Other than a few die-hard Jaguars fans, no one expects Jacksonville to put up much of a challenge this week for a hard-hitting Houston team coming off a big road win in tough conditions.
Still without their star running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars are averaging just 14.1 points per game and have gotten little help from Blaine Gabbert or this year's first-round draft pick, Justin Blackmon.
What you might see is a frustrated Jaguars side ready to boil over, and with the game likely to be out of hand by the half, we could see some tempers begin to flare in a divisional matchup that has been dominated by the Texans in recent years.
Playing against the league’s fifth worst overall rushing defense, you can expect the Texans to do what they do well and run the ball.
While we will see a lot of Arian Foster, don’t be surprised if Matt Schaub takes a few shots down field to keep the Jaguars' defense on their toes.
If you need a replacement this week for Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, or Jay Cutler, you could do worse than Schaub. The Jaguars are allowing 251.7 passing yards per game and he should have Owen Daniels back from injury.
Though limited due to the Texans' heavy use of the run game, 200 yards and two touchdowns is not out of the question.
Let’s face it, you’re pretty much always starting Arian Foster, especially with a cupcake matchup like this.
You can expect at least 140 yards and a touchdown from Foster and perhaps even a little action from Justin Forsett in clean-up duty with Ben Tate ruled out with a nagging hamstring injury earlier this week.
By now, Andre Johnson owners have learned to temper their expectations for the veteran receiver this year but even though he was held to only 35 yards last week, he still had 10 targets in the game. That makes four games in a row of 10 or more targets.
This streak should continue, especially with Owen Daniels possibly limited with a hip injury and it would not be surprising to see Johnson break his touchdown drought this week.
We should see at least 90 yards and a touchdown this week.
Houston’s other receivers get far fewer looks but may see a little more action if Owen Daniels is out or limited this week.
After missing last week’s game with a hip injury, Owen Daniels is expected to play. This is great news for Houston's passing game as the seven-year veteran is second on the team in receptions behind only Johnson.
Daniels may, however, be limited, just as we have seen with other players coming off hip injuries this year such as Philadelphia’s Jeremy Maclin earlier in the season.
The likely scenario would be for him to pick up about 50 yards for the day and while he has scored a touchdown in five of the last six games he has played, the Jaguars are likely to continue their streak of keeping tight ends out of the end zone so far this year.
Garrett Graham may see a few looks but probably not enough to be fantasy relevant this week.
The Texans' defensive unit has proven to be a must start again this year and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect them to have a similar game to their week two encounter with the Jaguars when they sacked Gabbert three times, recovered a fumble, and held Jacksonville to just seven points.
Throw in the fact that their four defensive touchdowns have all come at home and you can expect a big day for the Texans' defense.
What can be said about Gabbert that you haven’t seen with your own eyes? Not a lot.
Don’t expect much change from the former first-round pick as he continues to work past an injury to his left shoulder and faces a Texans defense that has allowed only Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers to throw over 300 yards this season.
I’m not sure even the most optimistic Jaguars' fan would risk starting him this week. He likely will end up with a stat-line somewhere around 180 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Even with MJD still on the sidelines, Rashad Jennings has shown little to inspire confidence in fantasy owners.
Running up against a Texans defense that has kept running backs out of the end zone all year and is allowing just 85.6 rushing yards per game, you can safely assume that Jennings will not be a good play this week.
Add that Jalen Parmele is seeing some playing time on passing downs and you can realistically expect about 55 yards rushing total for Jennings this week who has failed to top 60 yards in any contest thus far.
Cecil Shorts has been one of this year’s biggest fantasy surprises and finds himself Gabbert’s No. 1 target of late.
While the Texans' pass defense has been solid this year (other than a meltdown against Green Bay), Shorts should see plenty of targets resulting in about 80 yards and a touchdown.
While Laurent Robinson and Justin Blackmon will also see plenty of balls thrown their way, it is hard to imagine that either will break out for more than 50 yards in this matchup.
Not that you probably were, but don’t expect much from Marcedes Lewis this week either. He will likely be used mostly to block as the Jaguars try to slow down the Texans’ pass rush led by NFL sack leader, J.J. Watt.
Lewis is an excellent blocker and Jacksonville’s O-line will be hoping not to repeat their last performance against the Texans in Week 2 when Gabbert was knocked out of the game after being sacked.
Expect no more than 35 yards this week.
The Jaguars have put up the fewest fantasy points per game of any team this year and you probably don’t need me to tell you that there is no way you should be starting them this week against the Texans.
They have yet to find an answer against the run and if Foster doesn’t find a way to score against them, you can rest assured that Schaub will.