Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Offseason Primers: Houston Texans

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The Texans' best chance to make the Super Bowl in the history of their franchise went by the wayside thanks to a late-season slump that cost them home-field advantage in the AFC. That overshadowed what was a pretty good season for a team that was loaded defensively and had their playmakers deliver strong seasons offensively. It also presents a challenging season ahead.

Getting those playmakers to repeat their feats will be tough. Andre Johnson will be 32 and coming off a career-best 1,598-yard season. But like league counterpart Calvin Johnson, he struggled when it came to scoring, nabbing just four touchdowns. That has to change for the Texans to be effective and it could be tough because the team is thin on receiving talent opposite Johnson. Last year they had Kevin Walter for the seventh straight year opposite Johnson. He stunk (518 yards, two touchdowns) and has since been let go. If they add a speedy receiver via the draft who can fill that role, the offense could be impossible to stop. If they don't, the likes of Lestar Jean, Keshawn Martin and maybe DeVier Posey will compete to start. Utilizing matchup nightmare running back/tight end James Casey isn't an option after he left for more playing time in Philadelphia in March. Houston has a very important hole to fill.

2012 Touches Leaders
862 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Arian Foster 391 (351 car., 40 rec.) 45.3%
Andre Johnson 112 rec. 13.0%
Ben Tate 76 (65 car., 11 rec.) 8.8%
Justin Forsett 66 (63 car., 3 rec.) 7.7%
Owen Daniels 62 rec. 7.2%
Kevin Walter 41 rec. 4.8%
All Others 114 13.2%

Not that passing is their preferred way to move the chains. The Texans again ranked highly as a rushing offense thanks to the exploits of Arian Foster. The Fantasy legend again topped 1,600 total yards and 12 total touchdowns (he had 17 in 2012), but it came at a steep price as he had over 400 carries between the regular season and the postseason (18 games). Not many running backs put up that much work and come back as strong the following year but Foster is a good candidate to buck that trend. An irregular heartbeat discovered last season shouldn't be anything to worry about nor should his overall workload -- which has averaged 21.2 carries per game over the last three seasons -- but it's all worth noticing. And if the Texans coaches notice, we could see his workload lightened to open the season. One big positive is his use at the goal line -- there were weeks last season that were salvaged by his scores and that's bound to continue. Foster remains a very good Fantasy option but one that needs a handcuff.

Outside of those two on offense, there are plenty of questions including whether or not Matt Schaub can push the team past the second round of the playoffs (remember when it was whether or not he could push them to the playoffs, period?). There's also the state of the defense and whether or not J.J. Watt can remain dominant and if the secondary can withstand the loss of Glover Quin. For a team that was so close to being a contender for Super Bowl XLVII, they're being taken as lightly as a team that went 8-8. We'll see if it's warranted in 2013.

Ben Tate -- Potential breakout

2012 Target Leaders
544 pass attempts
Andre Johnson 164 30.1%
Owen Daniels 103 18.9%
Kevin Walter 68 12.3%
Arian Foster 58 10.6%
James Casey 45 8.3%
All Others 106 19.5%

It goes without saying that if Foster stays healthy, Tate's contributions will be minimal. But Foster is coming off a season and postseason where he had not just 400 carries but over 450 total touches. It's a lot of wear and tear on a running back. The Texans are confident in Tate's abilities in the offense and might not be shy about giving Tate around eight touches per week if only to keep Foster in shape. Of course, Foster could always get hurt and that would open the door for Tate to be a high-volume back like he was at the very start of his career when Foster was sidelined. Either way, getting Tate is a must if you take Foster with an early first-round pick but he's also a speculative choice if you don't have Foster. We're talking about a middle-round pick so it's not exactly low-risk but if there's one thing that's in the back of Tate's mind it's that if he gets an opportunity to play he can make it pay off -- literally. He's in a contract year and could be a starter for a team looking to run the zone-blocking scheme in 2014.

Matt Schaub -- Bust

Schaub's numbers in 2012 weren't so far out of line with what he's done in Houston, and that's entirely the problem. His stock tanked last season as he struggled to put up big numbers while younger, more versatile passers were all the rage. Those youngsters are now who Fantasy owners are targeting, pushing Schaub down rank lists everywhere. He might be worth a late pick as a handcuff to one of the young quarterbacks you take in Rounds 5-8, but with the depth at the position and his sliding passing yard average to go with a less-than-stellar touchdown total, he's not the guy many thought he was a few years ago. Schaub might actually not get picked in some smaller drafts. Schaub is worth a late-round pick in drafts strictly as a decent backup Fantasy option and nothing more.

