Week Nine Analysis:
A hamstring injury has already rendered Arian Foster a game-time decision, and to make matters worse, he plays Sunday night. As if that weren't bad enough, owners may also be without the Ben Tate safety net, as he's also a game-time decision with four cracked ribs. If neither can go, it'll be some sort of committee consisting of a practice squadder and a couple of street free agents. Foster averaged 162 combo yards in his three games prior to the injury, and he's been a Colt killer his entire career. Unfortunately, between the late game time and the touchy nature of hamstring injuries, the wise move is probably to make other plans.
Week Seven Analysis:
Arian Foster entered the season having scored 56 times in 51 games as Houston's starter, but he was showing signs of yardage and usage declines. Through six games, that narrative has been exactly wrong. He's only scored twice, but over the last three weeks he's averaged 27 touches for 162 combo yards. His 4.5-yard per carry average and 59-catch pace would also be his best marks in three seasons. The Chiefs have allowed just two touchdowns to opposing backs all season, and only one back has cracked 60 rushing yards. However, they're below average against backs in the passing game, so that could be Foster's angle here.
Week Six Analysis:
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Arian Foster has touched the ball 58 times over the last two weeks, totaling 289 combo yards and a score. So much for a reduced workload. Those 58 very-productive touches came against the fierce defenses of Seattle and San Francisco, so Foster's earned this payday. St. Louis' 31st-ranked run defense has given up 159 combo yards and over a touchdown per game to opposing backs. Maurice Jones-Drew just had his best game of the season against the Rams, and two weeks ago, 49ers backs combined for over 200 yards and three scores. Expect Foster to cement his elite status this week.
Week Five Analysis:
While Ben Tate's 6.7-yard per carry average dwarfs Arian Foster's 3.8, he hasn't cracked double-digit carries in 10 straight games, and Foster is coming off a 33-touch outing against Seattle. By sheer repetition, Foster amassed 171 combo yards and a score against what was a top-3 run defense, and it was a winning formula before Matt Schaub's pick-six ignited a jersey bonfire. San Francisco just feasted on an ultra-soft St. Louis backfield, but against the power rushing attacks of Green Bay, Seattle and Indianapolis, the 49ers have given up averages of 143 combo yards and two touchdowns per game. Don't shy away from this matchup.
Week Four Analysis:
It's a sad state of affairs for Arian Foster owners. He's only scored once this season, he's yet to top 90 combo yards, and he's running at a career-low 3.9-yard per carry clip. What's worse, it's become a 60-40 split in the Houston backfield, as Ben Tate has notched double-digit touches in every game, and has averaged nearly 3.0 full yards per carry more than Foster. Brace yourselves, because things are about to get worse. Against opposing backs, the Seahawks rank 3rd in rushing yards and 5th in receiving yards. They're giving up just 2.8 yards per carry, so you'll need to set your sights at an all-time low if you're starting Foster.
Week Three Analysis:
For the second consecutive week, Arian Foster dominated the backfield snaps in Houston despite Ben Tate severely outperforming him. Foster's 37 carries on the season are more than double Tate's 18, yet the backup has out-rushed the starter 148 yards to 136. Tate's 8.2-yard per carry average is a full 4.5 yards more than Foster's 3.7, but the snap count suggests that Foster still has a stronghold on the job. Baltimore has yet to allow a touchdown to the position, and has held opposing backs to just 3.2 yards per carry. There's always a chance for a short score with Foster, but he's a low-upside option this week.
Week Two Analysis:
Arian Foster played 55 snaps to Ben Tate's 20 in the opener, and his 24 touches were more than the most optimistic projections. Unfortunately, he only mustered 90 scoreless combo yards. What's more, Tate was much more efficient, totaling 62 combo yards on 11 touches, while nearly doubling Foster's 3.2-yard per carry average with 6.1 yards per carry. Still, the snap count suggests that Foster has a strong grip on the starting job. Tennessee's bottom-tier run defense of a year ago got a free pass against Isaac Redman in the opener, but Foster has scored five times in the last three meetings, and he should get on the board here as well.
Week One Analysis:
Arian Foster enters his fifth season shrouded in mystery. We know that he's been an elite fantasy back since the second he cracked Houston's starting lineup. And we're also well versed on his criminal overuse and rapidly declining rushing average. But the $64,000 question is, "Is Arian Foster healthy?" Foster didn't take a single snap in the preseason, due to calf and back injuries. He's telling us he's fresh and rejuvenated, but he's also told us that he hates fantasy football. The Chargers project as a neutral opponent, and Gary Kubiak has confirmed that Foster won't get a full workload, so keep expectations in check.
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Coming off an 18-game, 460-touch season, Arian Foster owners will want to invest in both Ben Tate and BenGay. While Foster is still just 26, his rapid accumulation of mileage has seemingly already taken a toll. His yard-per-carry average has dipped from 5.0, to 4.4, to 4.1 over the last three seasons. Moreover, his receiving production plummeted 400 yards last season—from 617 to a paltry 217! It's not all bad, though. Foster has now scored 53 times in 49 games over the last three seasons, and Houston replaced the miscast James Casey with bulldozing fullback Greg Jones. Foster's 80 red zone carries were easily a league-best, and he'll remain a volume runner who regularly cashes in at the stripe.