• Buy or Sell: 2022 Houston Texans Defense IDP

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    The Houston Texans have a large hill to climb to become relevant again. Their defense will be playing negative script games with many runs coming their way. Here are my Buy/Sell candidates from that defense.


    Christian Kirksey, LB

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    Houston Texans linebacker Christian Kirksey was originally a third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2014. After learning during his first two years in the league behind Karlos Dansby and Craig Robertson, Kirksey became the full-time starter in 2016.

    His combined stats for 2014 and 2015 were a very respectful 144 tackles (87 solos), 10 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 3 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. This was done in with just over half of the defensive snaps.

    LB1 in 2016 and 2017.

    In my leagues, Kirksey was the ninth-ranked LB in 2016 and the eighth-ranked LB in 2017. He was a tackling monster while starting all 16 games in both years. In 2016, Kirksey racked up 148 tackles (96 solos), 11 tackles for a loss, 7 QB hits, 2.5 sacks, and 3 passes defended.

    He followed up that strong year with another one in 2017. Kirksey delivered 138 tackles (86 solos), 6 tackles for a loss, 6 QB hits, 3.5 sacks, 5 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.

    Injuries Galore

    Kirksey played nine games in the following two years and missed nine more in 2018. He missed two games after injuring his shoulder in Week 2 and the final seven games with a significant hamstring injury. In 2019, Kirksey only played two games — he tore his pectoral muscle in Week 2 and missed the rest of the season.

    The Browns released Kirksey, and the Green Bay Packers signed him to a two-year contract. in 2020, Kirksey played and started 11 games. He produced 77 tackles (46 solo), 2 tackles for a loss, 2 QB hits, 2 sacks, 4 passes defended, and 2 interceptions.

    Kirksey injured his pectoral muscle again during the Week 3 game and missed the next five games. The Packers released him after his one year with them, most likely a salary cap move.

    Everything is Bigger in Texas

    In 2021, Kirksey signed a two-year, $10 million dollar contract with the Houston Texans. Thrown into the starting MIKE LB roll immediately, he played 13 games in 2021. Kirksey missed three games after breaking his thumb in Week 8.

    He also missed Week 15 after testing positive for Covid. In the 13 games he played, Kirksey produced 93 tackles (55 solos), 6 tackles for a loss, 2 QB hits, 8 pass defensed, 1 interception, and 2 fumble recoveries.

    Kirksey has proven he will deliver game-winning stats when healthy. I believe his bad luck injuries are behind him, and he is not injury-prone. Kirksey was the #37 scoring LB last year in just 13 games. He had the numbers to put him as a solid LB2 if he plays all 17 games.

    Kirksey turns 30 this month but still has a lot of hits left in him with the missed games. Kirksey has an ADP of LB #64 on IDPGuys.org and that is just plain silly. Buy him now for nothing.


    Jonathan Greenard, DE

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    The Houston Texans made Jonathan Greenard their third round pick in the 2020 NFL draft. He had defensive snaps in 12 of those rookie games. Greenard had just two games of 50% or more snaps and did start the week 16 game. In those minimal snaps, he produced 19 tackles (10 solos), 2 tackles for a loss, 3 QB hits, 1 sack, and a pass defended.

    This past year, Greenard played and started in 12 games. His five games missed were due to foot and shoulder injuries. Grenard produced well in his 12 games with 33 tackles (23 solos), 9 tackles for a loss, 12 QB hits, 8 sacks, 4 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles.

    Greenard is ranked as the #15 EDGE rusher and #13 defensive end in the IDPGuys.org IDP rankings. He has a lot of promise and had a very good second year for the Texans. My concern is the foot injury. Greenard had off-season foot surgery and is just getting back on the field in training camp.

    He missed all of the off season workouts while he was rehabbing the foot. Your league-mates are always looking for productive defensive ends. Take advantage now with his solid #2 defensive end ranking. You might be surprised with what you can get for him.

    Thank you for checking out the latest Buy/Sell/Keep article! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

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