Recently I purchased some
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) stock, I didn't purchase it because I am in love with HP products or that
I had some great inside information, but I decided to purchase after the CEO was
caught up in an "affair/scandal". What the CEO did was pretty stupid, and it was all
over the news. With that "bad press" HP stock was sold off from around $47
per share to $40 per share...a 15% decline in price in less than 10 days. The
CEO has been given "the boot". The question I asked was, "does this affair/news have anything
to do with the value of the HP business, or makes their product worse, or will
cost them a ton of money?". Their business didn't suddenly drop off by 15%, but
the perception of the company did. If you offer to let me buy a solid asset at a
discount, I will consider it anytime.
I feel the same about Steve Slaton
right now. Fantasy Football GM's seem to have moved him into the "bad" file and
are now focusing on other mid-Draft "hot" rookies and/or other flawed RB's.
Slaton's ADP and Fantasy Football ranking has fallen from once being a
Top-10 or 15 pick in last years Fantasy Football Draft, to the 100th pick +/-, and 40th overall RB
+/- in this years Draft. Why is that?
We know Steve Slaton did not have a
great season last year. A slow start, fumble issues and ultimately a season
ending neck injury. I would like to address these three issues and see if you
feel the same way that I do -- that there might be hidden value in Steve Slaton
for Fantasy Football 2010.
Issue # 1 -- Fumble problems
I cannot blame anyone for wanting to
ignore a RB that has major fumble issues. You would never take a RB that leads
the league by averaging a fumble every 2.4 games played in his career, or that
loses a fumble every 4.1 games, especially if that RB had the most
fumbles of any RB in the NFL the past 2 seasons. It is
just wiser to write this RB off and move on to others. Once you strike
Adrian Peterson off your Draft Board, since that's whose numbers I just
referenced, you can then look at dropping Steve Slaton as well. The 2008-09 fumble
Metrics between AP and SS:
Fum Per game
Fum Lost per game
Att per Fum (Rush/Rec)
Att per Fum Lost(Rush/Rec)
Neither of them are great at holding
onto the ball; and that's an issue/risk when considering their future
performance. They are the
two worst fumbling RB's in the NFL the last two seasons. But, why is it that
Adrian Peterson gets a pass and yet Slaton is portrayed as awful/washed up? Certainly it is
not because Adrian Peterson is so much "better" than Steve Slaton? Let's look at
the 2008 season where Slaton (rookie) and Peterson (2nd season) both played 16 games.
Trad FF PPG
PPR FF PPG
Yards per game
TD's per game
Catches per game
Yds per carry
Peterson was better for Fantasy
Football, but Slaton had a very respectable season. Slaton was much closer to
AP's Fantasy Football scoring in PPR ratings. AP is the better RB, but he gets
a pass on his huge fumble issues because he is "so good" and we see him on a lot
of TV commercials. Slaton is a very good RB too, and yet we are so quick to write
him off at the first sign of trouble.
Issue # 2, A bad 2009
It is true Steve Slaton had a much
worse 2009 than 2008, and certainly a worse 2009 than Adrian Peterson's. But,
how bad was it really for Slaton in 2009? You would think he was a disaster.
Overall he averaged 10.1 FF PPG (traditional scoring) and 14.1 PPR, in 11 games
last season before his neck injury. Which is not great, just OK. But, a
closer look at 2009 may reveal a little better picture of Slaton's performance.
Slaton started out the 2009 season
with 2 horrible games. The home opener against the Jets, in a season where many
RB's were horrible against the Jets in 2009; it's not a major crime. This was followed by a not so
spectacular Game 2 vs. the Titans in which he fumbled twice. After those 2 duds, the
next 5 games Steve Slaton started to get it back together. In games 3 through 7 of
the 2009 season Slaton scored and performed at a pace near Adrian Peterson's
Trad FF PPG
PPR FF PPG
Yards per game
TD's per game
Catches per game
Yds per carry
Slaton put on weight to bulk up last
season to assume a heavier workload. Many reported the extra weight slowed him
down. After the first 2 games of the year with some of the weight lost, his
numbers started back on a similar pace to the 2008 season. The 2009 problem
being Slaton kept losing fumbles while having good overall performances. Week 8
of 2009 began the Slaton spiral with an early fumble against the Bills, and
Slaton then being benched after one carry for one yard in the game (that hurt the
season averages per game...). Slaton started to pick the pieces back up the next
3 games with mediocre scoring but more importantly, no fumbles. After the Week
12 game with Indy it was revealed that Slaton had a neck issue that required
immediate/serious surgery; and his season was thus ended.
Slaton had flashes of great Fantasy
Football scoring within 2009, but the overall picture was messy and mediocre.
However the closer examination shows the talent and higher Fantasy Football scoring
possibilities were still there. The
5 game stretch in 2009 noted above, even with fumble issues, was better than his
2008 performance averages. Slaton has top Fantasy Football RB ability, but how
do we rate it for 2010?
Issue # 3, Neck Surgery
I had an initially thought process
that combined his season ending neck
surgery, and the drafting of Ben Tate as signs that the Texans were seeing a
massive problem with Slaton going forward. Given that information, I adjusted
the Slaton 2010 projections downward. I then watched the
preseason 2010 opener against the Cardinals, and three things jumped out at me.
Steve Slaton is healthy, and at
reduced weight. He was as quick this past weekend against the Cardinals as I
remember him from college. He fought for extra yards, with no apparent
hesitation from the injury. The Texans fed him the ball over and over to
test him. It was highly unusual in a preseason game for a vet coming off injury to get so
many attempts, he touched the ball 9 times during a 15 play drive. I wasn't
looking for statistical performance in this preseason game as much as I was
looking at his cutting ability and willingness to head into tacklers. He
passed with flying colors for me, one of the best RB's I've seen in the
Ben Tate going down to injury for
the season opens up a huge opportunity. I love the Metrics on Ben
Tate, and if Tate was there Slaton will have to share carries. With Tate
gone, I love Slaton's opportunity increase over that of Arian Foster or
No matter what the media sells
Arian Foster, I am not buying it versus a healthy Slaton. Slaton is a
better/quicker RB, and a much more accomplished receiving threat. If Slaton can
reduce his fumbles, with Tate gone, he can have a Top 10-15 RB
statistical performance in 2010 while having a current Fantasy Football ranking of
35-45th RB overall.
There are a bunch of flawed RB's
taken around the same time where Steve Slaton is selected in The 2011 Fantasy Football Draft.
Many/all of whom cannot likely produce Top-10 or 15 Fantasy Football performance
in 2010 like Slaton has the ability to, such as Michael Bush, Fred Jackson, Reggie Bush, Montario Hardesty, Darren Sproles, Thomas
Jones; I could go on....
Steve Slaton is a little like
Hewlett-Packard stock right now. The negative news has driven down their stock
price, but they are still an asset that has solid fundamentals and earnings
Ben Tate out for the season, it is time to re-examine the
projections on Slaton. Upon further examination, I see hidden value in Steve
Slaton...if he would please stop fumbling (he fumbled on the goal line in
the preseason game Saturday)!
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