Spotlight - RB Ahman Green, Houston Texans
Posted on 7/1, exclusive to Footballguys.com
Chris Smith's Thoughts
RB Ahman Green is on the wrong side of 30 years old and heading to one of the worst offensive teams in 2006.
Why is it then that I anticipate Green surprising with a very good 2007 season?
Read on and I'll elaborate.
Last season, Green put together very nice statistics after returning from his injury-plagued 2005 campaign. He finished 15th at the running back position with 178.7 fantasy points despite missing two games.
Green's numbers last season
- 266 carries
- 1,059 rushing yards
- 46 receptions
- 373 receiving yards
- 6 touchdowns
Considering the youth along the offensive line, Green exceeded for Green Bay in 2006.
What to expect in Houston?
There is a misconception out there that the Texans offensive line is putrid. In fact, when it comes to run blocking, the Texans offensive line has been pretty good over the years. In 2005, Domanick Davis (now Domanick Williams) finished 17th at the running back position despite playing in only eleven games. Prior to that Williams finished 5th and 14th at the position.
Ahman Green is at least 'as talented' as Davis even on the wrong side of thirty and has the track record behind him from his time in Green Bay.
- Four straight seasons of 217+ FP
- Six times in past seven years with 179 fantasy points
- 259+ carries in six of the last seven seasons
- He had 350 receptions in seven seasons
Even last season with a revolving door at running back and inconsistent play at quarterback, the Texans offense finished with 1,685 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns which was about middle of the pack.
Reasons for optimism in 2007
- Texans offensive line is a strong
run-blocking unit: Many casual and
even some well-researched fantasy owners believe that the Texans offensive line
is terrible. That simply is not the
case. There have been big struggles in
pass protection (although some of the blame has to go to former quarterback
David Carr as well) but when it comes to run blocking, this unit has been very
- Green still has more in the tank: Last season, Green ran the ball with
conviction and still appears to have the wiggle in his hips that made him
difficult to bring down. He is on the
wrong side of 30 but hasn't been overworked over the years and should have
another couple of seasons before the wheels fall off.
- Opportunities on the ground and in the air: There is little question that Green will get 20 carries per game with the Texans. He is clearly the best option at running back and he'll help take pressure off of new quarterback Matt Schaub. Where Green will also thrive however is in the passing game. The Texans have one great receiver in Andre Johnson, a good young tight end in Owen Daniels and then not much else. Green will see plenty of targets coming out of the backfield and he is a proven receiver as his 350 receptions over 7 seasons illustrates.
Green's career highlights
- Thirty-four career 100-yard rushing games
- Thirty games with 5+ receptions
- Twenty-two multi-touchdown games
- Twenty-six 20+ fantasy point games
- Forty-six 15+ fantasy point games
- Six top-fifteen fantasy seasons
- Three top-five fantasy seasons
- Has finished as high as RB2 in fantasy football
- Remove 2005 campaign in which he played in only five games and Green has had six straight top-15 seasons
- Has an excellent blend of size, quickness, vision and power
- Texans offensive line capable of excellent run blocking
- Incredible receiver out of the backfield
- Lack of true competition for touches
- Green is on the wrong side of 30 and his talent could begin to ebb
- May take Green awhile to get used to his new surroundings
- Texans unproven passing attack may allow defenses to key on stopping the run
Final ThoughtsThere are many fantasy owners sleeping on Green this year. Even in an 'expert' draft I just participated in, I stole Green in the fifth round. The bottom line on Green is that he produces in a big way as his six top-15 seasons illustrate. I could see the hesitation if he returned from injury last season and looked old, incapable of carrying the load at this point in his career. The fact is however that Green looked good running the ball in 2006 and he has plenty left in the gas tank going forward. His floor this season is a solid RB2 for a fantasy squad but looking at the numbers Domanick Williams managed to put up during his three-year run, I see considerable upside for Green in this offense. Don't be surprised if Green sneaks into the top-12.
Quotations from the Message Board ThreadTo view the entire Player Spotlight thread (there's a ton of fantastic commentary in there), click here.
I see a lot of potential value here. While I think it is unrealistic to expect Green to have anything more than 300 carries (a number he's hit only once since 2002), I do expect him to touch the ball a LOT. In addition to about 285 carries, Green should be a force in the passing game (Houston ranked 9th in targets to RB last year). Further, if the platoon of Ron Dayne, Wali Lundy, and Samkon Gado could manage about four yards a carry, I expect that Green can do (slightly) better. Finally, I don't really see any significant goal line vulture. In sum, Green gets official ***VALUE PICK*** status from this writer.
David Yudkin, FBG Staff:
Are we evaluating the same player? IMO, the projections in here are a bit on the lofty side, with several folks setting the bar in the 280-290 carry range with as many as 65 receptions. I know Domanick Davis did very well in Houston for fantasy purposes several years ago, but this is a different team at this point. Here's what I see . . .
- Now 30, Green's best years are most likely behind him.
- He's battled injuries in 4 of the past 5 seasons, each with varying impact on his production
- In the past 3 seasons, he's been in the 250-260 carry range ignoring the year he missed much of the season.
- In the past 2 seasons, his ypc has been a modest 3.8. His ypc prior to that was 4.7. Injuries certainly played a role in that, but the question is whether the injuries have caused him to lose a step or if the injuries have gone away and he's back to the uber back form of 2003.
- In the final 8 games of 2006, Green posted a very pedestrian 3.4 ypc.
- His reception totals were steadily decling before a minor uptick last year.
- His TD totals have dropped dramatically. From 2000-2003, Green scored once every 27 touches. Since then, he's scored once every 50.5 touches.M
- Both the Packers and Texans were Bottom 10 rushing teams last year.
My theoretical question is why we should expect a 30-year-old RB that's been plagued with injuries (some minor, some more severe) to move to the Texans with an equally so-so OL, an unproven QB, and basically only one established receiving threat and expect Green to both play more and play better. Unless Schaub and the Texans show a lot more in the passing game, Green may face more guys in the box then he ever saw in GB when he had gunslinger Favre under center. Other than Andre Johnson, no other Texans player has had more than 40 receptions in a season before. (I see Ron Dayne coming in at the goal line.)
For all those bashing the Houston line, it showed remarkable improvement last year under Kubiak. Their 2 3rd round picks look like keepers, if Spencer can recover from his leg injury. Even if he doesn't, they did sign Black this offseason. While he's not a great player, he is a legitimate starter in this league. All in all, the line greatly improved last year to be about the bottom of the middle. Some further improvement is not out of the question and then line will be middle of the pack.
Ahman Green Projections
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