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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Football

Week 11 2013 Fantasy Football Dark Horse Sleeper: Houston Texans D/ST

Houston Texans

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On paper this one doesn’t look great. The Oakland Raiders are 16th in standard leagues in terms of allowing fantasy points to opposing D/ST’s. The Houston Texans are 16th this season in terms of D/ST scoring on the season and 18th over the last four weeks. For whatever reason, this year’s Texans squad is not performing at the level it did in 2012.

However, this weekend the Texans (63 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues) could surprise some fantasy football owners as Houston hosts the Raiders.

For starters, Oakland starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been fighting a knee injury all week and is listed as questionable after today’s practice. If Pryor is able to go, he seems unlikely to posses the big play running ability that has made him so dangerous this far in the season. While Pryor has certainly improved as a passer, he is still a ways off from winning games on his arm alone, evidenced by Oakland’s ranking at 29th overall in team offense and 31st in passing offense.

Regardless, it appears that backup quarterback Matt McGloin could be the starter. McGloin has only 15 career pass attempts under his belt, completing seven for 87 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions and a quarterback rating (QBR) of 22.54.

Statistically speaking, Houston actually has the number one passing defense in the league. They lead the league in completions allowed, passing attempts against, yards allowed per game and are tied for ninth in yards gained per pass attempt. Some pundits will argue that those numbers have more to do with teams running more on Houston due to leads, but there are some good numbers in there. Last week, Oakland allowed almost 22 fantasy points to the New York Giants, a team that going into the week nine game was averaging only 11.9 fantasy points per game.

Owners should also not forget about the special teams part of the D/ST. While Oakland has been relatively good against returns (kick and punts) this season, Houston’s Keshawn Martin is fourth in the league with 631 return yards and sixth in yards per return (26.3) and a real threat to score if he gets an open lane.

There are still a few D/ST’s I would start ahead of Houston this weekend if available, like the Green Bay Packers (52 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues), or the New York Jets (22 percent owned).  If those teams aren’t available and you are in need of a D/ST to stream in week 11, Houston against a banged up Oakland Raiders squad could be a sneaky play.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Read more from Dustin here.