Fantasy Football Week 2: Is Ben Tate a Smarter Start Than Arian Foster?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2011

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 11:  Running back Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans rushes against the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Houston, Texas. The Texans won 34-7.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Texans' Arian Foster is expected to return to the team this week, but Gary Kubiak intimated that Ben Tate will likely see more action in the backfield.

As far as fantasy football starters go this week, it makes a lot more sense to start Tate over the reigning rushing champ.

Without Foster, the Texans know that they can still run the football. Therefore, they have no reason to rush him back into the fold or overexpose him to any potential hits.

Tate had a great start for fantasy owners in his NFL debut last week. He rushed 24 times for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts' rush defense is awful and the Miami Dolphins should provide a sterner test with their strong defensive line and athletic linebackers.

However, Tate can still get the job done. He is an abrasive runner with explosion to break off big gains. Tate didn't have a reception last week and he won't ever offer the same numbers to fantasy owners that Foster does in that area.

However, Foster won't be at 100 percent, even if he does get on the field this weekend. It is better to have a runner that you know is getting carries in a good situation, rather than one who has question marks.

Hamstring injuries are difficult to deal with as they can easily become a recurring issue. The odds on Foster pulling up once he tries to hit full speed once again this Sunday aren't that long.

At least, with Tate, you know that he will make the most of his carries and the offense will feel comfortable to rely on him. Should the Texans get ahead in the game, Tate will be their closer along with Derrick Ward.

Foster will only be risked by the Texans if they need him to help them win the game. If the game is wrapped up early, he will be wrapped up on the sidelines.

Why would they risk him long-term when they don't actually need him to win in the short-term?

If you have Arian Foster and Ben Tate in your fantasy teams, starting Ben Tate appears to be the smart move.