Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 17: Texans vs. Titans

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans are finishing up their worst year in some time, while the Titans have had the exact same season for the last decade (not quite, but still).

After entering the season as the AFC South favorite and starting 2-0, things looked good for the Houston Texans. They have since lost 13 straight games, been outscored by 155 points in that time, and have set themselves up for the first overall pick in next spring's NFL Draft. The Tennessee Titans, with a loss Sunday, would finish 6-10 for the third season in their last four, and have been anything resembling interesting only once or twice in the last decade. The two teams face off Sunday in Nashville at 1 p.m. ET; take a look at the fantasy contributors you should be considering:


Start in every league: Andre Johnson

Start if you're desperate: ...

Bench: Matt Schaub, Case Keenum, Jonathan Grimes, Ryan Griffin, Randy Bullock, Defense/special teams

Going against one of the toughest defenses vs. fantasy wide receivers, and with consecutive bad games the last two weeks, it seems like picking against Johnson would be smart, but he's basically the last weapon the Texans have. He'll still get his, because there's no one else to get it.

And if you're considering any other Texans, and you made your fantasy finals, congratulations on successful witchcraft and/or sorcery. No matter which quarterback -- Keenum or Schaub -- gets the start, it's impossible to use one; they've combined for 191 fantasy points this year, or nine less than Robert Griffin III has in only 13 games. With Arian Foster, Ben Tate, and Deji Karim on injured reserve, and Dennis Johnson looking unlikely with a hip injury, the team is likely to start Grimes, who has seven carries for 29 yards in two seasons. Root for him, sure, but don't even think about using him in fantasy. ... Griffin has been decent (at best) in place of Garrett Graham (in place of Owen Daniels), but he's now battling injury as well. ... Bullock has missed nine field goals on the year, but none since Week 10. Still, he's not worth a play. ... The Texans' defense hasn't scored more than 11 all season, and hasn't even gotten that high since Week 4. The unit has totaled negative-5 in its last four games.


Start in every league: Chris Johnson

Start if you're desperate: Shonn Greene, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, Defense/special teams

Bench: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Justin Hunter, Delanie Walker, Rob Bironas

It has admittedly been an up-and-down stretch for Johnson, alternating single- and double-digit fantasy performances for eight straight. But even with that, he only has one game of fewer than five points since Week 6. He might not be reliable for 15 points every week, but you know he'll give you a handful no matter what.

Greene's production is less reliable than Johnson's -- he sandwiched a zero-point Week 15 between 16 and 15 in Weeks 14 and 16, respectively -- but he's shown a goal-line ability. If the team gives him the chance, he'll get the points. ... Wright has gone from one of the most predictable fantasy wide receivers to, in recent weeks, one of the least; he's yo-yoed between big and small production for a few weeks now, making him harder to trust. ... Also hurting Wright's value is Washington's occasional big games, like his 17 points in Week 16. But he hadn't hit double figures since Week 4, so who knows. ... The Texans tend to be generous to opposing defenses, though the Titans' defense has scored negative points twice in three games. It depends on which part of that you trust.

The shine is kind of gone from Fitzpatrick, who has scored in the single digits twice in three games. Even though he made it all the way to 30 fantasy points in the other one of those games, he's not someone you can trust at this point. ... A week after missing a game to suspension, Hunter was back on the field in Week 16 in name only, as he caught no passes and was targeted only once. He's got talent, but the team doesn't look like it wants to trust him right now. ... The only good game Walker has had in the last five is the outing against Arizona in Week 15, a team that is awful against opposing tight ends; he's totaled seven points in that time otherwise. ... Bironas' numbers have been improving lately, but he still hasn't even made the top 20 among kickers.

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