The Texans are one of the most exciting teams in the league. They have fantasy stars at every turn. Their offseason was marred by the Brian Cushing steroids fiasco. They’ll once again be popular in fantasy football circles.

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:  Difficult
The Texans face  three pretty tough defenses in Baltimore, Tennessee, and Denver with the latter two games being on the road. It’s not enough to bench your studs, but do note they don’t have an easy path in the fantasy playoffs.

Five Star Fantasy Options
Matt Schaub – Schaub finally broke out last year with 4770 yards, 29 TDs to 15 INTs, a 67.9 completion percentage, and a 98.6 passer rating. As long he stays healthy he should be in for another monster season.

Andre Johnson – Johnson has to be considered the #1 fantasy WR heading into the season. He posted an incredible line of 101 catches for 1569 yards and 9 TDs. He’s big, strong, and athletic. Oh, and even despite not being happy with his contract, he is not causing any problems for the Texans. I’m confident a deal will be worked out and AJ will shine in 2010.

Four Star Fantasy Options
Owen Daniels – If he didn’t tear his ACL for the third time, I would have him as a five star option. He’s that good. In eight games last year he had 40 catches for 519 yards and 5 TDs.

Three Star Fantasy Options
None

Two Star Fantasy Options
Steve Slaton –  If Slaton can hold onto the football and his starting job, he will be a steal in fantasy drafts. His fumbling issues and neck injury are causes for concern though. That and rookie Ben Tate’s presence.

Ben Tate – Tate went in the second round of the recent NFL Draft, and gives the Texans a RB with good size (5’11, 220 lbs) and speed (4.43 forty time). He’ll have to get past Slaton and Arian Foster, as well as make the adjustment to the speed of the NFL, but he’s a good bet to have meaningful carries at some point of the season.

Kevin Walter & Jacoby Jones – Walter had a down year with 611 yards, but he remains a decent WR4 or WR5. He had 800+ yards the previous two seasons. Assuming his hamstring is healthy, he should be more productive. Jones only had 27 catches for 437 yards, but managed to score 6 TDs. Jones has significantly more upside than Walter.

Texans Defense/Special Teams – I like their defensive unit, but they will play four games with Cushing. On the menu this year are the Colts twice, Cowboys, Giants, Chargers, Jets, Titans twice, Ravens, and Eagles. Not exactly fantasy friendly. They also take on the Jags twice and the Redskins, who could go either way. Their favorable match-ups come against Oakland (without Cushing), Kansas City, and Denver.

One Star Fantasy Options
Arian Foster and Ryan Moats – Both RBs had their moments, but will need to see the field regularly to be fantasy worthy. I’m not counting on that at this point. I prefer Foster over Moats.

Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.

The NFL can be very polarizing. If you are a fan of the Houston Texas or a fan of USC football, maybe you don’t think the NFL or the Associated Press should strip Brian Cushing’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award for testing positive for PEDs. After all, Shawne Merriman was still named to the Pro Bowl following his positive test.

 

There is also talk that Lawrence Taylor should be kicked out of the NFL Hall of Fame if he is found guilty of the charges he’s facing involving solicitation of a minor. I can certainly understand that argument.

 

In both cases the player’s image and the league’s image took a hit. The last thing the NFL needs now is negative publicity, especially after Big Ben’s actions.  There is a difference though, and that’s the reason I have differing opinions on the way the honors of Cushing and LT should be treated.

 

Brian Cushing tested positive in September meaning the actions he took affected his play. Obviously it’s impossible to know which players were using PEDs, but given the facts we know about Cushing he wasn’t playing on a level playing field. Would he have played at such a high level without PEDs? Hard to say, but I know how baseball players are judged when they get caught for the same infraction. Just because we like to see bigger, stronger athletes in football, doesn’t mean they should get a free pass. If you want to maintain the integrity that the NFL is striving for, stripping the award would be a step in the right direction.

 

As for LT, what he is accused of is awful. Plain and simple. However, it did not have any bearing on what he did on the playing field. The Hall of Fame is a museum that celebrates the best players to ever pull on a helmet, leather or otherwise. Until you go through and remove players like O.J. Simpson, who have been charged with, and found guilty at least civilly, of at the least equally as heinous a crime, you shouldn’t pass that judgement on Taylor. I’m sure all the Hall of Fames have inductees with unsavory pasts. Taylor isn’t the first and won’t be the last.


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