Schaub has high expectations to meet in fantasy leagues

Will Matt Schaub duplicate his breakout 2009 numbers this season?

Remember those standardized tests we all used to take in grade school? Well, consider these two statements:

  1. The Houston Texans will make the playoffs in 2010.
  1. Schaub will reach (and surpass) the passing totals he posted in 2009.

So, like they might ask you on those exams, are the statements dependent on each other, or are they mutually exclusive?

Ha! Trick question. Several months before the start of the season, those statements were only opinions. But the opinion here is that they are mutually exclusive.

If the Texans are to reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history, they need to become more balanced on offense. That would be good news for Houston fans, but not so good news for Schaub's fantasy owners.

With Schaub posting club records of 4,770 yards (the most in the NFL in 2009) and 29 touchdowns last season, Houston won a franchise-best nine games but still missed the playoffs. That came in part because of its inability to run the ball, especially in short-yardage situations, which led to some tough defeats.

The Texans lost only one game by more than a touchdown (and two-point conversion) in 2009, and that came on Kickoff Weekend. They led or were tied for the lead in the fourth quarter of five of their seven regular-season defeats.

To help eliminate the disconnect between the league's No. 1 passing offense and the No. 30 rushing offense, Houston brought in former Broncos offensive line coach Rick Dennison as coordinator. Former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left to join his dad, coach Mike Shanahan, in Washington.

The Texans also drafted Auburn's Ben Tate in the second round. Tate is a big, powerful back who is expected to contribute right away. Houston also hopes that Steve Slaton, who is recovering from neck surgery, will be closer to the fantasy star he was in 2008 than the fumble-prone back of 2009. Arian Foster is in the backfield mix, too.

No matter who carries the ball, though, expect the Texans to make a more concerted effort at establishing a running game to take some of the heat off Schaub and the passing game.

Bottom line: Schaub will not reach the passing totals he posted in 2009. (But the Texans will make the playoffs!)

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