Ben Tate Injury : What is the Fantasy Fallout for the Houston Texans?

Ken KellyContributor IIIAugust 15, 2010

HOUSTON - JANUARY 03:  Running back Arian Foster #37 of the Houston Texans is tackled by safety Brandon Meriweather #31 of the New England Patriots at Reliant Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Arian Foster, Steve Slaton, and Ben Tate were supposed to battle all preseason for the right to start at tailback for the Texans.

It looks like that fight is already over.

Arian Foster started the game against Arizona and rushed four times for 31 yards, including a 21-yard carry on his first touch of the game. He showed the quickness and burst the Texans coaches have been raving about all Summer long.

Steve Slaton proceeded to rush for just 22 yards on 10 carries, and caught one pass for 21 yards all in action after Foster was done for the night. Those unimpressive rushing numbers don’t tell the story, though. Slaton fumbled on the goal line. If there was one thing he simply could not do, it was that. In the end, he showed nothing to make us believe he can be anything more than a passing down weapon.

The biggest development came on the second carry of Ben Tate’s young career. After gaining 12 yards on a nice burst, he stayed down after an ankle tackle with what was being described as a “lower leg injury.” He was later carted to the locker room, unable to put weight on his right leg.

Details will come out later today at Gary Kubiak's press conference, but fantasy owners have to brace for Tate being out for the year with a broken ankle. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported that was likely the case last night.

Regardless, it was going to be awful tough for him to unseat Foster even if he was only out a week or two.

Slaton’s performance and Tate’s injury have left the door open for Arian Foster to take an absolute stranglehold on the very valuable Texans tailback job.

He should fire up redraft boards and be the first Texan back taken. In dynasty leagues, he’s suddenly become more than a handcuff to Tate.

In fact, tonight’s developments could turn that around completely and make Tate a handcuff to Foster for this season and beyond. Tate should be avoided until the second round of rookie drafts at this point.

It’s very possible that Foster has gone from sleeper to starter all in one night.

For the complete set of strategic 2010 dynasty rankings, click below:

Strategic Quarterback Rankings
Strategic Running Back Rankings
Strategic Wide Receiver Rankings
Strategic Tight End Rankings
Strategic IDP Rankings

Article written by Ken Kelly

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