Fantasy football: Season starts today!

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Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is an attractive fantasy football option in Week 1.

The NFL season kicks off tonight when the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants take on the Washington Redskins. You know what that means: It's time to sign up for free fantasy football with the HoustonTexans.com Home Team Challenge!

Texans fans, this is not your father's version of fantasy football. The Home Team Challenge is an innovative and unique version of a hobby that continues to grow by leaps and bounds each NFL season.

We've all been there — drafts that haven't gone as planned, a running back that got snagged one pick ahead of you or that backup quarterback you waited too long to select. The Home Team Challenge removes the draft altogether and instead allows each player to select a new team every week.

Each week, a team has 300 units to spend on players. Want to secure a stud QB? Spend 70 units. Don't care about defense? Use 15 units. It's that simple. Home Team Challenge participants will select eight positions (seven position players and one defense), none of which will carry over to the following week — so you won't be hampered for a whole season by one bad draft pick.

Participants will battle for great prizes week-to-week, all while accumulating points for a season award for the player who racks up the most points over the 17 weeks of the NFL regular season. It's free to play and takes only minutes or hours, depending on the level of commitment of each player.

Player values are set by NFL.com and will fluctuate from week-to-week based on performance. Let's say you pick up Andre Johnson for Week 1 at a price of 37 units. If Andre racks up two touchdowns and 130 receiving yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers, you can bet that he's going to cost you more than 37 units the following weekend when the Texans take on the Baltimore Ravens.

That leaves a tough decision: Spend more on the same player, or look for a bargain somewhere else? Maybe tight end Owen Daniels is available for 18 units in Week 2 after letting Andre rack up all the points in Week 1. It could be Daniels' turn against the Ravens' defense — that's for you to decide. We're using Texans players as examples here, but every NFL roster is available to Home Team Challenge participants on a weekly basis.

Scoring is based on several categories. Each regular-season week, selections start Tuesday, and participants have until one hour prior to kickoff of the first game to set their roster. Ties are broken by the player who has accumulated the most points to date during the season. If two players are tied for the overall season championship, the player who won the most weekly prizes will take home the grand prize.

HoustonTexans.com will offer weekly columns and features on the game, and you can always track your progress online. With no fees and tons of great prizes, Home Team Challenge is a must for any NFL fan.

Every week, your team will compete against thousands of other participants. Each team will accumulate points based on the statistics accumulated by its players.

Make sure to sign up for the free Home Team Challenge today!

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