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Arian Foster Rips Fantasy Football Players for Worrying About Injury

Is fantasy football turning us into machines? These days it seems as though all age brackets, species, and sexes are playing fantasy football. Whether you are trying to make a couple bucks or just enjoy managing your own squad, fantasy football seems to appeal to everyone.

As a result, we find ourselves worrying about the health of the players on our teams. In that sense there’s not much difference between monitoring your fantasy team and worrying about your favorite team.  Arian Foster, the No. 1 overall pick in most fantasy drafts after his monster performance last season, has a huge problem with people who are only concerned about his injured hamstring because of fantasy football.

“(For) those sincerely concerned, I’m doing ok and plan (to be) back by opening day,” Foster wrote on Twitter. “For those worried (about) your fantasy team, (you people) are sick.”

In a sense Foster is right and it is pretty selfish for people to only ask about his health because they drafted him in a fantasy league.  However, it’s no different from rooting for your favorite team. When Tom Brady tore his ACL do you think Patriots fans felt badly for him personally or were worried about their season?  It could be a little of both, but we all know the latter is where priorities lie.  We’re talking about a tweaked hamstring, not locker room devastation.

Chest bump to Pro Football Talk for the story.

Tim Hightower and Ray Rice’s Fantasy Stocks are Booming

In case you’re a new reader to LBS, you may not know that LB fancies himself somewhat of a fantasy guru. What qualifies him as a fantasy guru? Well when you start your own website you get to call yourself anything you damn well please. On a serious note, LB has been playing fantasy sports since elementary school and he’s been winning leagues on a regular basis for the past 12 years.

The secret to success is simple: LB relies upon a deep understanding of the game of football, a network of trusted sources, and personal observations to provide expert advice that delivers on a consistent basis.

Through the first three weeks of the preseason season, some fantasy trends have become apparent. I don’t like to recommend players until I 100% believe in them. Now I’ll share two players I think will star on your fantasy squad this year: Tim Hightower and Ray Rice.

[Read more...]

Daniel Thomas May be Featured Running Back for Dolphins, Prime Fantasy Target

If there’s one thing the Miami Dolphins have loved to do under coach Tony Sparano, it’s run the ball. They did it successfully in 2009 with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams but they decided to balance the offense with more passing last season. If they decide to shift back to a running focus, they may have their new featured back.

The Dolphins traded three picks (a 3rd, 5th, and 7th) to the Washington Redskins to move up in the second round where they selected running back Daniel Thomas 62nd overall. All my UCLA friends should recall Thomas well; he was the guy in a purple #8 jersey running up and down the field all game in the season opener.

Thomas ran for 1,585 yards on 298 carries (3rd most in the country) last season for Kansas State, so there is little doubt he is a workhorse. He also is adept at running the Wildcat offense which should be perfect for Miami.

Though it’s too early to start doing mock fantasy football drafts — especially with the lockout — we wouldn’t be doing our duty if we didn’t share this nugget on Thomas. As Rotoworld pointed out, Thomas is expected to be Miami’s featured back with Williams, Brown, and Patrick Cobbs all free agents. The Dolphins could bring one of them back, but the job will likely be Thomas’ to lose.

Ben Tate Medically Cleared, Will He Cut into Arian Foster’s Productivity?

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster capitalized on injuries to Ben Tate and Steve Slaton by rushing for a franchise-record 231 yards the first week of the season against the Indianapolis Colts. The undrafted back out of Tennessee didn’t stop there — he put together seven more 100-yard games for the Texans to earn the NFL’s rushing title and fantasy MVP crown. Though 2010 proved to be a monstrous success for Foster, an interesting item was revealed on Tuesday making us wonder how it will impact Foster’s fantasy status for 2011.

Texans running back Ben Tate announced on twitter that he was finally ready to resume his NFL career. “Went to see the doc today finally cleared no more rehab im sooo happy…..time for a vacation then back on the grind for the 2011 season!!!!!!!!#NOLOCKOUT” he wrote.

