2013 Team Outlook: Houston Texans
QB Matt Schaub, BAL - Quality Backup
Update (10/20): Schaub has struggled this season to the point where fans are now cheering when he gets hurt and chanting for Yates to replace him. In week 7 they got their wish as Schaub missed the game with a ankle injury and Case Keenum led the Texans into Kansas City. Once healthy, Schaub will take back the starting job, but will be nothing more than a backup at best for fantasy football owners.
Profile: There was once a time when Schaub was on every fantasy owner's rader. That time ended a couple of years ago when the Texans became a run, run and run it again offense. Schaub's numbers haven't been awful, but with the Texans' run focused offense it is hard for us to imagine him being top 5 quarterback quality.
QB T.J. Yates, ATL - Low Potential
Update (10/20): Yates has been demoted to third string and has no fantasy value.
Profile: When Schaub went down two years ago, Yates (then a rookie) was called upon to lead the Texans offense. While his efforts on the field were good enough to lead the Texans to victory, they did little to help fantasy owners. While Schaub has been injury prone throughout his career, it would be better to snag a starter from another team than snag Yates as your fantasy backup.
RB Arian Foster, HOU - Stud (low risk)
RB Greg Jones, --- - Low Potential
Currently, Jones (the Texans' top FB) is listed as the team's third running back option. For the time being this may be the case, but come week one we expect this to change. The Texans have 3 rookie backs on the roster and one of them will likely win the job as Tate's backup. Unless something happens to both Foster and Tate causing them both to miss valuable time, we don't feel there's much value this far down on the depth chart.
RB Ben Tate, --- - Fantasy Handcuff
Update(10/20): With Foster missing time due to a hamstring injury, the running game in Houston will be in the hands of Ben Tate. In the past Tate has been a quality replacement for Foster and there's no reason to believe this trend won't continue.
Profile: If we've said it once, we've said it 100 times: the Texans like to run the ball and run it they will. In their current setup, Tate spells Foster on third downs and picks up a few carries in garbage time. When given the opportunity, Tate performs well. Should Foster miss significant time, Tate would step into this run heavy offense and post very good fantasy numbers.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU - Sleeper (undervalued)
Update (10/20): Hopkins has played very well this season, especially considering he is just a rookie. Look for his stats to improve the second half of the season. The rookie out of Clemson will be a valuable asset for fantasy owners this season and for years to come.
Update (8/21): Hopkins suffered a concussion in the Texans game against Miami last week. At this point it is unclear if he'll be ready to go Sunday against the Saints. Concussions are never a good thing and if this starts to become a regular occurrence, Hopkins' value will plummet.
The rookie first round pick out of Clemson looks to take over the starting role as the Texans' number two receiver. With great hands, speed and route running ability, Hopkins could be a valuable fantasy asset. The issues here are wether Hopkins as a rookie can carve out a spot in his first season and just how many balls will he see in this run heavy offense? If you're looking for a flyer then Hopkins is as good as they come. However, if you need a quality starter, you may want to look elsewhere until this rookie proves he has the stuff to be a fantasy stud.