When Tony Romo elected to join the press box, the Texans were officially screwed.
2016 Review: Heading into the 2016 season, the Houston Texans made some bold moves on offense and the critics loved it. They went out and signed Lamar Miller from the Dolphins, drafted a lot of young talent, and spent a ton of money on Denver backup Brock Osweiler. It was a hot debate in which many raved that it was the best signing in free agency; while others wondered if Osweiler was worth that type of money after starting a handful of games. The Texans 2016 perceived fantasy value went through the roof with two late first rounders (Miller and DeAndre Hopkins), but they both turned out to be pretty disappointing overall. The Texans were among the four worst teams in the NFL in total points, total yards, and passing yards.
2017 Changes: Well the biggest change was addition by subtraction. The team was able to dump Osweiler’s big contract onto the Cleveland Browns and now seem content going forward in the short-term with Tom Savage. Although Savage has never thrown a single TD pass in his brief career, the team seems to think he can at least be their stopgap. They of course do have a solid potential longterm solution with former Clemson star Deshaun Watson. The team also added a little depth at RB with the addition of former Longhorn D’Onta Foreman as well.
2017 Outlook: As cliche and basic as it is, the Houston Texans fantasy value will be determined strictly by their play at QB. Savage really only legitimately played in a few games last year and pretty much managed games. In his first significant action, he won a poopfest 12-10 contest over the Bengals and the following week they won a narrow 21-20 game over the Jaguars in which he played pretty solid (who didn’t against the Jags?). If Savage can play mediocre this could be a team and offense that is back to being fantasy relevant. We’re not expecting Savage to light it up though.
Fantasy Star You Can Trust: Lamar Miller was simply over-ranked last season as a first round pick and high end RB1. Considering his track record of not staying healthy for a full season and joining a new team with a mediocre cast around him, he never should have been ranked so high in the first place. With that being said, this season his ranking (high teens to low twenties) seems much more acceptable. He’s a respectable RB2 that should continue to see top 10 carries, so he’s worth a late second round early third round selection considering the Texans will continue to rely on him to stabilize the offense.
Biggest Potential Bust: DeAndre Hopkins was arguably the worst player to draft last season because he wasn’t injured or anything like that. He was just consistently bad throughout the entire season and you probably held onto him hoping he wouldn’t be at some point. Sure, he’s insanely talented and his lack of fantasy output wasn’t his fault. Osweiler couldn’t connect with the once fantasy stud to save his life. In Savage’s two most telling outings with the stud WR, he only connected on 4 passes for a little over 40 yards in the Bengals game and a much better 80 plus yard effort in the second game against Jacksonville. Either way the sample size is too small to take Hopkins in the late second to early third round. No thanks.
Best Sleeper: It may sound completely ludicrous, but Ryan Griffin may be the best Texans TE to own in 2017. Griffin did connect with Savage eight times in their Jacksonville game together which was as frequent as Hopkins did. Will Fuller is another name that showed some appeal last year, but flamed out over the course of the year. Perhaps he can get back on track and do so at an excellent value next year. (Editor’s Note: Fuller is now out with a broken collarbone)
Most Overrated Sleeper: CJ Fiedorowicz was a nice waiver wire add late in the year for TE needy teams, but I’m not seeing his longterm value next year considering (like I just said) he may not be the preferred TE on his own team. It’s probably best to avoid both TEs here and go with one on a team that doesn’t have two in the first place (or at least has a good offense). Oh, and you should probably pick one on a team with a QB that has thrown a single career touchdown pass.
One Interesting Stat: Despite carrying the rock the seventh most times in 2016, Lamar Miller failed to eclipse over 200 yards receiving. This needs to change for the Texans to be effective next season considering Miller was signed to be a dual threat RB much like his predecessor Arian Foster.
Most Intriguing Storyline: It’s getting redundant, but the Texans lost out on the expected Tony Romo sweepstakes and were left with egg on their face. Can they redeem themselves with Tom Savage under center or will this be another year wasted for an excellent defensive team that can’t produce decent offensive numbers?
One Thing I Was Right About (Last Year): Lamar Miller as a first round pick? The same one that was decent but not great on Miami? The same one that had little track record of carrying the ball over 200 times per season? The same one joining the Houston Texans offense?
One Thing I Was Wrong About: The logic of drafting DeAndre Hopkins high made sense at the time. He was coming off of a season where he saw over 180 targets, had poor QB play, and still was an elite fantasy WR. How did he fall so far??? But I digress.
Best Porn Name: Backup offensive tackle Breno Giacomini. Just sound out that last name with each syllable.
One Final Thought: Is the smoke show on the left JJ Watt’s girlfriend or is this an internet lie?