Lestar Jean -- Late-round flier

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Matt Schaub Late-round pick
Arian Foster Top 3 overall
Ben Tate 80-95 overall
Andre Johnson 25-35 overall
Owen Daniels 120-130 overall
Randy Bullock Late-round pick
Texans DST Late-round pick

Consider Jean at the very least a placeholder and at the very most a deep sleeper. It's evident the Texans not only need to upgrade at receiver but are planning on it. You could tell that when they released seven-year veteran Kevin Walter, who did a lot of underrated work but was never great for Fantasy purposes. Coach Gary Kubiak said this offseason that he thinks a lot of Jean and why not after he proved he could work some magic on deep passes. Last year Jean had 151 yards on six catches: One went for over 20 yards, two went for over 40 yards, four went for first downs and another saw him finish in the end zone. Perhaps if Jean proves in training camp that he can do the dirty underneath work while also being an asset on the big plays then he'll earn a starting job and the stats will follow. Whoever starts opposite Andre Johnson will have the look of a late-round pick.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Andy Dalton confident he'll get a new deal
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(8:10 am ET) Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is entering a contract year in 2014, but he's not sweating it. Dalton told NFL Network that he's "confident" a new deal will get done

"[B]oth sides are working on it," Dalton said. "We haven't given a deadline, we haven't talked about a deadline. We don't expect it to get to that point, but if it does, it does."

Last week Bengals owner Mike Brown called Dalton the "quarterback here for the immediate future," adding that he'd use the franchise tag if need be to keep Dalton. 


Josh Gordon's appeal delayed
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(8:05 am ET) Because NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be in Canton, Ohio, on Friday as part of Hall of Fame weekend festivities, the appeal hearing for Browns receiver Josh Gordon will be postponed until next week, ESPN reported Thursday. 

Gordon is reportedly facing a one-year ban for violating the league's substance abuse policy for a third time. He and his representatives claim his test sample was mishandled and he was exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke and didn't ingest the drug itself. 

ProFootballTalk.com believes that if Gordon wins his appeal he'll face no suspension and will be eligible to play the entire season. 


Aldon Smith to meet with the commish
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(8:01 am ET) 49ers pass rusher Aldon Smith will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his pending suspension on Aug. 8, ESPN reports. Smith faces a "significant" suspension per the report for facing multiple charges including a DUI, a felony firearms issue and making a bomb threat at an airport. 

Jim Leonhard joins Browns
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Former Bills safety Jim Leonhard tweeted that he signed with the Browns. Leonhard played for coach Mike Pettine last year in Buffalo, making 41 tackles and four interceptions.

Packers claim Gerrard Sheppard
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) The Packers claimed receiver Gerrard Sheppard off waivers from the Ravens and are now at the 90-man roster limit, reports ESPN.com.

Jace Amaro trying to figure things out
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Jets rookie tight end Jace Amaro had another rough practice Wednesday, reports ESPN.com. He ran some plays wrong, dropped a pass and got razzed by a defensive player. He also "got an earful from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg," the report said.

Amaro played in a relatively simple offense in college and is struggling to learn the Jets' system.

"We know he's got the physical skills to do it," coach Rex Ryan told the website. "He's got to focus, and sometimes if your head is in other places and you're thinking (too much), it's hard to be at your best."


Chip Kelly says Mark Sanchez 'has been outstanding'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez "has been outstanding since he's been here," coach Chip Kelly told reporters. "I think he's starting to feel more comfortable in terms of what we’re trying to do."

Sanchez has played so well that there's no question he's the No. 2 QB, according to The Star-Ledger. "Every day he's here," Kelly said, "there is an energy you can feed off of from him."


Donald Thomas likely reinjured quad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Colts guard Donald Thomas, who missed 14 games last season with a torn quad, is believed to have reinjured it during Wednesday's practice, reports the Indianapolis Star. The latest injury "could be bad," the report added.

Alex Smith will table negotiations at some point
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) The Chiefs and Alex Smith continue to discuss a contract extension, but the quarterback said Wednesday that at some point he will table those talks, reports the Kansas City Star.

"You’re getting to the point where either way, you want it to stop being a distraction," Smith said. "You guys know how I feel about this, and it’s the truth."

Smith, 30, has one year left on his contract at $7.5 million.

"You’re finally gonna cross a line where it’s like, it’s just football from here on out and I’m done not only talking about it with you guys, but even behind the scenes as well," Smith said. "We talk about eliminating distractions and that’s a part of it. The focus needs to be on ball."


Vikings' QB race taking shape
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Vikings quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater are likely to get the bulk of the snaps moving forward, reports ESPN.com. That means Christian Ponder will get fewer reps.

"You can't work three [quarterbacks] for a long time, so the reps will get divided up differently," Turner said.

Turner added preseason games will factor "heavily" into the team's decision on a starter.


 
 
 
Rankings