In just about a month's time, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has gone from at best a guy who would receive a few carries a game, to possible low-end RB1/ high-end RB2 in standard fantasy football leagues. With the season finally upon us, it will be very interesting to see what Foster does in week one against the Colts.
The Texans drafted Ben Tate to compliment Foster and Steve Slaton this season, but he injured his ankle during the first preseason game and was consequently placed on IR, thus ending his 2010 season. Foster took advantage of the injury, putting together one of the best pre-seasons by a running back (168 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns). Slaton has been dealing with turf toe and fumbling issues, and is only expected to vulture third-downs away from Foster.
Houston is expected to be a high-potent offense as they have arguably the best receiver in the game in Andre Johnson and a now stud quarterback in Matt Schaub, who led the NFL in passing yards last season. This means Foster should get a healthy amount of touches in the red zone and really all over the field as the Texans should have a good ball control ratio this year.
Foster is a very safe option as a No. 2 running back as I feel that he could easily finish as a top-10 running back this season. Situation has become a very important factor in how fantasy running backs will fare, and his is really one of the best as he should dominate touches this season. All the coaches have been raving about the second-year player as being beyond his years and that he is just becoming a fantastic football player.
Foster was the starter for the last two games for Houston last year after Slaton was benched for fumbling at the goal line, and he excelled (over 200 yards and three scores). In Slaton's rookie year in 2008, he was a top fantasy running back, getting over 1500 yards and scoring 13 times. Those numbers are something that Foster could duplicate this year provided he stays healthy.
Week one against the Colts will be a good test to see if this hype about Foster is going to come to fruition. The Colts were one of the worst teams against the run last year, and this game should be a shootout as it features two of the most potent offenses in the league. I can't wait to see what Arian will do when it counts.