Editor’s note: To help you prepare for your fantasy football draft, NESN.com will profile each NFL team and analyze which players are worth picking and which players aren’t worth your time. Today, we look at the Texans.
The Houston Texans took a mediocre roster to the playoffs last season and made a handful of excellent improvements this offseason, meaning they have plenty of players who certainly can help you contend in your fantasy football leagues.
In advance of the upcoming fantasy season, we took a closer look at the Texans players you should draft, avoid and peg as sleepers.
DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver: As we’ve written in this space before, gone are the days when running backs dominated your fantasy league. Hopkins is a top-five wide receiver in the league, and is well worthy of a first-round draft selection regardless of your scoring format. He’s going as the fourth wide receiver and eighth overall. Draft him with confidence if he’s still on the board.
Lamar Miller, Running Back: Miller had a breakout year in 2015 with the Miami Dolphins despite playing for a team that completely misused him and only scratched the surface of his offensive abilities. We’re bullish on Miller this season, especially in PPR formats, and it seems other fantasy owners are too: He’s going 16th overall as the seventh running back off the board. He’s got top-five upside and should finish in the top 10 in scoring at his position at worst.
Will Fuller, Wide Receiver: Fuller was selected by the Texans 20th overall in this year’s NFL Draft. Normally we’d put him in the sleepers category, and we’re still technically classifying him as such, but he’s getting drafted (54th wide receiver, 14th round) and is owned in over 57 percent of ESPN leagues. For a guy who just caught 138 passes for 2,352 yards and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons at Notre Dame University, we think he’s an excellent flier for the end of your bench, especially if he wins the No. 2 WR spot next to Hopkins.
Texans Defense/Special Teams: Like any defense, the Texans are prone to boom or bust tendencies. That said, they still finished as the sixth-highest scoring group last season and are being taken seventh among defenses in the 12th-13th rounds. They have a relatively easy schedule save for a few matchups against great offenses like the New England Patriots (Week 3), Green Bay Packers (Week 13) and two games against the Indianapolis Colts (Weeks 6 and 14).
Brock Osweiler, Quarterback: As we were writing why you should draft Brock Osweiler, we completely talked ourselves out of doing it. He’s being drafted — 21st quarterback, 13th round — but there are better options. Maybe he shines in his first season in Houston. Maybe he’s a mediocre fifth-year QB who was overpaid and will struggle during his first season in a new offense, despite his shiny new toys. There are better fantasy options under center.
Alfred Blue/Jonathan Grimes, Running Backs: It’s never a good thing when you’re relying on a starter to get injured. If Miller does go down, we’d guess Blue would be the guy, but pick him up then.
Cecil Shorts, Wide Receiver: You know who Shorts is and generally what to expect out of him — WR3 or WR4 type numbers. If he stays healthy and wins the No. 2 receiver job, though, he might worth a starting flex spot. He isn’t being drafted, but will have to battle Fuller, Jaelen Strong and rookie Braxton Miller for a spot, all of whom were in consideration for this blurb. See how camp plays out, but keep their names on your watch list.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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