With Fantasy Football fast approaching, any serious fantasy competitor should consider the Houston Texans’ offerings when making selections. Lingering 2011 injuries to top players and a tough 2012 regular season lineup could make fans pause when deciding whether the Houston Texans’ choices could turn up big points for fantasy season. However, with well-focused trades and key drafts in 2012, the Texans’ squad deserves a hard look and could provide some beneficial picks for a 2012 fantasy team.
Wide Receiver: The easy answer is to draft Andre Johnson without question. The harder reality is that Johnson presents “health” concerns. Johnson only played 7 games in 2011 due to his hamstring injuries, and returned his worst numbers to date. While his play in those 7 games could arguably have contributed to the Texans’ momentum at the end of the 2011 regular season, there is still a question about whether he will play more games this season and avoid a re-injury. Historically, Johnson is not a touchdown receiver, never having achieved more than 9 touchdowns in a season. His strength lies more in moving the ball down the field rather than getting in the endzone. However, he is Andre Johnson, ranked number 15 in the NFL Network’s Top 100, and is a quality player. His hunger and his clutch playmaking ability may make the reward well worth the risk. For an alternate pick, consider 2012 draft pick DeVier Posey from Ohio State who has had a solid training camp despite his lack of NFL experience.
Tight End: For Tight End, the Texans have Owen Daniels who was a 2009 Pro Bowler. He did lead the team in reception yardage in 2011 with over 650 yards, but he does not find himself in the endzone often. If Andre Johnson stays healthy and is the go-to player for the Texans’ QB, Daniels may not put up numbers as good as last year. He is a safe option, but would be best to pick in the low tier.
Running Back: Pick Arian Foster and pick him fast. With a HUGE deal made with the Texans and ever-increasing fan support in Houston, Foster has enough drive and fire in his gut to produce Hall of Fame numbers this season. In the last two seasons, Foster has rushed for 2800 yards. In 2011, despite missing a few games, he still ranked in the top 5 receivers in the NFL. Foster also knows how to find his way into an endzone and has great hands. Despite key personnel changes on the offensive line, not much of that should matter given Foster’s raw talent and play-making ability. If you can’t get Foster, consider that the Texans have a solid number 2 guy in Ben Tate, a huge running back known to plow over people, and ranks #19 in the league in rushing. Regardless of who is chosen, the Texans are solid in the RB department, and a fantasy team will have nice options either way the selection goes.
Quarterback: Matt Schaub presents more question rather than exclamation marks. Missing the last 6 weeks of the regular season and the entire playoffs for the Texans, Schaub’s health makes him a riskier pick than in former years, and his numbers in the games he did play were less than stellar. With Andrew Luck expected to start for the Colts in the AFC South, there will be less attention on Schaub and better picks in the division, perhaps. With the Texans’ former number 3 QB T.J. Yates, fans are not offered much more. Although he did carry the team into the playoffs, he is inconsistent and his numbers are nothing to write home about. When selecting QB, picking Schaub is a risky move, but he could prove everyone wrong. Look to him for a lower QB pick for a fantasy squad.
Defense: Wade Phillips has something up his sleeve this year, it would seem. That makes picking the Texans’ defense a solid move. Despite losing Mario Williams to Buffalo in free agency, the Texans made key maneuvers in the defense department during the draft. With players like Whitney Mercilus added to the roster, the Texans should improve the numbers on sacks and defeating the pass rush. With Phillips’ experience and with the addition of players to fill defensive gaps, the Texans’ defense should fare better than 2011 and would be an asset to any fantasy football participant.