December 18, 2006
Carr Driving into Oblivion
by Keith Weiland
The once-promising Texans offense has hit an early winter icy patch and skidded off the road. I swear to end the corny Carr-car talk there, but the sad fact remains that DAVID CARR has suffered through perhaps his most disappointing stretch of games as a pro. And as Carr has faltered, so has the rest of the Texans offense.
This is championship time for fantasy leagues, and a couple Texans players ought to get some cursory consideration given that their last two games are at home. In Week 16, they host the Colts, a game in which they are expected to lose, but based upon their prior meeting in Indianapolis, it may be an opportunity for some cheap garbage time scoring. In Week 17, the Texans welcome the Browns to Houston, a matchup which on paper does not appear to be quite so lopsided.
Is Carr Starring in Happy Feet 2?
While the ladies may like how Carr looks in a tux, the rest of the Texans fans are getting tired of his dancing penguin antics on gamedays. Carr has never been a fantasy stud, but he was quite the fantasy tease earlier this year, even posting stats that led the league in QB rating and passing efficiency.
Old problems have resurfaced though. Save for an occasional deep pass to ANDRE JOHNSON, Carr has once again proven gunshy throwing into the middle of a zone defense. Hey, at least he is reading defenses, so maybe that is something, but there are not many passes from Carr for more than nine yards. The result? Continued low yardage totals and an offense that moves okay until it enters field goal range.
While Carr might turn his season around and post decent numbers in these last two weeks, the safer bet is to keep him away from your starting roster if at all possible.
All Aboard the Dayne Train
Running back RON DAYNE is finally looking like the bruiser many thought he might be following a record-breaking collegiate career at Wisconsin. He is finding holes and pushing piles. Dayne, who was limited earlier in the season by injury, is fully healthy and showing it on Sundays.
The Colts have had their problems stopping the run in recent weeks, so Dayne, amazingly enough, might make for a good start this weekend. He may not post any league-leading numbers, but for fantasy teams in a last-minute crunch for a number 2 or 3 back, there are certainly worse options available.
WALI LUNDY has taken a back seat to Dayne, and SAMKON GADO is sometimes listed as inactive at gametime. Watch for CHRIS TAYLOR to maybe get a few of their carries this week or next. After spending much of the season on the practice squad, Taylor might be one to stash as a super-sleeper on really deep dynasty league rosters.
Receivers Catching Flak, Little Else
Caught in the downward slide of their quarterback, wide receivers ANDRE JOHNSON, ERIC MOULDS, and tight end OWEN DANIELS have been disappointments to fantasy teams trying to win in the playoffs. And unless Carr finds a way to bounce back these last two weeks, counting on any Texans receiver is a risky situation.
Johnson, with 97 receptions and 1,087 yards through 14 games, is still likely a Pro Bowl shoe-in, but his five touchdowns this season are a bit lower than one might expect for such a highly-regarded player. When in the redzone, the Texans offense rarely looks to its receivers, and with the quarterback struggling as it is, redzone trips have been rather infrequent since Carr was benched at the end of October.
Kicker and Defense
With the rest of the schedule putting KRIS BROWN safely on Reliant Stadium turf, the Texans kicker makes for a decent, undervalued option the rest of the way. Given the ailments of the offense, there are certain to be better alternatives available in most leagues, but if there are not, going with Brown will not kill your team. He has converted 86 percent of his field goal attempts at home this season (versus just 69 percent on the road), and he is a respectable 82 percent between 40 and 50 yards.
On defense, MARIO WILLIAMS has lost some explosion because of a plantar fasciitis injury, resulting in fewer big plays. Fellow rookie DEMECO RYANS is making his case as the Defensive Rookie of the Year, his statement game coming against the Raiders in which he made 14 tackles including a sack, both forced and recovered a fumble on different plays, and snagged a game-icing interception as well. Cornerback DEMARCUS FAGGINS has also been involved in a few big plays as well since returning from injury.
Keith Weiland covers the Texans as a correspondent for ESPN.com’s Fantasy Football.
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