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Fantasy Football 2014 Early Sleeper: Ben Tate

Ben Tate

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Most known for backing up superstar running back Arian Foster, Ben Tate will most likely be bringing his talents to another team in 2014. At the end of the 2013 season, Tate tweeted that he cleaned out his locker and doesn’t expect to be back with the Houston Texans.

Tate had his most productive season of his career in 2013. He 181 carries for 771 yards and four touchdowns along with his 34 catches for 140 yards. Tate also started seven games while Foster was out with a back injury. Tate finished 33rd among running backs with 100 fantasy points.

Even before the injury, which occurred in Week 7, Tate was featured in the offense. He rushed 66 times in the first seven games.  Tate took over the starting job in Week 9, after the bye. He had 115 rushes from Week 9 to Week 15. Tate missed the final two games after dealing with broken ribs for most of the season.

There are multiple teams that could use Tate’s skills including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns. The Browns are the heavy favorites to sign Tate. The Browns spent most of the season with Willis McGahee as the starter. He rushed for 2.7 yards per carry. Tate has a career 4.7 YPC and would be a huge upgrade for most of these teams at the running back position.

Tate is the best available running back in the 2014 free agent class and will be a starter wherever he signs. He can be an every-down back and is a good pass-catcher out of the backfield. If Tate can sign with the right team that will utilize his skills properly, then he will be a top-20 back in 2014.

Draft him as an RB3 in the middle rounds and reap the benefits.

Bill Pivetz is a fantasy sports writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Piv1127.