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Fantasy Football: Texans Start Em/Sit Em Week 16

Will the defense bounce back? Should you start Ben Tate?

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 18:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers is sacked by  Connor Barwin #98 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers is sacked by Connor Barwin #98 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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That loss last week caught us all off guard; I promise this week's advice will be significantly more accurate.


Arian Foster - The ex-Volunteer is running really well right now with two-100 yard games in his last three games and 8 touchdowns over his last 8 games. That will continue this week against a defense that ranks 28th in rushing yards allowed and 31st in rushing touchdowns allowed. In two games vs. the Colts last season Foster racked up 405 total yards and 4 touchdowns; he has their number. In their first meeting this season the Texans ran for 167 yards and I think that will increase this week. Expect a big rushing day from the Texans, probably over 200 yards and at least half of that and a touchdown for Foster.

Ben Tate - In week 1 Tate rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Colts but that was on 24 carries; he won't get 20+ carries this week. However, he's proved that he can produce even when given less attempts as he did in games against the Titans, Browns, and Buccaneers earlier this season. The Colts have given up 160+ rushing yards to teams 6 times this season; I believe Tate can still have a good game with 10-12 carries. I believe 60-70 yards and a touchdown is very possible this week for Tate.

Defense - Ignore last week, it was a let down game. This defense is still an elite fantasy unit and against a pitiful offense like the Colts, they're a must start. Remember that even with the 28 points given up last week, two of those TD's came on short fields with the Panthers starting their drive on the Texans side of the field. I don't think the Texans offense will put the defense in those situations this week, and the defense is still ranked 2nd in yards allowed and 3rd in points allowed. The Colts offense is playing a little better recently so I'm not sure if the Texans will crush them like they did in week 1, but they'll still get enough pressure on Orvlovsky to get a few sacks and force a few turnovers. At worst I believe they're a solid 10+ point start.


TJ Yates - I thought this would be a game you could start him, but it's too risky. His decision making took a big step backwards last week and he's fumbled in all 3 starts this season. He's got potential for a nice game, but again, too risky.

Kevin Walter/Jacoby Jones - Yates seems to look for his tight ends and running backs as his top options; I don't see more than 3-4 catches for either receiver. On top of that, Yates is in a bit of a slump and the Texans will likely look to win this game on the ground. The game-plan won't feature either receiver.

Owen Daniels - This is a tough one, the match-up is favorable and young quarterbacks tend to look to their tight end as a bailout option. However, Daniels has been very inconsistent this season and he's listed as questionable for Thursday's game with a sore knee. For most leagues, this is the week of their fantasy Super Bowl, so I suggest being extremely cautious and conservative with Daniels. If this was week 5 of the regular season, I'd roll the dice with him against the Colts, but not in the Super Bowl.

Neil Rackers - This should be a nice match-up for Rackers, but like Daniels, he's struggling badly with consistency. Rackers has missed a field goal in 5 of his last 7 games and I think we could be to the point that Kubiak will opt to go for it in short yardage situations or even just punt if the field goal is over 49 yards. I believe Rackers will get his opportunities this week, but the big question is, can he convert on those chances?

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