It's never too early to start thinking about your next fantasy football draft(s). Running the football has become somewhat of a lost art in the NFL, except in Jacksonville where it's the only way to survive.
LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster are two of the most productive running backs in football, both on the ground and in the passing game, but which one should be drafted first?
The Case for LeSean McCoy
McCoy had one of the best fantasy seasons for running backs in 2011. After rushing for seven touchdowns in 2010, he more than doubled that total last season with 17 scores on the ground. He added three receiving touchdowns—that's 20 total touchdowns, not to mention the 1,600-plus total yards he tallied.
The one drawback to McCoy's game last season was that he wasn't nearly as involved in the passing game as he was in 2010. He had 30 fewer catches (78 to 48) and 277 fewer receiving yards (592 to 315) in 2011 compared to 2010.
I don't see this as too big of an issue. The Eagles made a concerted effort to give McCoy more opportunities on the ground, and he capitalized.
Even though his receiving numbers were down, his rushing numbers were way up. Aside from the 17 rushing touchdowns, he had 273 rush attempts and 1,309 rushing yards in 2011 compared to 207 rush attempts and 1,080 rushing yards in 2010.
By the way, the 48 catches still ranked in the top 10 among running backs.
The Case for Arian Foster
Fantasy owners had high expectations for Foster last season after his 2,200 total yards and 18 touchdowns in 2010. He missed three games due to injury, but Foster still tallied over 1,800 total yards but managed just 12 touchdowns in 2011. It's funny that 12 touchdowns sounds like an underachievement, but that was the case with Foster last season.
Despite missing three games, Foster was still fifth among running backs with 53 receptions and third among running backs with 617 receiving yards.
Both McCoy and Foster averaged 15 touchdowns the past two seasons, but Foster has averaged 382 more total yards than McCoy the past two seasons.
Right now, I like a healthy Foster over a healthy McCoy. Ultimately, the gavel is in your hands.