HOUSTON - Fantasy football season is quickly approaching as we move toward the 2021 season. The rankings are being put together, leagues are being activated and team owners are beginning their mock drafts to prep for draft night.
Sports Illustrated's Michael Fabiano is here to help. Putting together a top-200 ranking of players for a 12-team, PPR scoring league, Fabiano is here to make sure that every fan has the best chance to win their league come December.
The Houston Texans find themselves with five players on the list. Can they be game changers despite not being in the top 50?
70. Brandin Cooks, WR29, HOU / Age: 27 / FA: 2024
This is simple: Cooks is the best weapon in Houston and one of the most underrated wide receivers in the game. Other players, like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tee Higgins and Brandon Aiyuk might actually be players who overall skills are less than the 29-year-old target.
The difference? The quarterback. Deshaun Watson is not expected to be playing until his lawsuits have been settled, meaning Cooks' production could take. a hit.
Then again, the five-time 1,000-yard target certainly will be in line to be a great depth piece with upside in your team needs a starter in a pinch. A later round addition, Cooks will provide value and should at least have one or two 100-yard games.
82. David Johnson, RB33, HOU / Age: 29 / FA: 2022
Johnson likely is going to see the most reps in the backfield. Last season's finish of two 100-plus games allowed him to tally over 17 points during the final three games. With Watson likely out, expect Houston to trust the run game.
Of the runners of staff, Johnson provides extra value with his hands. During his first season with the Texans, he recorded 33 catches for 214 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. Ideally best used as a depth runner, Johnson's numbers should be stronger this fall, making him a suitable bench player with starting experience. R
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150. Phillip Lindsay, RB57, HOU / Age: 27 / FA: 2022
We highly disagree with this position and his ranking among his peers. Lindsay might not a top 10 runner, but he's certainly in the conversation for a top 30.
In two of his three seasons with Denver, Lindsay rushed for over 1,000 yards. He also finished those same years with at least seven touchdowns. He'll be fighting for reps with Johnson and Mark Ingram, but Lindsay's scatback style allows him to maneuver through holes and work his way up for large gains.
This could be a final round steal if the offensive line can remain stable.
163. Deshaun Watson, QB24, HOU / Age: 25 / FA: 2026
We won't spend much time on this. Watson is currently facing 22 civil lawsuits of sexual misconduct and sexual assault claims. On top of that, he has demanded a trade from the organization and is not expected to return to Houston.
Watson is a top-five quarterback in the game and a top 20 player in fantasy. The only problem is no one knows when he will play again. Even so, it likely isn't with the Texans.
185. Randall Cobb, WR74, HOU / Age: 31 / FA: 2023
Cobb could be a nice waiver wire pickup down the line if Tyrod Taylor finds a connection early. In his first season of a three-year $27 million deal, he only played in 10 games and recorded 38 catches for 441 yards and three touchdowns.
Taylor or rookie Davis Mills could be looking for a safety net in the slot. Cobb would ideally be the starter there with Nico Collins and Cooks playing the outside. Although his numbers likely won't hit 1,000 yards, Cobb could see multiple double-digit catches per game inside.
Keep an eye on the chemistry in camp between Cobb and the quarterbacks. This could be a surprise player amongst all names outside the top 100 come midseason.
CONTINUE READING: Rocky Mountain Bye: RB Phillip Lindsay’s Big Texans Change