Trade Bait: Moving Arian Foster

October 1 12:37am
AntonioD

By Antonio D’Arcangelis

Are you the kind of fantasy owner who’s constantly scrambling to take advantage of perceived (and real) changes in fantasy value, bombarding fellow league members with an onslaught of tempting trade offers? I’m here to tell you you’re not alone, and to tender some suggestions for prospective deals. I’m not certain that Arian Foster is still a Top Tier RB, especially with the emergence of Ben Tate as a reliable option in the Houston offense. There’s also no assurance his injury issues are completely behind him. But there’s still plenty of trade value in Foster; the guy was atop plenty of draft boards just a month or so ago.  If you’re a Foster owner and someone in your league still thinks he’s destined for fantasy greatness in 2011, here are some players you should be targeting in one-for-one deals or multi-player swaps with Foster as the centerpiece.

Darren McFadden, OAK – The Raiders feature running back no longer fights for consistent touches in the offense and is a healthy, high-powered engine for what’s proved to be a perfect system to showcase his talents. The main challenge is getting McFadden in open space, where he can turn on the speed boosters and pump through would-be tacklers like a super-charged thresher. I always espouse the benefits of having an RB1 with gamebreaking ability, and McFadden ranks up there with Adrian Peterson in his ability to take the ball to the house on a simple draw, a flat-stretching dump-off, or a simple counter-turned-80-yard- rumble. If a one-for-one doesn’t get it done, you could throw in some sugar. Can you spare a WR3 or 4 (Malcom Floyd, Mike Thomas) or an attractive TE like Dustin Keller ? If so, it’ll be a deal your opponent will have to consider, and you’ll be getting one of the best backs in football.

LeSean McCoy, PHI – Like McFadden, McCoy is a threat in both the running and passing game, and with Vick encountering his fair share of injuries, he’s now the consistent cog that allows Philly to advance the ball up and down field. His value is obviously highest in PPR formats, where he’s bound for solid numbers regardless of how effectively he navigates the mediocre inside running that’s plagued his scouting reports. Not too many owners are going to go for a straight up swap for Foster, so you’ll have to get creative with a 3-for-2 deal that swings the other players in your partner’s favor. But that’s a small price to pay for offloading a question mark and gaining a player who should continue to produce.

LeGarrette Blount, TB – In PPR leagues, I don’t advocate a one-for-one; Blount’s not used enough in the passing attack to warrant top-tier status. But this is unquestionably a running team, and Blount is used both between the 20s and in the red zone. In scoring only leagues, I think getting Blount for Foster is a great move, and in standards coring formats, you might be able to wrest another solid player away. Think Blount and LaDainian Tomlinson for Foster and a marginal WR4.

Calvin Johnson, DET – Calvin Johnson is probably the best receiver in the game right now, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t instill trepidation in the hearts of his owners. He’s missed a bunch of games in the first few years of his career, and his towering value is inexorably linked to Matthew Stafford’s shoulder. It’s a bit of a stretch to think anyone would part with Megatron right now for Foster straight up, but it’s worth a shot.

Matthew Stafford, DET – Speaking of Stafford, he’s another player you could make a play for if the circumstances are right. If you’ve gotten through the first few weeks without the likes of Foster (and with some solid RB depth) and need a top QB to keep up with the Tom Brady and Drew Brees owners, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that a Stafford owner will relent. Here, you have an edge in overall value, so you might be able to pick up Stafford and a Tier 3 guy like Tomlinson (or maybe even a Tier 2 RB) for Foster and a secondary QB option like Eli Manning or Josh Freeman.

Happy trading, and good luck in Week 4!!

Antonio D’Arcangelis is a fantasy baseball and football writer from Upstate New York. He’s written for Fanhouse.com and Rotoexperts.com, among several other sites, with columns syndicated on SI.com and Yahoo.com. Antonio specializes in IDP content, has 10 years experience as a fantasy writer and currently provides content for FFToday.com, FanDuel.com and DraftBuddy.com. He can be reached via e-mail and on Twitter.

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