Houston Texans Fantasy Breakdown
Earlier this offseason it looked like Houston had a problem. Try to forget about DeAndre Hopkins and take a look at this offense as a whole. There’s actually a lot of skill and upside here. Let’s get to it and breakdown the fantasy value of the Texans by position.
Offseason additions: RB David Johnson, WR Randall Cobb, WR Brandin Cooks, WR Isaiah Coulter (R)
Offseason subtractions: WR DeAndre Hopkins, RB Carlos Hyde, RB Lamar Miller
Quarterback: Superstar QB Deshaun Watson not only lost the best receiver on his team but lost arguably the best receiver in the whole league in a surprising trade with the Cardinals which sent him a new weapon in former All-Pro RB David Johnson. Bill O’Brien did make an attempt at replacing Nuk by signing veteran wideout Randall Cobb as well as trading for speedster Brandin Cooks. Watson shouldn’t have much of a dropoff without Hopkins, he could be even better with a solid running game and an improved O-Line. He finished as the QB #5 but only played 15 games and was just 17 points out of 2nd place. With a current ADP of #48, if Watson can get relatively close to last season’s production of 3,852 yards, 26 TDs against 12 INTs, as well as 413 rushing yards and 8 more TDs (1 receiving), he should be a fairly safe pick near that ADP. I personally don’t draft QBs that high but if you do, Watson is once again a top option.
Running Back: David Johnson is in a prime position to be the biggest steal of fantasy drafts this year and all that’s standing in his way is his health. Houston could be just what the Doctor ordered for DJ to get back to his former self. Johnson has only started all 16 games twice in his 5 year career, in those 2 seasons he earned a whopping combined 681 touches, 3,504 yards from scrimmage and 30 touchdowns! Imagine if he played 16 games with an improved O-Line that helped over the hill Carlos Hyde hit the 1,000 rushing yard mark for the first time in his career. Houston gave their RBs 397 touches in 2019 with current Seahawk Carlos Hyde getting 255 of those. HC Bill O’Brien has called David Johnson a three down back and said that he is excited to have him. DJ has earned a reputation for missing a lot of time due to injury but if you take a little deeper look you’ll find that’s a little misleading. He’s missed 18 regular season games in his 5 year career but 15 of them were in 2017 when he dislocated his wrist in game #1 which required surgery. Other than that he’s only missed 3 games which were last season. With a current ADP of #38, Johnson is worth the risk. If you get Johnson, you should definitely get the other one too. There will be plenty of work to go around in this offense and veteran Duke Johnson Jr. will be the next in line. He won’t be a star but other than him and David Johnson there’s not much else in this backfield. Posting a stat line of 127 touches for 810 yards and 5 TDs isn’t anything to sneeze at. He definitely has some value in PPR leagues and is an elite handcuff.
Wide Receiver: This squad will be difficult for fantasy owners to navigate. With All Pro DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona, there will be plenty of fantasy points to be had for Watson’s receivers. Will Fuller is an intriguing low risk high reward option. With a current ADP of #86, Fuller is a WR #4 but has legitimate WR #1 upside. Fuller had career highs in receptions and yards in 2019 with a stat line of 49/670/3 on 71 targets. The speedy former 1st round pick has yet to play a full season but with his chemistry with Watson the sky is the limit if he could just stay healthy. Newcomer Brandin Cooks is in a prime spot to be a steal as well. He had a down year in 2019 with career lows in catches (42) and TDs (3) finishing as the WR #62. Cooks should bounce back with a significant upgrade in QB and plenty of opportunities to go around. Cooks had been so solid the previous four seasons playing every game for three different teams and finishing as the WR #13, #10, #15 and #13 in PPR leagues. With an ADP of #83, there is huge upside here but there’s downside too, although Cooks has only missed 2 games since his rookie season one more concussion could spell serious trouble and possibly be the end of his career. Veteran newbie Randall Cobb had a decent season in Dallas with a stat line of 55/828/3 on 83 targets finishing as the WR #44. The Texans gave him a three-year, $27 million deal with nearly $19 million guaranteed. With a current ADP of #231 you probably won’t have to draft him but he could worth a dart throw in the late rounds. It’s been somewhat widely believed that talented WR Kenny Stills is the odd man out in Houston. There’s many theories out there that he could be cut to save money and that he doesn’t fit in with the current WR group due to his similarities to Cooks and Fuller’s strengths. Some believe Keke Coutee is in a better position since he’s on his rookie deal and primarily plays out of the slot. Either way Coutee doesn’t have much value after playing 9 games and catching only 22 balls. If Stills is on the roster and can find his way onto the field he could be worth stashing. He achieved a stat line of 40/561/4 on 55 targets in 13 games. Stills could have great value if/when Fuller or Cooks go down.
Tight End: There’s not much to see here. Veteran journeyman Darren Fells started 14 games last season and made the most of it. He had career highs across the board with 34/341/7 on 48 targets. He finished as the TE #17 in PPR leagues. Jordan Akins (36/418/2) is next in line followed by Jordan Thomas (not that Jordan Thomas!) and Kahale Warring who Houston drafted in the 3rd round last year but failed to play due to concussions. Warring could burst onto the scene as Bill O’Brien has stated that he is excited about Warring and believes that the 6’6” former water polo player can be a really good player for the Texans.
Defense: This squad tied for 22nd with the Falcons in fantasy points last season averaging just 5.6 PPG. There are certainly better options than Houston but with a healthy J.J. Watt and the right matchup this defense can be productive and can be a great streaming option.
There’s plenty of potential here with some big names at low cost. Hit it right and one or two of these Texans could be a real league winner.