Andre Johnson and Arian Foster's Updated 2013 Fantasy Outlook with Case Keenum
The Houston Texans have elected to go with Case Keenum at quarterback in Week 7, and the former undrafted free agent will face a difficult debut on the road against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
Case Keenum will start the game Sunday. #Texans— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 17, 2013
Any success the Texans have at Arrowhead Stadium will depend on running back Arian Foster, who has to now draw consideration as the No. 1 fantasy option at his position this week even though he is nursing a sore hamstring, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Who will have more fantasy points in Week 7?
It remains to be seen how leading receiver Andre Johnson is affected by Keenum's presence under center, but it's a rather safe bet that the offense will run through Foster.
As it should.
Houston is in dire need of a spark, having lost four games in a row. Inserting a fresh QB into the lineup can rejuvenate a struggling team, but for the Texans to pull off the upset, Foster will have to have a monster game.
Establishing the run early could prove to be difficult if Keenum can't keep the Chiefs honest with his throwing ability. Getting the ball to a 6'3", 230-pound friendly target in Johnson early and often may be a course of action head coach and play-caller Gary Kubiak chooses to take.
What the outcome will boil down to, though, is how productive Foster is. As bad as the Texans looked in a 38-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams in Reliant Stadium in Week 6, there was a silver lining in terms of Foster's production.
Arian Foster had 198 yards from scrimmage today, 2nd-most in NFL history by a RB whose team lost by at least 25 points. @EliasSports— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 13, 2013
The 27-year-old running back carried the rock 20 times for 141 yards on the ground and caught four passes for 57 yards in the game. He's averaged well over 15 total touchdowns over the past three seasons, but has only two in 2013.
That's destined to change given his track record, starting in Kansas City.
Short, conservative passes should be the protocol for Keenum to get him comfortable. With a receiving threat like Foster out of the backfield, Keenum should target him often on screen plays and checkdowns.
So while Johnson should see opportunities particularly early, Houston has other weapons, including Foster and first-round rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins, that will take targets away from him. That diminishes Johnson's fantasy value.
The Chiefs also have the NFL's No. 3 pass defense, conceding just 190.3 yards per contest through the air.
Sunday should be Foster's time to shine in an effort to save the Texans' season by shortening the game and wearing down a formidable Chiefs front seven.
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