Fantasy Scouting Report: Steve Slaton

Joe FortenbaughCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2009

HOUSTON - DECEMBER 14: Running back Steve Slaton #20 of the Houston Texans carries the ball against the Tennessee Titans on December 14, 2008 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.  The Texans won 13-12.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Steve Slaton   

Houston Texans   

Age:  23   

Height:  5’9’’   

Weight:  203lbs   

Bye:  Week 10

Why We Like Him: 
A multi-purpose back with explosive open field speed, Slaton is a guy you can build your fantasy team around.  He’s coming off a rookie season in which he finished in the top 10 in scoring for fantasy running backs. 

Slaton’s got great hands and is a popular and efficient target for quarterback Matt Schaub.  He hauled in 50 of 59 targets, had nine games with 100+ total yards and ranked 10th in yards per carry, with a 4.8 YPC average (minimum 75 attempts). 

The Houston offense is one of the more explosive units in the league.  Opposing defenses are forced to key wide receivers Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter, not to mention tight end Owen Daniels, leaving Slaton free to expose the open field underneath via the ground and air. 

Why We Don’t Like Him: 
The Texans’ offensive success will once again be tied to the health of quarterback Matt Schaub.  If he goes down (which he has a tendency to do), Slaton’s receiving numbers could take a hit.  In the five games Schaub missed last season, Slaton only caught five passes for 72 yards and no touchdowns.

There is some talk about Houston trying to work another running back into the rotation to keep Slaton fresh, meaning he may lose some touches throughout the season. 

Fantasy Outlook: 
There’s a popular fear that successful rookie running backs will experience a “sophomore slump” during their second season, but we aren’t worried about any such nonsense with Slaton.  The Houston offense is still very lethal and Double S is a very integral part of that. 

Additionally, the Texans defense should once again struggle to slow down opposing offenses, meaning the Houston offense will have to keep their foot on the gas for four quarters.  We consider Slaton a top-tier running back so make sure he doesn’t fall past the top seven on draft day. 

If you like these scouting reports, be sure to check out our 2009 Fantasy Draft Guide.

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