What an unfortunate way to end the season for Texans running back, Arian Foster. Late in their blowout loss to Miami, Foster suffered a non-contact injury which turned out to be a torn Achilles – which will keep him out the rest of the year. You probably remember, he already missed the first 3 games of the year with a groin injury.
Foster came off his best fantasy performance of the season with over 100 yards from scrimmage and 2 TDs. However, he has been underwhelming running the football with less than 3 yards per carry. At this stage of his career, many question marks surface due to his durability issues and age considered.
For those of you that made the ‘smart’ move and stashed Arian Foster on your bench with a late pick in your draft, you’re probably looking elsewhere for a replacement in your starting lineup. Let’s take a look at some viable options to consider.
Alfred Blue, Houston Texans
Let’s start with the guy who will actually replace Arian Foster. Coming into the season, Alfred Blue was a hot name in the fantasy landscape with Foster’s initial injury considered. However, he didn’t live up to expectations. Aside from his huge week 3 performance against Tampa Bay, Blue has went for less than 100 yards in 4 other games.
Perhaps Blue will be better this go around. If he fails to produce, I’m sure Bill O’Brien would have no trouble inserting Chris Polk into a starting role. Either way, it’s going to be a committee from here on out in Houston – at the moment, it looks like Blue will get more touches which puts him on the list. Monitor Chris Polk, though.
Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants
The big sleeper of the list, none other than Orleans Darkwa. In his first game of the season, the 2nd year running back emerged as a worthwhile fantasy option. Darkwa led the team with 8 carries and made a case for himself to get more touches in future games. He finished with 48 yards and a TD and looked very good when running the ball. Rashad Jennings had just 5 carries – perhaps a sign of things to come.
Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns
If you haven’t caught on yet, Duke Johnson is very good. The rookie has emerged as the top running back for Cleveland. He has especially made his presence felt in the passing game. Since week 3, he has averaged over 6 catches per game. While he has only one TD so far on the year, he possesses the big play ability – I expect a huge 2nd half for the rookie.
Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys
It wasn’t Christine Michael, or even Joseph Randle to lead the charge out of the backfield for Dallas this past week – it was Darren McFadden, surprisingly. McFadden came out of nowhere on Sunday as he broke 150 yards and a TD. Admittedly, I’ll say he looked great running the ball as well. Prior to the week 7, his season-highs for carries and yards were 35 and 10, respectively.
If McFadden’s performance this past week is a sign of things to come, you have to add this guy to your fantasy team – especially because Jason Garrett is swaying away from Randle as the starter.
Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs
After Jamaal Charles’ season-ending injury, Charcandrick West became a hot name in fantasy football. However, he posted a very poor performance in his first game as the starting running back for Kansas City. Following that game, there’s a very good chance you can find him in the free agent pool.
West bounced back in a big way this past week as he went for over 100 yards and a touchdown – a top fantasy RB in week 7 against a good Pittsburgh front. West will continue to get touches and opportunities to produce – probably the safest choice of anyone on the list.