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Ryan Mallett is out of the season, and any hopes of a Texans fantasy value uptick have been lost with him. The remaining two options for the Texans are the previously benched Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie Tom Savage. The Texans would be better served by learning what they have in Savage, but from a fantasy aspect it may put Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins' value to bed with the fantasy playoffs in full swing.
Taking a look at this week's matchup, Football Outsiders ranks the Titans as 19th-best against the pass and 32nd against the run. Tennessee has allowed 145.4 rushing yards per game, the most in the NFL. The Titans have allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns this season with 13, and have forced only one fumble.
The Titans have held passing attacks to 233 net passing yards per game, tied for 10th-best in the league with the Lions. Tennessee has collected 31 sacks this season, 4th in the league behind only Buffalo (46), Philadelphia (38), and Jacksonville (33).
Recapping the Texans' win over the Titans in Week Eight, Arian Foster ran all over Tennessee. Foster racked up 173 total yards and three scores, 151 yards came on the ground. DeAndre Hopkins posted 95 receiving yards on five catches.
Mallett Fitzpatrick - If anyone was worried about affording playoff tickets, you can stop now. Fitzmagic isn't real; Bill O'Brien realized that when he benched him over the bye week. Fitzpatrick's passing ability extends to a maximum of twenty yards down the field. Teams don't respect Fitzpatrick's arm or his decision making and will stack the box against the run.
RB: Arian Foster - Foster has missed the last two games with a groin injury. At the moment, his status is he "could" return this week to face the Titans. Watch this week is if Foster practices; that will be the key to knowing if Foster will put you in the fantasy playoffs or not.
RB: Alfred Blue - Blue returned to earth against the Bengals, as Rey Maualuga and Cincinnati's defense dominated the trenches. Blue's value this week depends on whether Arian Foster returns to the lineup. In Week Eight, Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries against the Titans in a backup role.
WR: Andre Johnson - Johnson had three catches on 12 targets for 36 yards on Sunday against the Bengals. That statline is a microcosm of Johnson's season. He is getting WR1 looks but they aren't translating into difference-making fantasy points. For a player that most people drafted in the first five rounds, 5-6 fantasy points per week won't cut it.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins - Hopkins' value hasn't been affected much by the quarterback under center for the Texans. With the return of Fitzpatrick, the lofty possibilities with Ryan Mallett's rocket arm can be brushed away. Hopkins has the talent to take a short Fitzpatrick pass to the house, as he has shown more than once this season.
TE: Garrett Graham - Last week, I said Garrett Graham would be a good guy to stash if you're hurting for a fantasy tight end. Graham caught four passes (on 7 targets) for 41 yards in Mallett's final game. Fitzmagic's next trick as a starter is to make the tight end disappear from the passing game. Graham saw four total targets over Fitzpatrick's last five starts before being benched.
Summary: The chances of the Texans' fantasy players sneaking in and winning your fantasy league for you because of Ryan Mallett are out the window. With Fitzpatrick, Andre Johnson and Garrett Graham's value are at the lowest they have ever been as starters. DeAndre Hopkins has shown time and time again that he has the talent to overcome below-average quarterbacking by making plays in the open field. Keep an eye on Arian Foster's practice time this week, as it will be the key between knowing if he or Alfred Blue will start.
Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a Thanksgiving Day-only $2,000 fantasy football league for SBNation. It's $5 to join and first place wins $200. League starts Thursday 12:30 PM ET and ends the same night. Here's the link.
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