Is Steve Slaton a pick-up this week,
since being released from the Texans?
should never want to defend Steve
Slaton again, but it is critical to
the chain of events of why we would
endorse this gamble Fantasy Football
waiver pick-up for this week. Explaining
how we were wrong in 2010, is important
in this article. Rewind the tape back to
the 2009 season...
Houston Texans have a disappointing 2009
season led by a disappointment from
their major RB Steve Slaton. In
the season prior, Slaton had a monster
rookie season -- 1,282 yards rushing,
with 50 receptions, and 1,659 yards in
total and 10 TDs...not a bad NFL debut.
instantly becomes Fantasy Football gold
after the huge 2008 season...a top-5
Fantasy player overall going into the
2009 preseason, only it doesn't go as
well in 2009 as it did in 2008. Slaton
fumbles 3 times in the first two games,
rushing for fewer than 2.0 yards a carry
on 26 carries...and the "boo-birds" are
out in full force.
following 5 games in 2009, Slaton
averages 106.8 yards per game (better
than his rookie season pace)...but still
Slaton is not running the ball
effectively (averaging just 3.5 yards
per carry). Worse, Slaton fumbles the
ball 3 more times in those 5 games, and
loses all 3 of them. Not good...
seven games into 2009, Slaton has
fumbled 6 times, and lost 4 of them. In
Game #8, Slaton loses another fumble
very early on...and is yanked from the
game. He plays sporadically in the next
2 games, with mediocre results (but no
fumbles). Slaton has a bit of a
renaissance in Week-12, with 106 total
yards...but then gets hurt. Neck surgery
is required, good-bye 2009. Possibly,
good-bye Steve Slaton's career.
late in the 2009 season, the Texans
interject unknown UDFA RB Arian
Foster into the lineup. Foster has
back-to-back 100+ yard rushing games,
and the season ends quietly for the
2010 off-season is filled with RB
activity for the Texans. Will Steve
Slaton ever play again? Is Arian
Foster that good, or just lucky in
Texans potentially answer their RB
questions in the NFL Draft, maneuvering
to take Ben Tate in the 2nd-Round
of the 2010 Draft. It is now assumed
that Tate will be the main-line RB,
Foster a fluke late-season RB of
interest, and Slaton must be done.
the 2010 preseason, Tate is injured
quickly...gone for the year. Steve
Slaton is cleared to play, but
questions abound on whether he is the
"old" Steve Slaton...or is the
"Foster kid" good enough to handle the
load. Foster and Slaton duel in the
preseason, Foster wins the duel...and we
know how that worked out.
entire 2010 preseason, we bet against
Arian Foster...and leaned more
toward Steve Slaton. For two
Arian Foster registered mediocre in
our computer scouting analysis coming
out of college. Good players with
college injuries can throw our computer
analysis for a loop. The injured players
don't test well at the NFL
Combine/Pro-Day (or don't test at all).
Based on what data we had, Foster was
mediocre. We also took a cue from the
Texans...how high was the Texans
management on Foster anyway, if they
moved up to take Ben Tate early
in the NFL Draft (Tate was an RB that we
did have elite computer ratings on)?
When we watched the 2010 preseason tape,
Slaton looked as fast as ever...and went
into the preseason games with reckless
abandon. Slaton had cut weight, and
looked fine off his neck surgery. Slaton
also had the history of success in the
NFL, Foster just a nice cup of coffee.
We bet on Slaton, or a split...thus
advised against Arian Foster (in the
immortal words of Bob Uecker from
the move Major League..."just a bit
important to note about our 2010 "bad
call" -- We watch a ton of tape, and we
watch players at certain positions
back-to-back-to-back-to-back, one right
after another. No commercials. We have a
greater ability to see patterns, or
something off...on tape. We watched a
ton of tape on RBs and Steve Slaton in
the 2010 preseason, and Slaton looked
fine...beyond fine, really good. Why
that is important....
people theorize that Slaton just "ain't
right" since his neck surgery. It's a
logical thought. However, he looked
great to us in the 2010 preseason.
Perhaps, you factor in that we are
complete idiots and don't know what we
are looking at...that's cool. However,
the Texans must have felt strong enough
to (a) keep Slaton on the roster, and
(b) felt strong enough about his health
that they had him as a primary
kick-returner (the most physically
dangerous position in the game,
supposedly). Not only, a dangerous
position, but one that would require
speed (you would think). Unless they
wanted to torture Slaton physically,
they let him return 39 kicks in 2010 for
a 19.7 average return. He must have had
something left in the tank?
didn't happen in 2010, is Slaton being
used heavily in the offense anymore.
