Look how quickly the fantasy stars can fall.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster was one of the first players off the board in many fantasy football drafts, despite it being well-publicized he was dealing with back and calf issues dating back to OTAs.
Foster made his debut in Week 1 on Monday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers, and put up underwhelming numbers as expected with his foreshadowed limited playing time.
On the day, Foster rushed 18 times for 57 yards and caught six passes for another 33 yards, including this awesome one-handed grab as captured by CBS Sports' Will Brinson:
Sick one-handed catch by Arian Foster out of the backfield pic.twitter.com/pwSVTaQQqa— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) September 10, 2013
The positives stop there.
Foster failed to convert on 3rd-and-1 and 4th-and-1 in the first half, and he dropped two third-down passes. His 52 total snaps produced just 90 total yards. Talented back Ben Tate saw only 20 snaps, but he turned those into 62 total yards.
Perhaps the most telling sign? Tate was in the game late rather than Foster, and the starting back was none too pleased about it, per Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle:
Obviously, they had a game plan going in of how much they wanted me to play and they’re trying to ease me back into it...But my competitive nature, of course it’s getting (to be) crunch time and the fourth quarter and you want to be out there. It’s just how it played out. In my opinion, you probably (should be) concerned with a player that’s happy he’s not in there.
Foster went on to say it would be a "couple games" before he feels back to 100 percent. Head coach Gary Kubiak told the media via ESPN's Tania Ganguli that he regrets not having a more even split between Tate and Foster.
So what does all of this mean from a fake football perspective heading into Week 2?
First of all, Foster will be splitting the load going into a Week 2 matchup with the Tennessee Titans—a team that gave him plenty of issues last year and has only improved in 2013:
|Game||Att||Rush Yds||Avg||Rush TD||Rec||Rec Yds||Rec TD||Fum|
With a tough defense on the schedule, a split on the way and Foster appearing visibly rusty, sitting Foster on the bench for Week 2 makes some sense if owners have other quality options.
As far as trades go, taking advantage of this iffy period for Foster is a great idea. Trading Foster is a bad idea, but if another owner is overreacting and wants to unload Foster, smart owners will make a point to take him for the right price.
Will Foster regain his 2012 fantasy form?
The right price is still a big value, but Foster isn't going to be this rusty all season. In fact, he will be better off down the stretch this year than he was a year ago, since he'll be on fresh legs and is easily the most talented back on the roster.
The forecast is grim for Foster in Week 2 with an even split and tough matchup on the way, but the trade market for Foster is worth investigating. There's huge upside to grabbing Foster now via trade and waiting for his old production to re-emerge.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling