With Andre Johnson on the sideline, Owen Daniels could be primed for a big game against the Colts.
First I've got to give myself props for tabbing Carson Palmer as my fantasy pick of the week and Plaxico Burress as way over-priced last Sunday. Thank you, thank you very much.
Moving on, it's Week 3 of the HoustonTexans.com Home Team Challenge, and that means it's officially time to stop banking on last year's performances and move on to 2007. Here are my abridged picks for the week before a comprehensive look at the Texans' fantasy options:
Steven Jackson, RB, STL (@TB), 45 points: I'm fairly sure the term "hype machine" comes from a device that was created solely for Steven Jackson heading into the 2007 fantasy season. And I'd like to break that machine in half right now after picking ESPN's fantasy spokesperson in both of the first two weeks. I predicted Jackson to do well in my weekly toss-up last week. The nine points he produced isn't terrible, but it's not Steven Jackson-esque and it's not enough to win in fantasy football (if I sound bitter, I am). That offense might be in trouble without Orlando Pace.
Alternatives: Travis Henry, DEN (vs JAC), 41; Adrian Peterson, MIN (@ KC), 37
The New Orleans Saints: The darlings of the NFL and the best offense in the league. Right, that was last year. 2007? I've gotten two points *combined *from the two Saints I've used, QB Drew Brees (Week 1) and TE Eric Johnson (Week 2). I'm not picking a player from that roster until they play a bottom-five NFL defense or show me something before then that resembles last year's Saints. A lot of people are predicting a shootout vs. Tennessee this week. But a lot of people predicted that in Week 1 against Indianapolis, and we all know how that worked out for the Black & Gold.
Alternatives: See below
Staying in theme, I'm scrapping my usual "SIGN ME UP" portion in favor of some good old-fashioned New Orleans advice:
LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER (LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL)
Take your pick of the hottest offenses in the league, and grab as many of their players with the best matchups as you can. It sounds simple, and it is. Choose almost anybody on the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengalsand Indianapolis Colts(except for this week against the dominant Houston defense). There are only a few players *total *to avoid from these four teams. If you haven't had at least one player from these red-hot offenses in your weekly lineup, you probably haven't done very well, and you probably will continue to not do very well.
TEXANS FANTASY SPINBig game for the Texans; big implications for fantasy football. With Andre Johnson likely out, here are my favorite Texans fantasy players this week:
BEST PLAY Owen Daniels, TE, 11 points: There are three reasons he may end up in my lineup: 1) The position: Gary Kubiak likes to incorporate the TE into his offense, and Matt Schaub has favored the TE since his college days at Virginia. 2) The player: Daniels has more catches in a Texans uniform than the four healthy receivers on the roster combined. He caught five TDs last season, snared five receptions for 58 yards in Week 2 and had four catches, 42 yards and a TD in his only game against Indy last year. 3) The price: 11 points is half the cost of Todd Heap, and those extra points could allow you to upgrade to an elite RB or WR.
TEMPTING… Ahman Green, RB, 32: The Colts' D is much improved with S Bob Sanders healthy, but Green could be money for you on Sunday. With Johnson out, Green is unquestionably the Texans' most proven offensive player. He's put up two solid games so far, and the Colts rank 21st against the run (123.5 yards/game). The Texans torched Indy for 191 yards rushing in their win last season, and Kubiak has made it known that he favors a strategy of running the ball as much as possible in order to keep Peyton Manning off the field.
Jacoby Jones, WR, 11: Somebody's got to catch passes for the Texans, especially with the way that Schaub has been throwing. The question, obviously, is who? And the most likely answer at WR, based on preseason results, is Jones, who tied for the NFL lead with four total TDs in the preseason (two receiving), had two big catches in Week 1 and showed his explosiveness on a 33-yard punt return in Week 2. If you're looking for a super sleeper, Jones is looking back at you with an 11-point price tag.
*To register for the Home Team Challenge, click here. Make sure to set your lineups by Sunday, Sept. 23 at 10:00 a.m. *