Dr. Roto: Houston Texans Team Preview
Daily Dr. Roto — August 1, 2018
Houston Texans Team Preview
Outlook: The Texans had a plethora of injuries last season to big names like J.J. Watt, Deshaun Watson, and D’Onta Foreman which cost them dearly. However, If the Texans can stay healthy they have a real chance to compete for the playoffs. With the Jaguars and Titans being two of the top teams in the AFC and in the same division as the Texans, there is little margin for error.
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QB: Last year was one of my best years in Fantasy Football, and I honestly think it might have been my greatest ever if Deshaun Watson had not gotten injured. Many of you may not remember but I was the FIRST expert who dropped Watson’s name prior to his Week 4 masterpiece against the Titans. For the next four weeks I enjoyed Watson’s amazing game play (including 16 TD passes!) while I reeled off victory after victory. When I heard that he injured his knee in practice, I was crestfallen. It just goes to show how much one player can affect your Fantasy fortunes. Admittedly, I have some trepidation when it comes to drafting Watson this season. I still love him and what he brings to the table, but I wonder whether his mobility will suffer and if he will lose those rushing yards that made him so valuable. Currently, Watson has been going as the 2nd or 3rd QB off the board in most leagues I have seen. I am not quite ready to pull the trigger so early at this point, but if I like what I see in training camp and preseason, I will re-evaluate and possibly consider taking him in the 6th or 7th round.
RB: For some reason I just don’t like Lamar Miller that much. Maybe it’s me, but I think for all his skill and ability he should be even better than he is. Looking at the numbers, it makes all the sense in the world to take Miller in in the 4th or 5th rounds of drafts, but I can’t ever seem to pull the trigger. I know last year I was more impressed with D’Onta Foreman before he got injured, than I was with Miller. That said, Miller is a safe, steady pick in Fantasy leagues and I am fine with him as your RB2. Speaking of Foreman, he was just scratching the surface of his potential before he suffered an Achilles injury against Arizona. It was a terrible injury for me personally, as I drafted him in several leagues. While I expect him to return to the Texans this season, I would be shocked if he did not start the year on the PUP list. Lamar Miller can fill in admirably until Foreman is 100 percent, so there is no reason that the team needs to rush him back. If Foreman is available in the late middle rounds as my RB5, I will stash him and hopefully cash with him at the end of the season. If Foreman is placed on the PUP list to begin the year, it is likely that Alfred Blue will once again be Miller’s backup.
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WR: There is nothing that I don’t like about DeAndre Hopkins. I felt so fortunate to draft him in the second and third round last season because so many people were worried about the Texans QB situation. Hopkins is so good that it really doesn’t matter who the QB is. He is a playmaker who cannot be stopped by any one defender. If you are picking anywhere from 8-12 in the first round and you choose to take Hopkins, I am on board with that. Before an injury derailed him, there was a four-week period where Will Fuller was a TD machine (7 TD passes). And while I can’t always guarantee that Fuller will score as much as he did last season, I know that he will be a significant part of the Texans offense this season. Fuller benefits from a few things: Hopkins on the other side of the field, Watson’s mobility, Miller’s running, and Fuller’s sheer speed. So long as he does not struggle with his hands, he is a great choice for WR3. I know that Bruce Ellington and Braxton Miller are still on the roster, but my choice for slot receiver is Keke Coutee. Coutee comes from a prolific offense in college (Texas Tech) where he has over 1400 receiving yards and 10 TDs in 2017. Moreover, Coutee excels in the return game, so if your league gives you credit for special team yards, he could be a sneaky addition to your roster.
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TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz’s retirement has opened the door to a lot of competition at tight end for the Texans. The likely starter is Ryan Griffin. Griffin is an excellent receiver at the position, but he has struggles blocking and always seems to be injured. In fact, there are rumors that the next concussion that Griffin suffers might be career-ending for him. The backup is Stephen Anderson. Anderson is another poor blocker and he still seems to be learning the position even after two years in the offense. Because of Anderson’s lack of production, the Texans went out and drafted two tight ends in this year’s draft: Jordan Akins, a 3rd round pick out of UCF and Jordan Thomas, a 6th round pick out if Mississippi State. Of the two, Akins has caught the eye of the coaching staff as they coached him in this year’s Senior Bowl. If Griffin gets hurt, look for Atkins to slide in and get most of the reps at the position.
K: Ka’imi Fairbairn started 16 games for the Texans last season, and while he was pretty good from 50+ yards (3/4) he only had 25 FG attempts on the season. That number might change with Deshaun Watson available for all 16 games, so I am willing to use him as a possible starter in the right matchup.
D: The Texans defense is stocked with IDP stars such as J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, Jadeveon Clowney, Benardrick McKinney, and Zach Cunningham. This is a team I love owning in seasonal formats, and I expect that they will be one of the first five defenses drafted in most leagues.
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