Arian Foster is one of the premier running backs in all of football, but when your understudy is gaining more yards per carry and making better use of his opportunities, questions have to be asked.
Will the Houston Texans have to increase Tate's workload moving forward?
Can Tate and Foster coexist with minimal friction?
And where in the world is Carmen San Diego?
Let's address what the reemergence of Tate means moving forward for all parties involved:
For Arian Foster
When Tate gets the ball he makes plays—and luckily for the Texans, so does Arian Foster. There is no reason to assume his carries will drop moving forward, and a continued average of 20-26 carries is never going to be an issue.
However, the trouble for Foster is that Tate is poaching some of his goal-line carries. Tate had two touchdowns from within the red zone against the Jaguars. He did not get those kind of touches in Week 1, so maybe this is just an isolated incident.
But if Tate receives more goal-line work in Week 3 and beyond, it may spell the end of Foster's red-zone work. Tate is less of an injury risk, and the Texans likely would love the luxury of having him earn the tough yards over the consistently fragile Foster.
For the Texans
This could not be a much better scenario for Houston if Tate's success continues. The Texans were hoping to lighten Foster's workload this year, not because of diminishing returns, but because of frequent injuries.
Now they can interchange two stud running backs and limit injury opportunities for each.
Tate is on a balanced playing field with Foster as far as pass-catching abilities go, and Tate has averaged more than five yards per carry in his young career.
In other words, defenses cannot assume run or pass based on who is in the backfield, as both Foster and Tate are versatile playmakers.
For Fantasy Owners
Fantasy owners beware! Tate is officially "vulturing" all-important fantasy points from your presumable top three selection.
Again, his goal-line work may prove to be an aberration, but it is scary to see two red-zone touchdowns for Tate and only one for Foster.
Are you ever going to consider benching Foster?
Maybe in a two-team league between you and yourself, but if this becomes a trend, it certainly will be an alarming one. Let the season play out a bit more before even considering starting the understudy over the star in Houston.