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Should You Draft Him?: Houston Texans

In the world of fantasy, the Houston Texans are incredibly boring in the best possible way. Matt Schaub will put up 4,000 yards and just enough touchdowns to be an ideal backup to an injury-prone starter. Coaches will talk a whole bunch about how they need to limit Arian Foster’s workload en route to putting the ball in his hands close to 400 times. Andre Johnson’s age and hamstrings will worry you a little bit, but he’ll put up nearly 100 yards a week whenever he’s healthy, and will probably do it even when he isn’t. It probably won’t be worth knowing the names of any wide receiver not named Andre Johnson. Owen Daniels will be decent.

I like boring, because boring means I know exactly what I’m getting, and knowledge is power. The real life battle for the AFC South is going to be more interesting because the rapidly improving Indianapolis Colts should provide a stiff challenge for the throne, but for the purposes of these columns, this one should be the easiest one to write by far. Because the Texans are so predictably good, fantasy owners have had no problem accurately gauging their value in drafts. Because of this, you might notice a trend in this article (hint: Lots of Yes). So, should you draft him?

(Average Draft Position, or ADP, is based on standard 12-team leagues. If you’re looking for analysis of kickers and defenses, you need to spend less time thinking about fantasy football)

Matt Schaub (ADP: Late Round 13):
It’s really not possible to overstate how consistent (read: boring) this team truly is. In Schaub’s last two full seasons he put up completion percentages of 64.3 and 63.6. Interception totals in both years were 12. Touchdown totals were 22 and 24. Yards per attempt were 7.37 and 7.61. Passer ratings were 90.7 and 92. If CBS decided to show a rerun of a Texans game next season in place of a live broadcast, I’m not sure I would notice. Just kidding, Schaub’s hairline is a dead giveaway.

It’s strange to call a guy who has passed for more than 4,000 yards in each of his last three full seasons a game manager, but that’s kind of what he is in Houston’s extremely run-heavy offense. Game planning, only having one viable wide receiver, and absolutely no rushing yardage seriously caps his upside. Actually, no rushing yardage is overselling his legs, because he was the only starting quarterback in the NFL with negative total rushing yardage on the season. He’s being drafted as a low-end backup quarterback, and the passing yardage is consistent enough to make him a player I’d be OK with plugging in as a temporary bye week or injury replacement.

Should you draft him?

Arian Foster (ADP: 2nd overall):

In each of the last two seasons Arian Foster has seen his yards per carry decrease, going from 4.9 to 4.4 to 4.1. Some people see that as cause for concern, but the fact of the matter is even if he fell all the way to 3.5 yards per carry (not something that I actually expect to happen), his mammoth workload would still probably give him 1,200 yards and a dozen touchdowns. At age 27 he’s still in his prime, he works every down, he’s durable, his skill set is complete, and his patience and discipline in his team’s zone blocking scheme are phenomenal. I’m not terribly worried about his strained calf, but keep an eye on that situation, regardless. Assuming he’s a full go for the regular season, his floor is higher than most backs’ ceilings. Better yet, he’s also one of the most handcuffable starting backs out there. Speaking of that …

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