchdowns look easy. He was quick, powerful, and strong. In his prime, he was a lock in everybody’s fantasy lineups, no questions asked.

In case you were busy yesterday and didn’t check your Twitter, Arian Foster announced that he was retiring at the age of 30. His reasoning: his body couldn’t handle any more rehab, so it was time to call it a career. He finished with 6,527 rushing yards and 54 touchdowns.

We all know that Foster had hamstring and Achilles problems throughout his career, and apparently this latest injury was too much to come back from. I think it’s brave that he left on his own terms, and wasn’t forced into free agency or content to sit on the bench. Enjoy your post-football life, Arian, and thanks for helping my brother beat my team in fantasy all those years. #NeverForget #RIP

INJURIES, INJURIES EVERYWHERE!

This year, sitting on the bench and nursing injuries seems to be a very common trend for running backs. I know injuries happen every year, and it’s unavoidable, but this year seems more brutal than usual. Running backs like Adrian Peterson, Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Jonathan Stewart, Jeremy Langford (not a huge loss), Ameer Abdullah, Danny Woodhead, Doug Martin, Theo Riddick, Charles Sims, Carlos Hyde, Tevin Coleman, DeAngelo Williams, Chris Johnson, and others that I can’t think of right now have fallen prey to injuries, some even season ending, which leaves a gaping hole in fantasy lineups. #GetWellSoon

Basically what I’m saying is that I’m a David Johnson injury away from losing my mind. If he goes down, I’m going to riot. So, please David “The Savior” Johnson (just made that up, let’s get it trending), stay healthy and perfect.

The running back injuries this year have been frequent and devastating, and we’re only through seven weeks of the season. There are bound to be more injuries on the horizon. So, here are some running backs to target if you need a fill-in for a fallen running back, or want to prepare yourself if your star running back goes down.

FILL-INS

Have running back woes? In bye week trouble, and need a one-week starter? Consider these talented folks:

Ty Montgomery, Packers – For all you Eddie Lacy/James Starks owners out there, pick up Ty Montgomery if he hasn’t been snatched up yet. You can now use him as a wide receiver or running back, but last week he had 10 catches for 66 yards, and led the team in rushing with nine rushes for 66 yards.

Matt Asiata, Vikings – With McKinnon injured and possibly not playing Week 8, Asiata’s workload is set to increase. Even though it’s not a great matchup against the Bears, he could be in the RB2 range this week if McKinnon is out.

Chris Thompson, Redskins – As I predicted, Matt Jones self-destructed this past Sunday (I have never been on the Matt Jones train), and Chris Thompson stepped up, totaling 113 total yards. If you’re desperate, he may be worth it, but I have a hard time trusting the Redskins backfield.

Thomas Rawls, Seahawks – If your fantasy league is anything like mine, someone probably dropped Rawls a few weeks ago. He is most likely set to return to practice either this week or next, so if he’s available, he’s a must-add right now, and he could fix your running back problem if he returns to 2015 form.

HANDCUFFS (AKA PREPARE YOURSELF)

Afraid that your star running back is due for an injury? You’re probably right. You may want to pick up these backups if they’re still available.

Devontae Booker, Broncos – Let’s talk Booker. Last night against the Texans he split time with C.J. Anderson 50/50, and he looked good. C.J. still outperformed him, but when C.J. hobbled off the field with a knee injury, I dreaded not handcuffing my C.J. with Booker. Don’t be like me. Pick up Booker if he’s available in your league.

Derrick Henry, Titans – With Demarco Murray having another awesome year, Henry has pretty much been forgotten. However, Henry has showed promise and if Murray goes down, Henry is capable enough to pick up the mantle. I have him stashed, and so should you.

Alfred Blue, Texans – Last night, Lamar Miller suffered a shoulder injury, and Alfred Blue took his place. As the long time backup to Arian Foster, Blue isn’t great, but is still a worthy handcuff to Miller if he ends up missing any time.

Mike Gillislee, Bills – Since LeSean McCoy is still dealing with a leg injury, Gillislee will be the next in line if McCoy doesn’t play Week 8. Stash him now, and see how this week plays out.

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