Arian Foster Injury: How Does Hamstring Tear Affect Ben Tate's Fantasy Value?

Dylan MacNamaraSenior Writer IAugust 31, 2011

HOUSTON - AUGUST 20:  Running back Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans scores on a four yard run in the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Reliant Stadium on August 20, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Arian Foster, the darling of fantasy football owners everywhere, has a slightly torn hamstring, according to ESPN's John Clayton

The news is particularly troubling for Foster considering the proximity of the injury to the start of the regular season: just over a week.

The nature of the tear, which has been characterized as slight, should put Foster on the shelf for three to four weeks, which means he's likely to miss the Texans opener against the the Indianapolis Colts and possibly their Week 2 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

As is often the case in sports, one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity.

Second-year running back Ben Tate missed all of 2010 after breaking his ankle in training camp. The former Auburn Tiger was a second-round pick by the Texans who the team hoped would challenge Foster for the starting job.

So, what can fantasy owners expect from Tate this season?

At least to begin the season, a lot of production.

The Texans boast one of the NFL's top three or four offenses and, while they're particularly explosive through the air, whoever is carrying the ball should reap major rewards in the red zone.

Let's look at the facts: Arian Foster rushed for 570 yards and scored just one touchdown his senior year at Tennessee. He posted a 4.71 40-yard dash at the 2009 NFL Combine. He went undrafted.

Two years later, Foster was high stepping through defenses like a young Jim Brown on his way to winning the 2010 NFL rushing title and earning his first Pro Bowl invite.

Who's to say that Tate, a back with a higher pedigree and more impressive measurables, won't duplicate Foster's success?

Whether he does or doesn't, Tate is certainly worth plucking from your league's waiver wire. The value he carries as the Texans starter in weeks one and two are worth the loss of a matchup play wide receiver or tight end.

And, if you choose to draft Foster in your upcoming draft, handcuffing him with Tate is a no-brainer. You'll get top-10 positional production from that group, regardless of who is getting the majority of the carries.