Ben Tate's Instant Fantasy Reaction Heading into 2013 Fantasy Playoffs

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2013

Nov 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Ben Tate (44) rushes during the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium. The Colts defeated the Texans 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Many fantasy football owners were left wondering whether or not they could trust Houston Texans running back Ben Tate after he gained just one yard against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12, but Tate has silenced his critics with a superb performance thus far in Week 13.      

Tate has been Houston's bell-cow back since it was announced a few weeks ago that Arian Foster would miss the remainder of the season with a back injury.

Although Tate has turned in a couple 80-plus-yard rushing games since being installed as the starter, he hasn't looked like a fantasy star by any means. That changed in Week 13.

The Texans rode Tate in the first half against New England to the tune of 61 yards on 12 carries. Tate allowed Houston to build a lead by virtue of two touchdown runs in the first half as well. As Dave Zangaro of CSN Houston pointed out, it marked the second multi-touchdown game of Tate's NFL career.

Tate added to his spectacular performance in the second half by breaking the 100-yard mark and scoring a third rushing touchdown. He finished with 102 yards on 22 carries. Along with quarterback Case Keenum's rushing score, Sunday's game marked the first time in team history that the Texans rushed for four touchdowns in a single contest.

Tate's outburst was somewhat surprising considering the fact that he had only one touchdown all season long entering the game. If his first-half showing is any indication, though, Tate will be a big-time fantasy factor over the season's final weeks.

With subpar run defenses in the form of Jacksonville and the Indianapolis Colts on tap over the next two weeks, Tate has suddenly entered must-start territory in the most pivotal time of the season.


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