Fantasy Football 2011: Preview & Auction Values of Arian Foster & Houston Texans
The Houston Texans have become a fantasy favorite in recent season. Matt Schaub has developed into a quarterback who will throw a lot, Andre Johnson is arguably the No. 1 wide receiver in football and Arian Foster became a fantasy stud last season.
There's little reason to think any of that will change this season, although Foster's hamstring injury has limited him in the preseason. Also, the loss of fullback Vonta Leach to Baltimore has some observers worried that the running game could suffer.
The biggest question may be which complimentary players increase their production this season. Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones were both spot starters in fantasy at times last year, while Derrick Ward, Steve Slaton and Ben Tate all seem capable of piling up points if Foster's injury is serious.
QUARTERBACK—Matt Schaub ($18): In the last two seasons, he has averaged nearly 4,500 yards passing and 26 touchdowns, and there is no reason to expect him to fall off this season. He showed that he can still post good numbers even with a potent running game last year, and he still has Andre Johnson to throw too. Once you get past the top tier of quarterbacks, Schaub is as good as any of the rest.
RUNNING BACK—Arian Foster ($52): Hard to see him repeating what he did last season, which was 1,616 rushing yards and 604 receiving yards to go with 18 total touchdowns. If you got him late last year, you probably at least made the playoffs, and there's a pretty good chance you won the title. The hamstring injury and the loss of Leach at fullback are worries, but he's still one of the top three running backs to draft even if his stats don't quite reach last year's level.
RUNNING BACK—Derrick Ward ($2): If Foster gets hurt, or if his 2010 season turns out to be a fluke, Ward is likely next in line, but those are lots of "ifs."
WIDE RECEIVER—Andre Johnson ($45): His numbers were down last year, with 86 catches for 1,216 yards and eight touchdowns. But that's because he missed three games due to injury. If he plays those games, he's close to the 100 catches and 1,500 yards he exceeded in both 2008 and 2009. A finger injury this season will add to injury concerns, but he's as solid as it gets at receiver.
WIDE RECEIVER—Kevin Walter ($1): You have to think another receiver will develop opposite Johnson this year, and Walter is the favorite after catching 51 passes for 621 yards and five touchdowns last year.
WIDE RECEIVER—Jacoby Jones ($0): If not Walter, maybe Jones becomes the No. 2 receiver, but it's tough to expect that.
TIGHT END—Owen Daniels ($4): Daniels looked like he was becoming one of the top tight ends in fantasy when he had 70 catches for 862 yards in 2008. But injuries have limited him to 19 games the last two seasons. He says his knee is healthy, but even if so, he has only 17 touchdowns in five seasons, so he's not as valuable as you may think.
KICKER—Neil Rackers ($1): As reliable as they come, as he missed only three field goals and was 19-for-19 from inside 40 yards last year. Doesn't get a ton of attempts, but that is unpredictable, so his numbers could rise this year.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS: ($0): Not much to love here other than a few sacks from Mario Williams. Defense usually forces the offense into a shootout.
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