Saturday, September 12, 2015

On Second Thought: Alfred Blue

Alfred Blue stinks. Want proof? Pick a stat.
  • He ran for just 3.1 yards per attempt last season, while no other Houston running back checked in under 3.9. 
  • He was stuffed at or behind the line of scrimmage on 13% of his attempts - the fourth highest rate in the league (minimum 140 attempts). 
  • He broke a run of 15 yards or more on 1.79% of his runs - the fifth lowest rate in the league (min 140 attempts).
When I began creating lineups this week, I didn't give Blue a look despite his $3,600 price tag. But the more I think about it, he warrants consideration in both cash games and GPPs. 
  • The Texans are playing at home - always a plus for a running back.
  • They opened as a small favorite over Kansas City, though the spread is now Pick 'Em on most sites. Vegas is leaning towards a close Houston win, which suggests the game script will at least remain neutral for Blue.
  • Houston ran the ball a lot last year - a league leading 34.5 times per game to be exact. If they're able to stick to their game plan (and the spread suggests they will), Blue will see plenty of opportunity. 
  • Kansas City will be without stud run-blocking DT Dontari Poe on Sunday.
  • There has been no indication any other running back on the Texans poses a significant threat to Blue's workload.
  • With Ameer Abdullah ($4,000) and Chris Ivory ($4,100) priced right in his ballpark, Blue is going to be low-owned in tournaments. 75 rushing yards, a touchdown, and a reception gets him to 4x value. Those are attainable projections, even if Blue runs as inefficiently as he did last year.
Don't get me wrong here - Blue isn't anything close to a must-start this week. But if you're making multiple lineups and you're over-exposed to guys like Abdullah, Ivory, and Doug Martin, pivoting to Blue in a few spots makes sense.

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