Fantasy Football Week 4: Arian Foster and 4 Players to Buy Low Now
For the aggressive fantasy football owner, there is always room for improvement. Buying low on players poised to break out is a savvy move that—if done correctly—pays dividends at season's end.
Every struggling owner has his or her breaking point. Three weeks is still not very far into the NFL season, yet it may be long enough to convince some owners that their studs can never rebound. These are the ones to take advantage of, because there are still more than a handful of players that could do so.
Arian Foster is one of them, and coincidentally enough, he tweeted, "The day you become content, you die a little inside," on Tuesday afternoon.
That is not a terrible mindset for any fantasy owner to have going forward. Don't be lulled into complacency by a few good weeks. If there is a chance to improve your team, take it.
Here are five players that provide that chance and could be acquired much cheaper today than in other weeks.
Arian Foster, Running Back, Houston Texans
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Ben Tate has been a solid fantasy option in lieu of Arian Foster's hamstring injury, but once Foster is healthy, Tate will likely play second fiddle in the Texans' backfield.
While the Texans still have a potent offense without Foster, they are a much scarier one when he is available. His 18 touchdowns last season gave the Texans a red-zone threat that they just have not had with Tate.
Foster has rarely seen the field in 2011, and many frustrated owners selected him in the top five in fantasy drafts. The pressure is on them to gain value from that precious position, and they may be just desperate enough to let Foster go for a healthier option.
If bench spots are available on your team, then Foster is not a bad player to stow away.
Chris Johnson, Running Back, Tennessee Titans
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Forty-six carries, 98 yards, and countless head-scratches from his fantasy owners are all that Chris Johnson has given us to witness so far.
While Johnson has salvaged some value by contributing in the passing game, owners are becoming more and more frustrated. With a formidable matchup against Pittsburgh on the horizon in Week 5, some of his owners may be willing to pull the plug on a player they likely drafted in the first round.
Johnson's schedule does get easier after that though, with favorable opponents like the Colts, Panthers and Bengals awaiting in the near future. Losing Kenny Britt for the season could force head coach Mike Munchak to make Johnson the focal point of the offense once again.
We all know what Johnson is capable of. Better days should be ahead for CJ2K, and at the right price, the same could be said for your fantasy team.
Mike Thomas, Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Mike Thomas is not the first name that comes to mind when you think of fantasy studs, but that could be to your advantage. Thomas presents a major upside, especially in PPR (points per reception) leagues.
Going into Week 3, Thomas accounted for 41 percent of all of the Jaguars' passing targets. That pace remained strong in his most recent matchup against the Carolina Panthers where he caught four passes for 55 yards and a touchdown despite a torrential downpour.
Maurice Jones-Drew is still the best fantasy option in the Jaguars' offense, but Blaine Gabbert will continue to develop over the course of the season. Thomas figures to be his safest option, and one that many fantasy owners can still get on the cheap.
Mario Manningham, Wide Receiver, New York Giants
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Two pedestrian outings against the Redskins and Rams were bad enough for Mario Manningham's fantasy owners, but when you add his recent concussion to that mix, it leaves them reeling.
Manningham was a sexy pick to be a top fantasy wideout this season, but he has some serious ground to make up if that prediction is to remain true.
Upside is still there for Manningham, as the Giants' offense showed its first signs of life in Week 3 by putting up 29 points against the Philadelphia Eagles' defense.
Eli Manning is a veteran quarterback, and head coach Tom Coughlin will not take the ball out of the hands of a capable passer. Once Manningham is reinserted into an offense that is finding second life, his stats should have a major increase.
Jeremy Maclin, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
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Injuries to quarterbacks can be fantasy poison to entire offenses. Just ask the Indianapolis Colts. Michael Vick is banged up, and it would be to the surprise of no one if he eventually missed significant time.
Fortunately for Jeremy Maclin owners, the Philadelphia Eagles are not the Colts.
Mike Kafka and Vince Young are capable backups, and Jeremy Maclin is the Eagles' most reliable receiving option. He may not always have as high of a ceiling as his big-play counterpart DeSean Jackson, but Maclin is a solid possession receiver who is always good for at least a handful of catches each week.
With Vick's unhealthy status as well as reports that Maclin is ailing with a hamstring injury, some owners may not be as excited about him as they once were. If that's the case, buy low and witness a huge boost to your fantasy lineup in the not-too-distant future.