Which Houston Texans Should You Start in Week 3?

By Cooper Welch
Matt Schaub
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a little hard to believe, but we’re already three weeks into the NFL fantasy football season. There are some interesting match-ups this week, including the Green Bay Packers against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Detroit Lions at the Washington Redskins, the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans at the Baltimore Ravens.

The Texans have the third best rush offense and the ninth best pass offense facing off against the Ravens’ sixth worst pass defense and seventh best rush defense, so there are definitely some interesting match-ups to watch.

Matt Schaub comes in to this game having been sacked only four times this season due to above average play from his offensive line, but Duane Brown will probably miss this game. The Ravens have eight sacks as a team, and Ryan Harris facing off against Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil makes me a little nervous. Still, the Ravens are allowing a lot in the passing game, so if Schaub can manage to stay upright, he should have a huge game. Start him over guys like Matthew Stafford, Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan.

Andre Johnson will play in this game, but with the big “if” situation at the quarterback and offensive line for this game, he could have a little of a down game. Even so, he’s averaged about 111 yards each of the past two games with about ten receptions each game. If you’re in a PPR league, Johnson is your man because no matter how many times Schaub gets sacked, Johnson will have balls thrown towards him. He’s Schaub’s safety blanket.

DeAndre Hopkins is another interesting pick. I’d only start him if you don’t have a receiver in the top 10 in fantasy rankings right now (Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall, Victor Cruz, Randall Cobb, Vincent Jackson or Andre Johnson). But he had a huge game last week, so if you’re playing in a flex league or one with more than two receivers, he’s a safe bet.

Arian Foster might have a challenge in this game. Suggs and Dumervil are just as good at defending the run as they are pass rushing, and Brown being out could hurt Foster just as much as Schaub. Plus Foster is still splitting carries with Ben Tate.

The Texans’ defense/special teams is a great bet for this game, as the Ravens are almost certainly going to play without Ray Rice. With Ed Reed a serious possibility to return to football on Sunday, you can expect the secondary to get even better (they’re already the third best passing defense). Bernard Pierce could have a good game against the Texans rushing defense (ranked No. 17 in the NFL), but so far the Ravens are putting up just 78.5 yards per game on the ground.

Cooper Welch is a Houston Texans writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @cooperwelch1991, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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