Slaton had 6 carries in the 2010 opener,
and between 2-5 carries in the next 4
games (and NO fumbles all season)...then
never to touch the ball (as an RB) the
rest of the season. While the Texans ran
Foster into the ground with 327 carries,
and virtually all their carries the rest
of 2010 (some occasional relief from
2008 rookie sensation, the 2009 starter,
the 2010 fight back from neck
surgery...gets Slaton not even one carry
or target late in any blow-out game (or
otherwise) in the final 11 games of
2010. If I'm Steve Slaton, I'm
ticked off. The Texans don't owe him
anything, but put yourself in Slaton's
were your company's top salesperson as a
rookie, then considered the key
salesperson for your organization the
following year...but your sales start
out a little slow, then you get a fluke
illness and miss some work time. Not
only do you miss time, but another
salesperson fills-in and does as
well/better, and then takes your
standing as the lead salesperson for the
company the following year...after you
clawed your way back from the illness.
Not only do you lose your top
salesperson status in one year, you lose
the best territory...you are now given
the crap sales territory (like returning
kicks). Ultimately, the company doesn't
even invite you to the high-level sales
meetings anymore (a la no more
carries/targets at RB in he last 11
weeks of the season).
company doesn't owe you anything per
say. They pay you...and the company can
use you any way they want to. You can't
fault them for going with the
"hot-hand"...but you also can't be
faulted for being ticked off after being
a big producer, to suddenly ignored. If
you weren't ticked, something would be
wrong with you. I think that's where
Slaton is at.
think that is where Slaton is at,
mentally? I just watched the Week-3 game
from Sunday of Houston vs. the Saints.
Slaton got 4 carries in that game, a
nice 6-yard run early...and then 3
unemotional runs off-tackle where Slaton
ran into a clogged hole and fell forward
for virtually no gain. No attempt to
juke, no attempt to create
something...just a perfunctory run to
where he was supposed to go. Either
Slaton was reacting to a coach telling
him to just "hit the hole", or Slaton
ran like a person who could not care
less about their job...or the
outcomes/results for the team/company.
Have we not all been there?
If the Texans thought
Slaton was "washed up", why did they
allow him to return kicks in 2010?
If the Texans thought
Slaton was "washed up", why not
release or trade him before the 2011
If the Texans thought
that Slaton was "washed up", why did
he get two carries in the
1st-quarter a couple of days ago?
Why did they not have Chris
Ogbonnaya up from the practice
squad instead of running Slaton?
the Texans realized Slaton "quit" (and I
don't mean that as bad as it sounds) and
are angry, and/or the Texans finally
relented to give Slaton (who they too
had "quit" on) a chance at a fresh
start, seeing his disinterest in the
happens to talented people, who feel
slighted by their old company or
girl/boyfriend? Usually an upgraded
effort and output very soon after with
their fresh start employer/"rebound".
situation just doesn't add up to a
"Slaton just doesn't have it any more"
synopsis. That's just too easy. You'll
see it commented on (if at all) by the
mainstream, I'm sure -- "Steve Slaton
released, what a shame that he never
recovered from his neck injury"...
That's lazy journalism.
could have attitude problems, although
I've never heard him spout off about
being benched for almost 2 years now.
Slaton could have "lost a step"...I'm
not sure how? It's no sure thing to bet
on Steve Slaton right now...but I'm
willing to make a cheap bet on Slaton,
right now...not knowing what team (if
any) he will be on this time next week.
However, I think I do know what team he
will be on...
wrote/said it in the preseason, and I'm
betting it comes true now -- the perfect
marriage of Steve Slaton and an
NFL team -- is the Arizona Cardinals. I
know Kevin Kolb prefers a
check-down, quality receiving RB in the
passing game...hello, Steve Slaton
of the 94 catches in his first 11 games
of his career (8.5 catches per game
average). I will bet on the come of
Slaton in Arizona.
Slaton goes to Seattle, Miami, NY Jets,
Cincy, Kansas City, or St. Louis...I am
less excited about some of them, mildly
excited at others. A waiver pick-up this
week on Slaton, is a pure bet on Slaton
Arizona was willing to try-out
Chester Taylor off waivers, and give
20 touches to UDFA Alfonso Smith
this week (who hadn't had close to 20
touches in a game since his Freshman
year of college in 2006)...then I'm
thinking they will give Slaton a try.
Those in a PPR-league, this could be
in mind this is just a cheap gamble, and
we were not right about Slaton last
year...so what do we know anyway. Good
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