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Fantasy Football: Houston Texans Start 'Em/Sit 'Em Week Four

A porous Titans defense makes for a good week to own Texans players

Grant Halverson - Getty Images

The talent of the player is obviously the most important factor when deciding who to start and who to sit each week in fantasy football. However, the matchup for that player each week is nearly as important. This week the Texans have a very favorable matchup against a Tennessee Titans team that can't stop a cold right now. The Titans rank 29th in rushing yards allowed, 30th in passing yards allowed, and 32nd in points allowed at 37.7 points per game; it's a good week to own Texans players on your fantasy football team. Before you set your lineup, check out the week four edition of start 'em, sit 'em.


Matt Schaub - There is some risk with this pick because it's possible that the Texans build up a big lead early and quit passing early on in the third quarter like they did in their win over Jacksonville. Despite facing a good corner in Champ Bailey and a great pass rush that left him missing a part of his ear, Schaub had a great game last week with 290 yards and four touchdowns. I don't think Schaub will post equal numbers this week because of how soft the Titans are against the run, but I feel safe in expecting 250 yards and two touchdowns this week.

Arian Foster - The Titans allowed 125 rushing yards (on 5.9 ypc) and one touchdown to Patriots starter Stevan Ridley, 69 yards (on 4.9 ypc) and two touchdowns to Jackie Battle of the Chargers, and 100 yards and a touchdown to Mikel Leshoure of the Lions. Ridley and Leshoure are talented players, but if they can post 100 rushing yards on the Titans; what is Foster capable of? This game has a chance to be Foster's best game of the year and I'm expecting 150 total yards and two touchdowns from the Pro-Bowl running back.

Andre Johnson - He was great the first week, wasn't used much in the second week, and then had another good game in week three; let's hope this isn't a trend. As I mentioned before, the Titans are giving up a boat load of yards through the air and Johnson is Schaub's top target so keep him active this week. Against Tennessee, Malcolm Floyd of the Chargers recorded six catches for 109 yards in week two, and last week Nate Burleson and Titus Young of the Lions combined for 16 catches, 144 yards, and two touchdowns. Andre Johnson is a lot better than each of those players and could have a monster game this week.

Owen Daniels - Tennessee has given up five touchdowns to tight ends through three games this season. The Titans are allowing just over 18 fantasy points per game to tight ends; the highest average in the NFL. Daniels has been inconsistent in recent years so I don't think he's ever a must-start, but he's a solid choice this week given the favorable matchup.

Texans Defense - Despite racking up over 400 yards and 44 points, I don't view the Titans offense as a threat to the Texans defense. Even if Jake Locker is the real deal, and I don't believe he's there yet, they're a very one dimensional team at this point. The Titans rank 32nd, dead last, in rushing yards this season which includes 45 yards through three games from Chris Johnson on 1.4 yards per carry. Only Peyton Manning has thrown for 300 yards or multiple touchdowns this season on the Texans but the bulk of that came when the game was already decided and he was held to completing just 50 percent of his passes; his lowest total in several years. Locker may be improved, but he's no Peyton Manning. In the Texans other two games, they held Ryan Tannehill and Blaine Gabbert well under the numbers they put up against other teams. The Texans are allowing opposing quarterbacks an average of 208 passing yards and 11.3 fantasy points per game; fifth lowest in the NFL

Ben Tate - I've said in previous weeks that you should wait until the Texans face a terrible run defense and a team that they should beat by a big enough margin that Tate will get the majority of second half carries; this is that week. In a blow out victory over the Titans last October, the Texans ran the ball 47 times. The Texans look to run the ball early to set up the passing game and look to run late to milk the clock with a lead; that philosophy helps a backup running back like Tate greatly in fantasy football. In that game, Tate had 15 carries for 104 yards, He may not break 100 yards this week, but he's a good option as your flex player in any league, and as your second running back in 12 team leagues.


Shayne Graham - He's connected on six field goals this season making him a good option in most weeks, but I have a gut feeling that he'll only be kicking extra points this week. He's not a bad start, but I'd look for another option.

Kevin Walter/Keshawn Martin - The non Andre Johnson receivers finally got involved in the passing game last week, but they're still not targeted enough to warrant starting on your fantasy team.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.