As usual, Johnson makes a good play this week. He's also signed a Texans football that goes to the Week 15 winner of HoustonTexans.com's free fantasy football challenge.
The winner of Week 15 of the HoustonTexans.com Home Team Challenge* *will receive a Texans football autographed by Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson.
Remember to set your roster by the Thursday lineup deadline at 6:00 p.m. CST.
SIGN ME UP RB Marshawn Lynch, BUF, 38 (@ CLE): Lynch returned from an ankle injury last week to post 107 yards on 23 carries against the Dolphins. Teammate Fred Jacksonalso topped 100 yards, but with Lynch having another week to recover, a large portion of those yards should be his. The Browns rank 28th in the league against the run, giving up 130.5 yards per game. And with Bills QB Trent Edwardshaving a breakout game last week, the Browns won't be able to load up against the Bills' rushing attack. That bodes well for Lynch, who before his injury was in the midst of a four-game stretch in which he scored three touchdowns while averaging 107.5 yards from scrimmage per game.
Buccaneers DST, 24 (vs. ATL):Despite allowing 28 points to the Texans last week, the Bucs still made enough big plays to come up with nine fantasy points. In the preceding weeks, the Bucs defense had tallied 11, 20 and 26 points, respectively. The unit still ranks third in the NFL in yards allowed per game (289.2) and second in points per game (16.5). By contrast, the poor Falcons, down their franchise quarterback and now out a head coach, are 24th in the league in offensive yards per game (301.1) and 30th in points scored per game (14.2). Meanwhile, Atlanta allowed 15 fantasy points to the Saints DSTlast week, and the Saints' defense gives up the 27th-most yards in the league.
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT, 74 (vs. JAC):Big Ben has come up small of late, throwing only four TDs in his last four outings and averaging a mere 12.5 fantasy points per in that span. By contrast, here's how the five QBs within 10 points of his price have fared over the past four games: Peyton Manning (79): 24 points/game; Derek Anderson (77): 17.5; Brett Favre (72): 18.75; Matt Hasselbeck (71): 21.75; Drew Brees (69): 23.75. Roethlisberger recently admitted to having soreness in his throwing shoulder, which, while it shouldn't force him to miss time, can't help matters. The Jags give up a lot of yards through the air (237.6/game, 27th in the league), but are sixth in TDs allowed (15) and have the seventh-most INTs (16).
Alternatives: Brett Favre, GB, 72 (vs. STL); Matt Hasselbeck, SEA, 71 (@ CAR)
WR Steve Smith, CAR, 31 (vs. SEA):The Seahawks also give up a fair share of passing yards (220.8, 22nd in the league), but they're tied with Oakland for the fewest TDs allowed (10) and sport the fifth-rated overall scoring defense in the NFL (17.5 points/game). Smith has had quarterback troubles all season, and Panthers QB Vinny Testaverdecontinued that trend last week by throwing for only 84 yards in a 37-6 loss to Jacksonville. To put Smith's fantasy fall in perspective, he scored 20 fantasy points in Week 6 of the season. Since then, he has 24 total points in seven games, with zero TDs and zero games with more than 64 receiving yards in that span.
Alternatives: WR Lee Evans, BUF, 27 (@ CLE); WR Andre Johnson, HOU, 26 (vs. DEN)
TEXANS FANTASY SPIN
Denver's defense is tied for sixth-most passing TDs allowed in the league (21), and QB Sage Rosenfels (27)tossed three against the second-rated Bucs pass defense last week…keep an eye on who starts at running back for the Texans. Either Ron Dayne (24) or rookie back Darius Walker (2!) would be great values against the Broncos' 29th-rated run defense (138.8 yards/game)…WR Andre Johnson (26)continues to be a ridiculously cheap superstar. All he's done this season is average 6.8 catches, 102.8 yards and one TD a game …after puzzlingly being kept out of the end zone all year despite big receiving numbers, TE Owen Daniels (20)has scored two TDs in the last three games...K Kris Brown (30)has been one of the most consistent kickers in the league…the Texans DST (24)has a potentially daunting matchup in a Denver offense that just posted 41 points on Kansas City, but the unit did hold Tampa Bay to 14 points, force two fumbles and tally a season-high four sacks last week.