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Monday, August 26, 2013

Team Talk: Houston Texans

The Team Talk series is almost to the halfway point with the goal of profiling every team before the season begins.  Today is another day of two-a-days with the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.

Adam Filadelfo is the primary contributor on this series for the Brain... Give him a follow on Twitter: @Frostt24.

And now, the Texans...

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It took long enough but the Houston Texans finally got over the hump and became a contender. And with the team's emergence, some of their players became key fantasy contributors. Fantasy owners will want a piece of the Texans when they take that next step.

Matt Schaub - Schaub isn't going to put up enormous fantasy points and should be considered as a backup quarterback. He's a conservative fantasy quarterback who won't lose weeks for you but certainly won't do much to help you win either. Houston runs a zone blocking scheme so they're more into running than passing but with a rookie receiver that looks like the real deal and a running back that has a lot of miles on him, Schaub may be called upon to pass a little more.

Andre Johnson - He's been the line receiver on the Texans for some time and he's been nothing short of spectacular. Even with defenses planning for him, Johnson's been a top fantasy receiver for many years now. He has been banged up throughout his career, but he's put up great fantasy numbers. He gets you receptions and yards even as the touchdowns lack a bit for a receiver of his caliber. When he has big games, he can help carry your team to a win that week. He may be up there in age but he can still help your fantasy team as a high-end second receiver.

Arian Foster - He's been a top running back in fantasy the last few seasons and could very well be again this year. However, he has seen his ADP value drop within the first round due to a calf ailment and now back issues. He says he will be ready for the regular season and if he is, he's obviously still worthy of that first round pick. Foster was an undrafted free agent so he's made a living out of proving his detractors wrong. If he's healthy this season, his value would be higher due to where he's being drafted. You just have to wonder if these injuries will show up sometime during the season. If he falls to you later in the first round, I think you have to draft him for value.  But right now, I'd hate to have him fall to me so I can avoid making the choice. This could be the year he breaks down due to all the carries he's had over the years.

DeAndre Hopkins - It looks like the Texans finally found a receiver that is legit and can take some attention away from Andre Johnson. Although he's fighting a concussion, he's still worth a late round flier in drafts. When this kid is healthy, he could see a lot of targets come his way and in an offense that can produce points, he may end up helping not only the Texans, but fantasy teams as well.

Owen Daniels - Owen Daniels always seems to be that tight end drafted when fantasy owners can't seem to decide on which tight end they should take. While Daniels can be a solid fantasy tight end, there have been many weeks where he's been held to single digit fantasy points. In an offense like the Texans, you'd expect more from a key contributor. He's not a bad selection if there's a run on tight ends in your draft and you're stuck with deciding who you should take. There isn't major upside with Daniels, but you could do a lot worse.

Ben Tate - Tate may be the only backup running back in fantasy football whose value is the same to every owner in the league, not just Foster owners. There is a chance Foster misses time this year and if that happens, Tate will step in and won't miss a beat. With the status of Foster in question, it's good strategy to handcuff the Houston tailback with Tate just in case. If you don't, you may wish you had.

D/ST - The Texans defense had been knocking on the door of greatness for some time until two seasons ago. With playmakers like JJ Watt and Brian Cushing being led by defense coordinator Wade Phillips, the Houston defense will most likely be a key fantasy defense yet again this year. Add veteran safety Ed Reed (if healthy) and this defense could be special. They seem to have taken a back seat to the 49ers and Seahawks defense so the Texans could be take a little later after those defenses are reached for.