Fantasy Football 2013: The Houston Texans Backfield Situation

By Adam Pfeifer
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The ugliest phrase in fantasy football is blatantly obvious, at least in my eyes. Not injury tags such as questionable or doubtful, not vulture, not even doghouse, something that David Wilson has grown quite accustomed to.

No, none of these phrases come anywhere near the dreaded backfield-by-committee.

There is nothing worse than drafting a running back that you strongly believe will see the majority of carries, only to have them end up splitting work with one of their teammates. We have seen this from teams such as the Panthers and Saints, but the Houston Texans? Not a chance. I mean, they have a top-three running back in all of football in Arian Foster, who has been an absolute workhorse for this team, seeing at least 320 carries in two of his four seasons as a pro. No one could take work from him. Not unless he was hurt.

Yeah, about that…

Foster was dealing with a lingering calf injury throughout training camp, which ultimately kept him on the sidelines for the entire preseason. It still doesn’t seem like he is back to 100 percent, and head coach Gary Kubiak realizes that, which is why he has (you guessed it) decided to split the workload between Foster and backup Ben Tate, who is a more than capable runner. In Week 1, it didn’t seem like there was much of a split, as Foster got 18 carries, compared to Tate’s nine, but Tate was clearly the more impressive runner, averaging over six yards per clip. Now, as we approach Week 2, Kubiak has again stated that he wants Tate to see an uptick in touches, which could very well frustrate the heck out of Foster owners. However, Foster will still be the top back in this roster, because, well, he’s Arian Foster. Don’t get me wrong, Tate is very good. But if you consider how much the Texans like to run the football, there will be more than enough carries coming Foster’s way, and being the best short-yardage rusher in football, he’ll see the goal line looks as well. If I am in need of a running back, I would hope that Foster continues to see less and less carries, while Tate becomes a bigger part of the offense. Why? Well, I think Kubiak is just trying to preserve his star running back for down the stretch, and once he is back to 100 percent, he’ll get the majority of the work again. Fantasy owners should try to pry Foster away from someone who is worried that he isn’t the top dog he once was. Sure, Tate is a very good player, but Kubiak and the Texans realize how important Foster is to there success, and at the end of the day, it’s his backfield for the taking.

With Foster, a continuing trend in the early stages of the 2013 season arises.

Buy low.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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