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Evaluating the Houston Texans Fantasy Football Players During the Bye Week

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It's bye week, and the Texans don't have many, if any, candidates to be cut on standard league teams. Let's take a look back at the season thus far.

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Nation has partnered with FanDuel, a site that hosts daily and one-week fantasy game. It's just like regular fantasy football, except you can reset your roster and start all over again. Each week, fantasy general managers can relive the best part of each fantasy year, the draft. But the skill involved with regular fantasy and FanDuel doesn't change - the key to winning any fantasy league is finding the value in your picks.

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A bye week in fantasy normally results in a valuable piece of your team riding the pine. Or it's a signal that you've given up on said team by not adjusting your lineup. Many times there are tough decisions to make about cutting a high upside guy, a defense that has been locked into your lineup all season, or a player that you simply can't wait any longer to get healthy.

It was supposed to be a quiet bye week for the Texans, but Bill O'Brien decided to change quarterbacks. Ryan Mallett is the man under center now, and owners of Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Arian Foster may soon rejoice.

QB: Ryan Mallett - No one needs to be rushing out to pick up Ryan Mallett for the fantasy playoff push (especially on a bye week) but the addition of Mallett's arm will certainly be beneficial to the other weapons on the Texans' offense. Defenses were not respecting Ryan Fitzpatrick's arm or decision making. They loaded the box with eight or nine men to stop Arian Foster. Mallett may have the speed of a redwood, but the Arkansas product will be able to keep defenses honest with the deep ball.

The move to Mallett reminds me of last season when Houston switched from Matt Schaub to Case Keenum. Keenum was able to get the ball more than 20 yards down field and allow Andre Johnson time to make breaks and double moves. Mallett and Keenum are not the same quarterback, but you may see a similar night and day difference in the offense like last season.

RB: Arian Foster - Arian Foster will single-handedly win some teams fantasy leagues if he is able to stay on the field. Foster left Sunday's game in frustration, spiking his helmet as he hobbled off the field. He is currently listed as day-to-day with a groin injury. He has already missed one game with a similar injury.

At this point, I would recommend snagging Alfred Blue if you don't already have him as a handcuff. Blue isn't going to blow you away, but he will get the lion's share of carries on a run-first offense if Foster is out next week.

WR: Andre Johnson - Johnson may have said he supports both quarterbacks this week, but my guess is that he was ready for the change to Mallett. Johnson let his frustration be known in his body language at the end of the game against the Eagles. Inaccurate throws from Fitzpatrick in heavy traffic were not putting Johnson in position to succeed. Ryan Mallett isn't a franchise quarterback, but at least he can throw the ball down the field, which can only help Johnson.

WR:  DeAndre Hopkins - It doesn't matter who is throwing the ball the ball to Hopkins; he keeps making plays and finding space. Hopkins has earned top-20 receiver status. The likelihood of Hopkins taking the top off a defense increases with Mallett.

TE: Garrett Graham - There is no reason to speculate an increase in production for the tight ends, Ryan Mallett isn't as nifty on his feet at Ryan Fitzpatrick and will need all the blocking he can get.

Summary: Ryan Mallett isn't going to turn the Texans into a playoff team, but he may turn your Texans fantasy players into winners down the stretch. Add Alfred Blue if don't already have him. Foster is day-to-day and Houston is more likely to rest him than not.

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Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a $500,000 one-week fantasy football league this weekend. It's $10 to join and first place wins $40,000. League starts Sunday 1 PM ET and ends on Monday night. Here's the link.