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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

2016 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: ARIAN FOSTER/WENDELL SMALLWOOD LOOK LIKE TERRIFIC LATE ROUND VALUE BLASTS

With 2016 fantasy football drafts well underway, a few keys are starting to emerge.  The first is that the running back position is filled with chaos due to the rampant committees that go even beyond two deep such as in Chicago and in both New York locales.  Also, the top running backs have age and injury question marks which make them quite risky investments.  However value is also presenting itself such as in the case of new Miami Dolphins signee Arian Foster and Philadelphia Eagles rookie Wendell Smallwood.  Let's take them each in more depth:

Arian Foster:  The former number 1 player in all of fantasy football, Foster is back in the league after signing a one-year deal with the RB-need Miami Dolphins.  With second-year man Jay Ajayi not wowing anyone in and around the Dolphins organization, the move to sign Foster was consummated and at the very least, sets up a potentially big value in PPR formats.  While Foster struggled running the football in his four games last season before he went down with a ripped Achilles, he was a huge asset in the passing game with 22 receptions.  With a head coach in Adam Gase who loves to throw to the running back, Foster is set to catch a ton of passes out of the Miami backfield and he could even work into the majority of rushing attempts as well since Ajayi is far from proven.  Of course Foster has a ton of mileage on him and a recent spate of serious injuries which makes him risky on a week-to-week basis but again in PPR formats his very late round price tag and path to playing time makes him a tremendous hedge bet.  I would do it.  Remember I told you the same thing about Foster leading into 2014 which was the last time he went into a season with drastically lowered expectations and he put forth a monster comeback campaign.  That is much less likely now but Foster has the skills to still be a big asset in the passing game. 

Wendell Smallwood:  News reports came out of Philly today suggesting holdover veteran Ryan Mathews is not a good fit in new head coach Doug Pederson's offense which emphasizes quick screen passes and running laterally.  This is not Mathews' strength as he is just a so-so receiver and his long penchant for getting injured has always been a big problem.  As a result, the rookie Smallwood is becoming a story as he is a tremendous receiver who opened eyes in OTA's with his abilities on that side of the offensive attack.  While Mathews is still slated to be the starter, Smallwood is a must add in PPR formats in the very late rounds due to his upside. 


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