Coach: Bill O’Brien
OC: Tim Kelly
QBs: Deshaun Watson, AJ McCarron, Joe Webb
RBs: Lamar Miller, D’Onta Foreman, Damarea Crockett, Karan Higdon, Taiwain Jones, Buddy Howell, Josh Ferguson
FB: Cullen Gillaspia
WRs: DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, Jester Weah, Vyncint Smith, DeAndre Carter, Isaac Whitney, Steven Mitchell Jr, Johnnie Dixon, Tyron Johnson, Stephen Louis, Floyd Allen
TEs: Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas, Kahale Warring, Darren Fells, Jerell Adams
2019 Draft (offense only):
Round 1, Pick 23 – OT – Tytus Howard – Alabama State
Round 2, Pick 55 – OT – Max Scharping – Northern Illinois
Round 3, Pick 22 – TE – Kahale Warring – San Diego State
Round 7, Pick 220 – FB – Cullen Gillaspia – Texas A&M
2019 Undrafted Free Agents (fantasy offense only):
RB – Damarea Crockett – Missouri
RB – Karan Higdon – Michigan
WR – Johnnie Dixon – Ohio State
WR – Tyron Johnson – Oklahoma State
WR – Stephen Louis – NC State
WR – Floyd Allen – Mississippi
Key Offseason Additions (fantasy offense):
Training Camp Preview: Rookies 7/21, Veterans 7/24
Bill O’Brien enters his 9th season as the head coach. O’Brien will still be calling plays, but the Texans promoted Tim Kelly to the offensive coordinator position. Kelly was the Texans’ tight end coach the last two years and also served as their offensive quality control coach the three years before that. Kelly was with O’Brien at Penn State as an assistant in 2012-13 and came along with O’Brien to Houston in 2014. We should not expect anything different in terms of play calling or personnel for 2019.
Deshaun Watson survived the 2018 season, playing a full 16 games despite being sacked a league high 62 times. The Texans addressed the offensive line in the draft so we’re hoping for some improvement up front. Watson was able to finish as QB5 in most scoring formats last year, throwing for 4,165 yards and 26TDs, while adding 551 yards on the ground and 5 rushing TDs. Watson should be able to improve upon his passing numbers this year if his complimentary receivers Will Fuller and Keke Coutee can stay healthy. He is being drafted near his ceiling at QB4 at the moment, but is one of the favorite candidates to compete for the QB1 spot. All the arrows are pointing up for Watson and the Houston offense for 2019, so I’m willing to pull the trigger on drafting Watson in the late 5th to 6th round range.
Lamar Miller sits atop the Texans’ running back depth chart, for now. Miller was able to finish as the RB23 in PPR leagues last year, posting 973 rushing yards and 5 TDs, while adding 25 recepetions for 163 yards and 1 TD through the air. He is currently being drafted around the RB30 range and presents some value for us here. With that said, there has been a lot of positive buzz this off-season for D’Onta Foreman. He was able to return late last year for Week 16 and also played in the wild-card game, a year removed from his Achilles injury in 2017. Early camp reports are that Foreman is expected to play a much bigger role this season and is being viewed as an asset in the passing game. I’m into Foreman as a late round dart in redraft leagues because he has the potential to earn more work as the season progresses. Behind these two, the Texans brought in two UDFA’s in Damarea Crockett and Karan Higdon. We’ll be watching these two along with Foreman this pre-season to see who’s emerging as the number 3.
DeAndre Hopkins headlines the talented receiving group for the Texans. He’s finished as the WR1 for two straight seasons now. He did play through a handful of nagging injuries last year, and has been placed on the PUP list to begin training camp. Nothing to worry about here, the Texans are just being cautious with their biggest asset. Hopkins remains worthy of a first round pick and should be considered as early as the fifth overall pick. After Hopkins, we have Will Fuller and Keke Coutee. Fuller is known to be injury prone, playing in just 31 career games out of 48. He is currently being drafted in the WR33 range and will often put up some WR1 numbers. He is also known to be a boom/bust receiver and might be better off in best ball leagues. I’m open to taking a flier on Fuller, but just know that he’s probably going to miss some games and will have some high highs and low lows. The player I’m most excited about would be second year Keke Coutee. Coutee flashed last year as a rookie while playing through a hamstring injury. He had a monster wild-card weekend, posting 11 receptions for 110 yards and 1 TD. Coutee will primarily line up in the slot and be moved all around the formation, even getting some handoffs and other quick ways to get him the ball. We did not get to see him stretch the field much vertically last year because of the hamstring, so expect to see him get some more targets deep. After the top three, we’ll be watching the training camp battle to see who would be the next man up. Vyncint Smith should be the favorite. I’ll mention Jester Weah and DeAndre Carter as possible 5th and 6th receievers. They brought in four UDFA’s so we’ll see if any of the following can turns some heads; Johnnie Dixon, Tyron Johnson, Stephen Louis, Floyd Allen.
Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins are both entering their second seasons. They both had some success as a rookie, but Thomas was the one with 4TDs to Akins’ zero. He’ll be the favorite to earn the starting job now that Ryan Griffin is no longer with the team. They spent a third round draft pick on Kahale Warring out of San Diego State, so be sure to monitor his training camp to see if he’s impressing. The Texans have not had a reliable tight end for fantasy for a while now, but I’m open to Jordan Thomas being a TE2 and having some streaming weeks for us this year.
2017-2018 Stats Below: