Had my fantasy football draft last night. It went okay. Not great, nothing special. Just okay.
There's nothing wrong with just okay, initially. As always, I'm merely an injury or two away from A) Running away with the championship, or B) Placing dead last. There's no middle ground here. If Maurice Jones-Drew goes down in Week 2 and lands on the DL - let's say for twelve weeks - then screw it. I'm not going to devote my time to a losing product. And that's why fantasy sports have become a thing of the past for me. It's sad, really.
That said, I'm certainly going to dive head first into the season with the tenacity of a large, male Kodiak bear on a fish hunt. I will certainly do so, primarily because my expectations for my team are sky high and that's that. We'll see what happens, but for now, I'm ready for some football, Hank Williams Jr.
Sadly, I failed to draft a single Texan. Swung and missed on every single one, even the kicker, whoever that happens to be. I had my eyes on Matt Schaub, but immediately failed to realize that I was playing in a 2-QB league. Schauby flew off the board in the third round, and suddenly, every signal caller found a home early. I settled with Favre a few rounds later and promptly dug the first three inches of my grave.
Don't be like me. Don't let the hometown heroes slip away. In case you're wondering which Texans you should draft, this week's Top Five takes a look at the five Texans who are worth your time, interest and unconditional fantasy love.
No. 5: Jacoby Jones
Jones appears to be this year's "Potential Breakout Receiver Because There Must Be One Of Those Guys" player. And while I certainly think Jones will improve upon his 2009 numbers, it's tough for me to give Jones the nod over Kevin Walter simply because Jakespeare only caught 27 balls last season. Walter has put together multiple 800+ yard seasons in the past and doesn't seem to have dropped off too significantly, despite a relatively subpar 2009.
But Jones has the upside, and in this case, we're going to go with the upside. Can Jones legitimately put together an 800-yard season with seven touchdowns? Possibly, if a lot goes right. But I think, as of this season, he has a better chance to do so than Walter.
No. 4: Owen Daniels
Risky business, sure, but Daniels had a pro bowl season in the works before bowing out in December with a knee injury. He may get off to a slow start, but there's no reason to believe that a healthy Daniels won't be a major part of a top-tier passing attack. Want one of those fearless forecasts? Fine: 850 yards and 7 touchdowns. Boom.
No. 3: Arian Foster
I've already made my case for why Foster should be somewhat trusted, even as a newcomer to the starting ranks of the NFL. Throughout his college career and in two important games near the conclusion of the Texans' 2009 campaign, Foster has produced. He's unknown, not too fast, not flashy and doesn't have a great name like Dexter McCluster, but you know what? The numbers have been there. And that's what fantasy football is all about, right?
With Ben Tate out of the picture, Steve Slaton still hovering around but not making much noise and even despite the Derrick Ward signing, Foster should see plenty of carries to begin the season. He performed far too effectively in the preseason not to be given a chance to be the Texans' featured back. Though Ward may have turned heads a few years back, he just got cut by the Buccaneers. Are we really expecting him to challenge a determined Foster for carries, at least in the early going?
Unfortunately, if you didn't snag Foster in an early draft when he was cheap, you may be overpaying for him for now. But nevertheless, if you're able to get him for a good price, he's certainly worth the move
No. 2: Matt Schaub
Book Schaub for 4,000 yards and somewhere around 30 touchdowns. I'm sold, particularly because he won't be facing Jared Allen this year, and also because he finally managed to play an entire season in 2009. The O-line did a great job pass protecting for him last year and could be even better this season. He's got the weapons and the talent to repeat his 2009 performance, though much of it depends on Andre Johnson staying healthy as well. If AJ gets a helmet to the knee and misses a few games, Schaub won't be of much use during his absence. Not to say that Schaub isn't a great quarterback regardless, but, I mean, it's Andre Johnson.
With Schaub, it's all about trust. I certainly trust his arm. I trust his decision-making and I trust that he will be given as many opportunities as any other QB to come through. Surprisingly, I also trust his health, though I'm sure others will be skeptical. If it's up to me, Schaub sits firmly behind Brees, Manning, Rodgers and Brady on the fantasy list. Yes, he's fifth. Deal with it, Philip Rivers.
No. 1: Andre Johnson
Yes, you saw it coming, but think about this: Does anyone go for 1,500 yards three seasons in a row? When does that ever happen?
We know Andre Johnson will produce and put up big numbers. He's the best in the business. But it's asking quite a lot for him to repeat the success he has had over the last two seasons. I'll take 1,300 yards and eight or nine touchdowns and be happy. For Johnson to pull another 1,500 out of his back pocket would be a blessing. I certainly believe he can do it. But there are so many stupid, annoying variables that exist to prevent talented players such as Johnson from maintaining a consistent resume. It's football. He could get hurt. It's a risk that any sane person should be willing to take. The potential reward is far too great to let slip beyond the second round.