Fantasy Power Rankings No. 27 - Houston
Outside of superstar running back Arian Foster and rising wideout DeAndre Hopkins, the Houston Texans don’t bring much to the fantasy football table. The team checks in at No. 27 on the 2015 power rankings.
The Texans finished last season as the No. 15 team in fantasy, so it’s a fairly precipitous fall for them down to No. 27.
The Texans are rolling with former Tom Brady backups at quarterback this season – Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett. It makes for an interesting story, especially because they are with former New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien as well, but you should stay away from both on draft day.
Foster is still going in the first round of fantasy drafts, but his injury “history” has led some to caution against the 29-year-old. You can’t deny that he’s only played 21 games in the past two seasons combined, but when on the field, Foster is one of the surest bets in fantasy.
He scored 0.51 fantasy points per opportunity (PPO) last season, fifth best in the league among qualifying running backs. He will also undoubtedly be one of the leading running backs in terms of targets and receiving yards, making him even more valuable in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues. However, it’s unlikely he’ll score five times through the air again in 2015 (though it’s not out of the question because the team doesn’t have an abundance of redzone scoring threats).
Foster is still worthy of a high first round draft pick and is by far the best fantasy option on the team heading into the new season.
After two years of learning behind Johnson as the team’s No. 2 wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins finally steps into the leading wideout role he was being groomed for. Hopkins made significant strides during his sophomore season. During his rookie season, he posted a line of 52 receptions, 802 yards, and two scores. Last year, he notched 76 receptions for 1,210 yards and six touchdowns.
We’re expecting similar numbers for Hopkins this year. Given that he is taking on a larger role in the offense, it’s fair to presume he’ll be closer to 85 than 75 receptions, but his yardage and touchdown totals should be similar in 2015.
Hopkins is somewhat capped by what is expected to be lackluster quarterback play. Even still, if Hopkins puts up similar stats to last season – in which he finished as the 14th highest-scoring receiver – he’ll once again be a strong WR2.
Rookie wideout Jaelen Strong just made the cut, so his expected contributions to the team counted toward these power rankings. If he hadn’t made the cut, the Texans would have come in at No. 29 on the list.
Remember Hopkins’ rookie season, where he came in and immediately assumed the No. 2 receiver role in Houston? We just mentioned his statline from that year a few paragraphs above. I bring it up again because you can expect something similar from Strong during his rookie season: somewhere around 50 receptions and 700 yards. We currently have him slotted for four touchdowns as well. He’s worth a late-round flier, but don’t expect him to contribute on a regular basis.
The Texans are one of only a few teams in the league to offer fantasy owners only three viable players. No team in the league offers fewer than three, but the Texans were close (as we noted, Strong only just made the cut).
With that said, while it’s obvious the Texans do not offer quantity, they do offer quality. Foster remains an elite RB1 option for fantasy teams, and Hopkins is an exciting player on the rise – it’s not a reach to say he could flirt with WR1 territory this year if Houston’s quarterback play is better than expected. It all boils down to the team’s lack of depth. That’s what’s truly holding them back from climbing the power rankings.