In case anyone missed the Monday morning stat line on the Texans/Colts matchup, it was NOT Andre Johnson or Reggie Wayne who stole the show. In fact, it was Houston's newest offensive weapon, Arian Foster who literally tore a new "you know what" in the Colts defense. Foster ripped the Colts for 231 rushing yards and a whopping 3 TDs on 33 carries in route to a 34-24 Houston victory.
But despite the huge performance, there are still a lot of people wondering if Foster will repeat this success for an entire season.
Well sir, I for one think he will and here's why.
I'll take three short viewpoints into factor: The Football Factor, The Schedule Factor, and The Intangible Factor in an attempt to see into the "fantasy future" of Mr. Foster.
The Football Factor:
The Texans entered this year with a brand new offensive aspect; one that they never truly had before: A competent rushing attack. Widely viewed year in and year out as a pass first team, Houston made a few changes this year starting with new Offensive coordinator Rick Denninson who was responsible for Denver's famed zone-blocking ground attack during the Mike Shanahan era.
What's important to understand here, is coach Kubiak believes in a one-cut and go type of rushing attack which is a style of running that rests heavily on a zone-blocking scheme up front in the trenches.
The Colts struggled immensely against the Texans aggressive "push-first" front five, and there is little reason to think this won't continue for the remainder of the year. The 42-17 run-to pass ratio shows that the Texans are now a two headed monster, which sends Arian Foster's value to the moon after just one week.
Conclusion: This was not a fluke game folks, Arian Foster is the real deal. The heavily favored run approach, however, will not be a constant. This game was simply based on matchups, but the schedule is a great tool to try and sniff out the most opportunistic games on the horizon, which we'll take a look at next.
The Schedule Factor:
We'll start this off by reminding everyone that Fantasy Football is not just about stats and predictions. The irony of fantasy football, is that a great deal of reality shapes how the game is played, managed, and won.
There are only five teams the Texans face this year that were ranked in the Top 10 for rushing defense in 2009: Dallas, New York Jets, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Tennessee. Out of those teams Philadelphia is the only team that actually went backwards in team rushing defense.
The rest of the Texans' schedule features a bunch of suspect defenses that all showed issues stopping the ground game in Week One (exception goes toward the Chiefs and Chargers who have not played at the time of this article, but they still stink against the run): Washington, Oakland, New York Giants, Kansas City, Indianapolis again, Jacksonville, Denver, and San Diego.
The Jaguars and Giants are the only two teams in that list who did not allow over 100 yards rushing (each team allowed just 89 rushing yards) but I don't see that trending all year long.
Conclusion: Arian Foster has already made a case for himself to be an every day Start candidate leaving Steve Slaton as the perpetual Sit nominee, but unless things drastically change from 2009 (in regard to team defenses that is), Arian Foster is simply primed for one helluva season, barring injuries or something worse...fumbles! Which leads us to our final speculation.
The Intangible Factor:
Mr. Kubiak has a nice history of being a hot-trigger coach in the respect that, if his running backs mess up just once, they are immediately on the hot seat.
Now, it is inevitable that Arian Foster will have light games (Week Three vs. the Cowboys for instance isn't a great matchup right now on paper) and it is inevitable the guy is going to fumble here and there. But Kubiak will have to show a more "sticktoitiveness" when it comes to Foster, in order for owners to maximize Arian Foster's services.
The idea here is to keep an eye on what Kubiak does the first time Arian Foster slips up....heck for that matter, just keep an eye Kubiak's schizophrenic coaching style all year, just to be safe.
Conclusion: Again, barring injuries, or some stupid decision on Kubiak's part, Arian Foster is an everyday RB1 start until he thoroughly shows otherwise, which probably isn't going to happen. But keep in mind one thing: His PPR value will probably not be as high as his Standard league, or Modified TD league's value, since the receiving options in Houston are as solid as they come, which means he won't be used as much as a pass option as other backs in the league. But I still think this is a guy who is good for 1,760 yards and at least 15 TDs.