A major question for fantasy football owners is what to expect from Houston Texans running back Arian Foster in 2013. Dogged by injuries to his back and calf this offseason, Foster was taken off the PUP last week, yet opinions differ on where he should be drafted.
Why you can trust him?
Foster has battled early season injuries before and gone on to have terrific seasons. Remember his hamstring injury in the beginning of the 2011 season? It seems like a distant memory after his 1,224 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. While Foster may not rush for as many yards this season, he remains a premier back at the goal line. His 41 touchdowns since 2010 are the most in the NFL. The Texans schedule also lines up nicely for Foster as 10 of the 16 defenses he faces finished in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed per game in 2012. Foster will be running behind a strong offensive line and should get plenty of opportunities as Gary Kubiak remains committed to running the football utilizing the Texans' zone-blocking scheme.
Check out our updated 2013 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings.
Fantasy Ceiling: 2nd overall pick
Why you can’t trust him?
Foster has more carries on his legs (956) than any player in the NFL over the past three years. Several running backs have struggled after seasons with large amounts of carries. Could he be in store for a decline previously seen in players with significant mileage like Larry Johnson, Jamaal Anderson or Ricky Williams? A clue to pointing to a downward trend could be that Foster's yards per carry have declined each of the past three seasons, from 4.9 to 4.4 to 4.1.
Fantasy Floor: 6th overall pick (behind Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin, LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles)
Final Verdict: 2nd overall
Foster should be well rested after sitting out the entire 2013 preseason and will benefit from the strong offensive attack in Houston. Expect big numbers once again from the former undrafted free agent and the No. 2 player on Athlon Sports' final Preseason Fantasy Football Big Board, as he will continue to look more like LaDainian Tomlinson than Larry Johnson.