|By Chris Weeks, Monday, October 21, 2013|
QB Matt Schaub - Quality Backup
Update (10/20): Schaub has struggled this season to the point where fans are now cheering when he gets hurt and chanting for Yates to replace him. In week 7 they got their wish as Schaub missed the game with a ankle injury and Case Keenum led the Texans into Kansas City. Once healthy, Schaub will take back the starting job, but will be nothing more than a backup at best for fantasy football owners.
Profile: There was once a time when Schaub was on every fantasy owner's rader. That time ended a couple of years ago when the Texans became a run, run and run it again offense. Schaub's numbers haven't been awful, but with the Texans' run focused offense it is hard for us to imagine him being top 5 quarterback quality.
QB T.J. Yates - Low Potential
Update (10/20): Yates has been demoted to third string and has no fantasy value.
Profile: When Schaub went down two years ago, Yates (then a rookie) was called upon to lead the Texans offense. While his efforts on the field were good enough to lead the Texans to victory, they did little to help fantasy owners. While Schaub has been injury prone throughout his career, it would be better to snag a starter from another team than snag Yates as your fantasy backup.Injury Status: Out -
RB Arian Foster - Stud (low risk)
Update (10/20): Foster has a hamstring injury which caused him to miss most of the Texans' week 7 game against Kansas City. When healthy Foster is a must start, but his inability to stay on the field is costing fantasy owners. If you're an Arian Foster owner you have to keep an eye on his injury status each week. This seems to be the norm with Foster, so owners should know better by now.
Profile: At age 26, Foster is in the prime of his NFL career. In just 4 years we'll be looking for declining numbers and he'll slip from first in our drafts to 10th. For the time being Forster is healthy, in his mid 20s and playing in a run happy offense. There is little reason to believe he will not be one of the league's top 5 backs again this season.
Update: One of the top picks in the draft is now dealing with a back injury. Have we seen this preseason Foster scare before? Yes and no. Last year it was a preseason hamstring injury that scared owners from Foster. Some lucky fantasy players stole him as late as 6 or 7 last season. This year, we've been waiting to see him on the field and Head Coach Gary Kubiak didn't do much to help us feel better. Foster has been dealing with back pain that has been "bothering him in his legs." This is not good news. We feel this injury has legitimate legs and we'd defer to other options in the first round. We've been down on Foster all summer due to the heavy workload he has experienced over the past few seasons. Very few backs can sustain that type of wear and tear over the long haul. Players like LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice and Trent Richardson all feel safer to us at this point. Don't let him slip into the second round or anything crazy like that, but proceed with caution.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
RB Ben Tate - Fantasy Handcuff
Update(10/20): With Foster missing time due to a hamstring injury, the running game in Houston will be in the hands of Ben Tate. In the past Tate has been a quality replacement for Foster and there's no reason to believe this trend won't continue.
Profile: If we've said it once, we've said it 100 times: the Texans like to run the ball and run it they will. In their current setup, Tate spells Foster on third downs and picks up a few carries in garbage time. When given the opportunity, Tate performs well. Should Foster miss significant time, Tate would step into this run heavy offense and post very good fantasy numbers.
RB Greg Jones - Low Potential
Currently, Jones (the Texans' top FB) is listed as the team's third running back option. For the time being this may be the case, but come week one we expect this to change. The Texans have 3 rookie backs on the roster and one of them will likely win the job as Tate's backup. Unless something happens to both Foster and Tate causing them both to miss valuable time, we don't feel there's much value this far down on the depth chart.
WR Andre Johnson - Stud (low risk)
Update (10/20): Andre Johnson has played well this season. The only drawback thus far has been Johnson's inablilty to reach the end zone. Johnson has never had double digit touchdowns, so this shouldn't be a huge concern for fantasy owners. The 11 year veteran will find the end zone in the second half of the season.
Profile: Johnson has been an elite receiver in the NFL ever since joining the league 11 years ago. With a solid run game and quality weapons at the tight end (and oppoite receiver position), we believe Johnson is due for another solid season this year. The only thing that is going to prevent Andre for posting top 5 numbers is an injury costing him significant playing time.
WR DeAndre Hopkins - Sleeper (undervalued)
Update (10/20): Hopkins has played very well this season, especially considering he is just a rookie. Look for his stats to improve the second half of the season. The rookie out of Clemson will be a valuable asset for fantasy owners this season and for years to come.
Update (8/21): Hopkins suffered a concussion in the Texans game against Miami last week. At this point it is unclear if he'll be ready to go Sunday against the Saints. Concussions are never a good thing and if this starts to become a regular occurrence, Hopkins' value will plummet.
The rookie first round pick out of Clemson looks to take over the starting role as the Texans' number two receiver. With great hands, speed and route running ability, Hopkins could be a valuable fantasy asset. The issues here are wether Hopkins as a rookie can carve out a spot in his first season and just how many balls will he see in this run heavy offense? If you're looking for a flyer then Hopkins is as good as they come. However, if you need a quality starter, you may want to look elsewhere until this rookie proves he has the stuff to be a fantasy stud.
WR Lestar Jean - Not Draft Worthy
With just six regular season receptions under his belt, Lester has done very little to excite football fans (let alone fantasy owners). While there's an outside chance Lestar could take the #2 role from Hopkins, it is just that...an outside chance. Lestar had an opportunity last season to show what he could do and all he showed us was nothing. There is no reason for fantasy owners to draft Lestar.
WR DeVier Posey - Not Draft Worthy
When last year began, we thought Posey might have a chance to win the starting job in Houston. We all know that didn't happen and when the season ended Posey wound up playing in just 11 games, making 6 receptions for 87 yards. Unless Posey has done something in the off season to drastically change the coach's opinions, there's little reason for fantasy owners to be interested in DeVier.
WR Keshawn Martin - Not Draft Worthy
In his rookie year (2012), Martin played in all 16 games pulling down just 10 receptions for 85 yards, with one resulting in a touchdown. Typical numbers we expect to see from rookie receivers. Usually it takes until year three for receivers to fully grasp how to play the position in the NFL. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but Martin is not one. Unless you're in a very large league and hoping to find a diamond in the rough, it is probably best to stay away from Keshawn in this year's draft.
TE Owen Daniels - Solid/Safe Pick
Update (10/20): Daniels has a broken fibula and will be out until at least week 14 (if not the remainder of the season).
Profile: Even with all the injuries, Daniels still managed to finish the 2012-13 season as a top 10 tight end. Daniels is a nice large target for Schaub's over the middle pass attack offense. That is of course when the Texans throw the ball. Owen's offensive production is only limited by the number opportunities he receives. It is likely Daniels won't be a top 5 receiver, but there's no reason to believe he won't finish in the top 10 again this season.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
TE Garrett Graham - Quality Backup
Update(10/20): With the injury to Owen Daniels, the Texans look to Garrett Graham to fill the void. Everyone thought this would be Graham's opportunity to shine, but just the opposite happened. The four year veteran has just 5 receptions for 63 yards since Owens' injury. Graham is a solid TE who should provide owners some fantasy value.
Profile: Graham is a talented young tight end with a very nice upside, but he's currently playing behind one of the league's better tight ends. Even with all the injuries Owen Daniels suffered last season, he failed to miss enough playing time for fantasy owners to use Graham in their lineup. This will be the case again this season for Garrett. Unless something happens causing Daniels to miss significant playing time, it is best to only play Graham in a pinch.
PK Randy Bullock - Sleeper (undervalued)
At this time, Bullock is the only kicker on the Texans roster. This doesn't mean he'll be their starting kicker, it just means there's nobody else competing for the position at this time. The Texans used a 5th round pick on Bullock last season and through 3 pre-season games he looked like he would be the team's starting kicker. That was until he suffered a season ending groin injury in Houston's third pre-season game. If healthy, Bullock should win the job this season; playing on a team with a high powered offense should mean plenty of fantasy points for owners.
Houston Defense - Solid/Safe Pick
The Texans' defense should be one of the league's top 5 defenses this season. This is if everyone can stay healthy. Defensive end JJ Watt is a nightmare for opposing offenses to defend against. Couple this with a high scoring offense and this defense is prime for sacks and turn over's O'plenty.