Report: Texans QB Schaub done for the season

Posted Nov. 14, 2011 @ 6 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Updated Nov. 14, 2011 @ 7:46 p.m. ET

Matt Leinart will start at quarterback for the Texans in their next game against the Jaguars in Week 12, head coach Gary Kubiak announced Monday, and now it appears Leinart will be the team's starter the rest of the season.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that starting QB Matt Schaub will miss the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury.

Kubiak said that Schaub had suffered a "significant foot injury" on a QB sneak in the first half when his foot got caught in a pile. Kubiak said Schaub would be in a walking boot and wouldn't say if the injury was going to be a season-ending one.

The Texans have a bye in Week 11.

Leinart, a former first-round pick, has not started a game since 2009, which is also the last season in which he threw a pass. Leinart has thrown 14 career touchdowns and 20 interceptions in his career.

 

The way we see it

Luckily for the Texans, they get a bye week, are in control of their division, have a strong run game with Arian Foster and Ben Tate and the league's top-ranked defense. This is still a huge blow, as Leinart has not shown much in his opportunities in the NFL. The Jaguars' defense has stifled teams, and it won't be an easy first test for Leinart.

The Texans' chances to go deep in the playoffs take a significant hit with Leinart as the signalcaller. Houston will have to lean heavily on its defense and run game, while it gives Leinart a chance to make a positive name for himself in what has been, up to this point, a bust of an NFL career.

 

PFW fantasy spin

The loss of Schaub is not as big a blow in fantasyland as many would think, though he had a solid season per-game average of 247.9 yards, 1.5 TDs and 0.6 interceptions. Those are solid numbers overall, but his inconsistency, combined with a strong rushing attack, had lessened his role. Schaub's foot injury opens the door for Leinart, who has yet to have success in the NFL or fantasyland. Look for the team to use him as a game manager as the offense will try to emphasize the run even more than it already does.

The problem with Leinart is simple. All the bad traits and habits he had in college carried over: a lack of arm strength, lack of mobility to avoid the rush, he floats and lets the ball hang in the air and makes poor decisions and bad throws on the run. Leinart may not be an NFL-caliber quarterback. However, if the team can minimize his mistakes with a strong rushing attack, it will be able to compete because its defense has risen to be one of the best this season. If it does that, then it will be able to keep the pressure off Leinart and bring him along, with a goal of getting him ready for the playoffs. That means the loss of fantasy points will be minimized.

Leinart does not have any fantasy value. His lack of arm strength will hurt the deep game and lower the ceiling of WR Andre Johnson. However, if you don't believe Johnson's value will drop much, it's time to buy low. Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter have minimal fantasy value already, and with Leinart, even less.

TE Owen Daniels is a question mark, but his value may not take a hit if Leinart uses him in the short passing game. His role theoretically could increase, though that's being wildly optimistic. The best you should hope for with Daniels is that his numbers remain about the same and Leinart uses him as a safety valve.

The running backs will see their value rise slightly as they're already in a run-heavy attack. They're near the bottom of the league in pass attempts per game at 26.6 and No. 1 in rush attempts per game with 35.7. Expect a slight bump for Ben Tate as the team will need to keep Foster fresh now more than ever, as he'll have to carry the load. In larger leagues, owners can use Tate as an injury fill-in or flex back with good matchups.