Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Some great running backs have had fumbling problems - Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen and Tiki Barber to name a few. Steve Slaton, running back for the Houston Texans, has one and on Sunday it caused fantasy owners a lot of pain and anguish.
Slaton, who was a huge surprise in 2008 combining for 1,659 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns, has turned into a headache for fantasy players after a first-quarter fumble on Sunday led to his benching. It was his seventh fumble of the season in eight games and head Coach Gary Kubiak sat his star running back on the bench for the remainder of the afternoon. Slaton fumbled just three times in his 16-game rookie season.
Normally, the benching would hurt for one day and the star running back would return to his duties, but yesterday, Ryan Moats took over for Slaton and performed well above expectations.
Moats scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns as Houston beat Buffalo 31-10. He finished with 126 yards on 23 rushing attempts and two receptions for 25 yards, racking up 35 fantasy points.
His performance was so good, that fantasy owners have to be wondering: A) if Slaton will get the start next week and B) if the position will now be "running back-by-committee."
"Ryan took advantage of the situation," Kubiak said.
When asked if he (Moats) would start next week, Kubiak responded with a cryptic, "We'll see."
Moats was actually the team's third-string back, behind Slaton and Chris Brown. The Louisiana Tech alum is in his fourth season, after backing up Brian Westbrook in Philadelphia in his first two years.
The question being asked by all those fantasy owners who selected Slaton in the second round on Draft Day (RapidDraft ADP 13.5) is what will become of him in the second half of the season?
There is precedent for turning around a fumbling problem.
Most recently, we can remember Barber, who fumbled 35 times over a four-year period between 2000-2003, but solved the problem and became a fantasy superstar over his final three seasons.
The question is, will Slaton get the chance to turn it around?
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