Tate was Houston’s second-round pick last year and he unfortunately tore up his ankle in the team’s first preseason game in August. Tate ended up on injured reserve for the entire season, and the starting job went to Arian Foster who became a star. Now that the former second-round pick out of Auburn is returning, one has to wonder if Arian will be as productive as he was last year.

There is little doubt that Foster fits into Houston’s offense perfectly and that he can continue his success in the league. The reality is that all teams share carries at running back — even Houston had Derrick Ward getting plenty of looks last season — so I wouldn’t worry about Tate. He has to worry about regaining the form that led to him being a high draft pick, and the Texans would be crazy to take the ball out of Foster’s hands more than they need to.

Tate’s emergence may give the Texans a better second option at running back, but I wouldn’t worry about him cutting into Foster’s stats too much. Arian Foster is still the man in Houston.

Larry Fitzgerald Doesn’t Recommend Himself for Fantasy Football

Not only is Larry Fitzgerald one of the most talented receivers in the NFL, he’s also one of the most honest. After dominating the fantasy football rankings the past several seasons, Fitz had a major dropoff in production last season. The change is due to the poor play by Arizona’s quarterbacks, a terrible trio of Derek Anderson, Max Hall, and John Skelton. Previously, Fitz had been blessed by playing with potential Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, and alongside Anquan Boldin who drew plenty of attention from opposing defenses.

Without an effective quarterback, Fitz joked to Luis Arroyave of The Chicago Tribune via The Big Lead that he would avoid drafting himself in fantasy football:

“I don’t know why you would take me next season … I have a couple things I need to straighten out before anybody takes me too high in the draft. Losing Kurt Warner hurt me a lot.” Should I pass on Fitzergald in my 2011 draft? “You may have to.”

Hopefully you were wise enough to take a pass on the Fitz last season knowing Arizona’s offense would struggle. And he’s absolutely correct — until they get a new QB, he’s nowhere near the top-tier fantasy receiver he had been in the past.

Losing Fantasy Football Bet Resulted in Unicorn Tattoo for Spud Mann

I’m not exactly the type of person who will put permanent ink on the line as the terms of a bet, but apparently some people are. In fact, in a fantasy football league between friends in Omaha, the guy who lobbied for the terms of the bet is the one who lost.

The Omaha World Herald has the story of Spud Mann who finished last in his fantasy league and had to get a tattoo agreed upon by the other nine members of the league. Here’s what they came up with:

He should have a fun time explaining that one to future girlfriends. Thinks he regrets it? Give it a few years, though we’re interested to hear how you think it compares to this tattoo and these ones.

Ryan Mathews Boosts His Fantasy Football Stock for 2011

It’s amazing how perspective has changed from real football to fantasy football, but I suppose the point is the same. After letting LaDainian Tomlinson go and trading up to get a running back in the first round of the draft, the Chargers planned to turn their rushing attack over to fresh legs in 2010. San Diego targeted Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews as their man but the plan did not pan out.

Mathews hurt his ankle in week two and returned two weeks later as a complementary back. He shared carries with Mike Tolbert for about six weeks, hurt his ankle again, and missed three more games. Mathews split carries with Tolbert the last three weeks but became the feature back after Tolbert was knocked out for the season with a neck injury.

Mathews saw a season high 26 carries Sunday against Denver, rolling for 120 yards and three touchdowns. He caught three passes for 19 yards and seemed to making big play after big play for the Chargers. This was the first time all year Mathews got a full dose of carries and he pounded the pill at will.

Mike Tolbert will likely be back to share the load, but after an off-season to rest, Mathews should be a monster next year. Best part of all, after starting off the year with a fumbling problem (one in each of his first two games, three all year), Mathews didn’t fumble over the final month of the year. He has the makings of a great second running back to draft next season in fantasy football, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Chargers start running the ball more in the future. For another take, check out Adam Rank’s post at NFL.com.

Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images