Owners need to monitor Texans backfield

The backfield situation in Houston is one that fantasy owners need to watch with great interest in the weeks and months to come.

I’ve made it no secret that I think rookie RB Ben Tate is ultimately going to emerge as the best fantasy option, but right now it’s Arian Foster who is atop the team’s depth chart. The second-year back ran with the first-team offense during OTAs, and coach Gary Kubiak has liked his performance.

“I’ve been impressed with Foster,” Kubiak told the team’s official website. “(He) went from first year to second year a big jump, just (from) watching him practice.”

Aside from Foster, the Texans also have Steve Slaton in the mix. Slaton, who is coming off neck surgery, is currently lining up with the second-team offense. Jeremiah Johnson is also working to move into a more prominent role, though it’s not a likely scenario.

So where is Tate?

Well, the rookie out of Auburn had been sidelined with an injured hamstring. The ailment put him behind in the competition for carries during offseason workouts, but Tate did make an impression when he returned to action.

“Things I was impressed with: Obviously, he was paying attention and knew what he was doing,” Kubiak said. “We were actually doing some tough stuff on him … as far as no scripting, just calling stuff and seeing how guys react and turning the noise on. It was good to see him out here and get going.”

Tate is a perfect fit for Kubiak’s offense because of his skills as a one-cut back. So when the smoke clears, I expect him, not Foster or Slaton, to lead the Texans in carries and have the most fantasy value in what is right now a crowded backfield.

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