Note: all points are calculated with PPR scoring
Team Reception Breakdown
Deshaun Watson: 329.6 total, 20.6 ppg (300/475 passing, 3895 yards, 34 TD, 16 INT; 518 yards rushing, 4 TD, 3 fumbles lost)
I don’t necessarily disagree with the analysts who are cautioning against Watson on the grounds that he’ll regress. What I do disagree with is how risky he is from a production standpoint. The guy will be running the same offense with the same weapons. Sure his touchdown rate will drop, but given how high it was to begin with there’s a lot of space between last year’s production and the “bust” label. On top of that, the guy is a dynamic runner in his own right, a key factor to consider when it comes to fantasy football. I can definitely see him turning the ball over at a very high rate too, but as long as he can keep his touchdown-to-interception ratio near 2:1 he should be in for a spectacular year. He should be challenging Aaron Rodgers for the title of top fantasy QB this year.
Lamar Miller: 236.6 total, 14.8 ppg (250 carries, 1000 yards, 6 TD, 1 fumble lost; 45 Rec, 396 yards, 3 TD)
D’Onta Foreman: 42.0 total, 5.3 ppg (50 carries, 215 yards, 2 TD, 0 fumbles lost; 5 Rec, 45 yards, 0 TD)
With Foreman looking likely to open the season on the PUP list, Miller is lined up for a 3-down role. While Miller certainly has the tool-set to be a 3-down back, he seems to struggle every time he’s given a heavy load. He should be a high-end RB2 on volume alone, but unless he can suddenly shoulder a heavy load for an entire season his upside is limited. I am concerned for Foreman once he does come back. Achilles tears are incredibly difficult to come back from and he’s not recovering particularly well so far. Hopefully he comes all the way back once healed, but there’s a good chance that this injury also took some burst out of him. He could be a high-upside snag in the later rounds, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. In the meantime, Alfred Blue will backup Miller. Blue more than likely will not see enough volume to carry any sort of fantasy value, just enough to cut into Miller’s a bit.
DeAndre Hopkins: 347.4 total, 21.7 ppg (105 Rec, 1544 yards, 15 TD, 1 fumble lost)
Will Fuller: 157.2 total, 9.8 ppg (40 Rec, 712 yards, 8 TD, 1 fumble lost)
I’m bullish on Watson this year, so it does follow that I’m bullish on both of his lead receivers as well. Will “Touchdown Per Catch” Fuller isn’t going to keep up with the touchdown pace he had last year, but he’s still an excellent deep threat. For a receiver built in something of a boom-or-bust mold, his floor isn’t bad and he should frequently hit his ceiling. Consider him a high upside WR4. On the other side, I expect premier receiver Hopkins to have career numbers across the board. I would even go so far as to call him the favorite to be the overall top receiver in fantasy this year. The remaining noteworthy receivers will be competing with each other for the few slot receiver targets leftover, so none of them will carry any fantasy value without an injury to either Hopkins or Fuller.
Stephan Anderson: 80.1 total, 5.0 ppg (30 Rec, 381 yards, 2 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
After the retirement of C. J. Fiedorowicz, the tight end ranks in Houston look rather barren. Ryan Griffen will see plenty of time on the field as the best blocker of the group, but move tight end Anderson is more likely to lead the group in receiving. That likely won’t mean much though. None of the Texans’ tight ends are worth drafting.