2012 Team Outlook: Houston
WR Lestar Jean, --- - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Despite going undrafted out of Florida Atlantic, despite missing all of last season with a shoulder injury, Jean continues to generate interest this offseason. The 6-foot-3 target with quality hands and straight-line speed is certainly in the mix for the Texans WR3 spot. That might be saying more about the state of Houston's receiving corps beyond Andre Johnson, but Jean's intruiging potential is legit. Late-round flyer in 12-team leagues for now.
UPDATE (8-19): Jean caught four passes for 42 yards and a touchdown in Houston's preseason win over San Francisco. Note the score did not come in garbage time, but in the first half on a throw from starting QB Matt Schaub. Jean remains in the mix for the WR3 job with Keshawn Martin and DeVier Posey. This effort could not have hurt his chances.
WR Andre Johnson, --- - Solid/Safe Pick
Johnson had by far the worst season of his nine-year career in 2011, finishing with 33 receptions for 492 yards and two touchdowns in seven games. When on the field Johnson is a top-5 receiver, but his inability over the past two seasons to remain healthy is cause for concern. Fantasy owners can't have their stud receiver missing significant time due to injury - and there is no need for risk with so many viable high-end options this season. If it's all based on talent, Johnson will be one of the first five receivers taken in most fantasy drafts. Just keep in mind that he has not played a full season since 2009.
UPDATE (8-19): Back from a groin injury, Johnson hauled in two passes for 49 yards in the Texans preseason game against the 49ers. He snagged his only two targets with one turning into a 43-yard catch. Though currently a top-10 WR on the FFToolbox board, Johnson could move back to his usual top-5 rank sooner than later if he remains healthy.
WR DeVier Posey, --- - Deep-league Only
With the addition of Posey and Martin the Texans decided to part ways with Jacob Jones, leaving the slot receiver position open for the taking. Early indications point to Posey as the man to beat. Some believe the big receiver out of Ohio State was a steal going to the Texans in the third round (5th selection). With a well balanced offense, the Texans have a good chance to post big numbers this season. Posey could find himself on the end of a touchdown pass or two this season. Although with Johnson and Walter ahead of him on the depth chart it will be tough for Posey to break into the starting line up. Only draft Posey if you're looking for a sleeper bye week filler.
WR Kevin Walter, --- - Bye Week Fill-in
In 2008 Walter had the best year of his career. Kevin had 60 receptions for nearly 900 yards with 8 touchdowns. Since then Walter's numbers have been on the decline. This could be in part due to the loss of Andre Johnson. With Johnson off the field Walter becomes the primary receiver and that is not a good role for Walter. This could be a bounce back season for Walter, but I'll belive it when I see it. For now Kevin is a good addition for teams looking to fill a bye week and that's about all.
TE James Casey, --- - Deep-league Only
Casey appeared in 14 games, making 18 receptions for 260 yards with 1 touchdown in 2011. There are a number of quality tight ends starting on other teams that will post numbers better than these. Unless you're looking to handcuff Owens, it is probably best to look elsewhere for a tight end.
TE Owen Daniels, --- - Quality Backup
Daniels finished the 2011 season as the Texans' leading receiver in both yards (with 677) and receptions (with 54). With the return of Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, we expect Daniels' numbers to be even better this year. Johnson's presence on the outside should help open up the middle of the field for Owens. In addition, having Schaub back under center should allow for most opportunities for Daniels. We don't expect Daniels to finish as a top 5 tight end this season, but he could post numbers worthy of starting in some fantasy leagues.