I’ve been a Houston Texans fan since their inception back in 2002, and, lemme tell ya, I can think of few things in my life that have been less rewarding. I mean, my god. Even when the team was good a couple of years ago everybody knew they weren’t nearly good enough to win anything of value. They won a couple of AFC South titles (which may as well be participation trophies) before beating the Bengals in the playoffs two years in a row. Beating the Bengals probably doesn’t even count as a real playoff win. It’s better than losing to the Bengals of course, but it’s still the freaking Bengals.
Anyway, with Houston hurtling toward another hopeless season of complete mediocrity, let’s dive into what we can expect from them in fantasy football this season (HINT: NOT MUCH, GUYS).
Can Brian Hoyer Do Better Than He Did in Cleveland?
Poop emoji. Brian Hoyer was tabbed as the team’s starter ahead of Ryan Mallett last week, which must mean Mallett is truly terrible. We know what Hoyer is already, and that’s a game managing type that’s going to throw some inopportune picks and generally give you replacement-level production. Mallett is much more of an unknown given his lack of regular season game experience, which makes this announcement about as depressing as possible. He looked pretty solid when he did get time last season, but then got hurt and we never saw him again. We can only assume that he’s a big-armed doofus that makes some pretty awful decisions in practice, or something.
Obviously neither of these guys is remotely close to being worthy of a fantasy draft choice, unless you’re just in there to ruin it for everyone else, which is a strategy I endorse.
Arian Foster Down For the Count?
Arian Foster is awesome, but of course he ripped the groin muscle right off the bone in the first damn practice of training camp. So, he’s gone for a while. Could he come back later in the season? Yes, but who the hell knows how he’ll look. May as well take a late-round flier on him and see if he can come back healthy. If he does, then you’ve got a potential steal.
With Foster on the shelf, the Texans now turn to the likes of Alfred Blue, Jonathan “Grimey” Grimes, Chris Polk and Kenny Hilliard. That’s quite the murderer’s row, indeed! Blue got some run last year, and averaged a grand total of 3.1 yards-per-carry. That’s some Trent Richardson trash right there. By virtue of being the probable starter, however, I suppose you can roster him and see what he can offer in year two. None of the other three warrant much consideration, barring some sort of explosion over the course of the last two preseason games.
It’s All About DeAndre Hopkins
In the most Texans way possible, this offseason they essentially kicked the best player in franchise history (Andre Johnson) out the door and let him sign with the primary division rival (Colts). Sound strategy! The Texans have beaten the Colts, like, twice ever, and now they’ll get to lose to them with Johnson laughing right in their faces.
Without Andre, Houston’s group of wideouts consists of DeAndre Hopkins, Cecil Shorts III, Nate Washington and Jaelen Strong. This isn’t a bad group of pass-catchers at all, at least until you remember who’s playing quarterback here. Hopkins looks like a stud, but his ceiling may be a bit capped as a result of having a duck-hurler under center. Seems like a WR2 type. As for the others, Strong is a nice prospect, while Shorts should be able to contribute something right away. No higher than WR3 for either of them, though, of course.
Don’t Expect Much at Tight End
The Texans’ tight ends are Garrett Graham and C.J. Fiedorowicz. This concludes the tight end presentation.
J.J. Watt Leads a Fiery Defense…Again
Health permitting, the one area in which Houston should be excellent is on defense. A pass rush featuring J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Vince Wilfork SHOULD be awesome, and this team could easily lead the league in sacks. The Texans ranked tied for second in the league last season with a turnover differential of +12, and it wouldn’t be overly shocking to see that number rise a bit. Easily a top-five fantasy D/ST if all goes well.
Overall, the Texans absolutely have their good spots for the fantasy realm, but Hoyer and TE need to be avoided and we should probably temper our expectations ever so slightly with Hopkins. Some have him cracking into the top-10 in fantasy football, and that just might be a little cray cray.