In Week 14 of the Home Team Challenge, the free fantasy football game with great prizes on HoustonTexans.com, the winning player will take home a mini-helmet autographed by Texans tight end Owen Daniels.
Here's my weekly fantasy advice, with a few players I like and a few players I don't.
PRICE IS RIGHT
QB Matt Cassel, NE, 58 points (vs. SEA): Cassel has thrown for 2,784 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. He had two consecutive 400-yard passing games with seven total touchdowns before being shut down by the top-ranked Pittsburgh Steelers defense last Sunday. This week, Cassel should rebound against a Seahawks defense that ranks dead last in the NFL in passing yards per game (265.2). Look for Cassel to torch the Seahawks' secondary and have a big day.
RB Kevin Smith, DET, 34 (vs. MIN): Smith has shown glimpses of talent this season on a winless Lions team, rushing for 621 yards and five touchdowns. A tough Minnesota defense that ranks second in the NFL in rushing yards allowed would normally not be a good unit to start a running back against, but if the NFL upholds its suspensions of mammoth Vikings defensive linemen Kevin and Pat Williams, Smith could be in for a nice outing. With the Williamses plugging the middle, the Vikings give up only 73.1 rushing yards per game. If they're out of the lineup, Minnesota's defense could be vulnerable.
WR Donald Driver, GB, 28 (vs. HOU): Driver has 54 receptions for 698 yards and four touchdowns this season. He is the Packers' second receiver behind Greg Jennings but is the veteran their offense leans on in tough situations. He also is from Houston and had 10 catches for 148 yards in his only previous game against the Texans. Driver might want to put on a show against his hometown team, which allows 209.6 passing yards per game. Look for the Packers to find a way to get Driver the ball this week.
NOT WORTH IT
QB Philip Rivers, SD, 71 (vs. OAK): Rivers has thrown for 2,955 yards and 23 touchdowns this season. But in the Chargers' recent three-game losing streak, he has thrown only two touchdowns. The Chargers aren't playing as well as they were at the beginning of the season, and a division rivalry game against an Oakland defense giving only up 192.3 passing yards per game might not help Rivers' cause.
RB Tim Hightower, ARI, 32 (vs. STL): Hightower has rushed for 327 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Although he has played in all 12 games, he has started only the last five. His production has been down in the past few weeks, but the 30th-ranked rush defense of the Rams should be a quick fix for that.
TEXANS FANTASY STARTER OF THE WEEK
RB Steve Slaton, HOU, 50 (@ GB):Slaton is coming off an outstanding performance in his debut on Monday Night Football. The rookie running back ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns against the Jaguars and had two receptions for 52 yards. The Packers are ranked 27th in the league in rushing defense, giving up 141.7 yards per game on the ground. The Texans offense' probably will try to run the ball and control the clock to keep the Packers' offense off the field, so expect Slaton to put up good numbers again.
To register for the Home Team Challenge, click here. Make sure to set your lineups by Thu., Dec. 4 at 4:15 pm.