2014 Team Outlook: Houston Texans
QB Case Keenum, MIN - Not Draft Worthy
After his first three starts lastyear, Keenum looked like a solid fantasy play; more importantly though, he looked like the possible quarterback of the future in Houston. He threw seven TDs and no interceptions, and averaged 290 total yards a game. It all went downhill from there. Keenum in his next five games threw just two TDs and six interceptions and averaged only 192 total yards. His poor performance led to new head coach Bill O'Brien signing free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick and the drafting of rookie Tom Savage in the fourth round. Although Fitzpatrick won the starting job in camp, it is a safe bet that his job is not cemented. If Fitzpatrick is to falter or get injured, Keenum is next in line to start in Houston unless Savage really impresses. Keenum should not be drafted in any format though. Even if he does get to start, you should proceed with caution before adding him to your roster.
QB Tom Savage, HOU - Dynasty Only
Fourth-round pick Tom Savage was awful at Rutgers and average at Pittsburgh. He was never an exceptional college QB and he will require some serious development to take the next step in the NFL. After drafting Jadeveon Clowney No. 1 overall, all the top-level quarterbacks except Derek Carr were already gone by the time the Texans were back on the board. Houston had to address their dreadful quarterback situation. He may one day earn a chance to play in Houston, thanks to limited competition currently on the roster. This does not mean though he will be fantasy relevant though. Savage should not be drafted with the exception of a late look in dynasty leagues.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB - Bust (overvalued)
As expected, Ryan Fitzpatrick has won the starting job in Houston. New head coach Bill O'Brien says that Fitzpatrick has everything he looks for in a quarterback, which includes intelligence, accuracy, and leadership skills. In the fantasy world, we have seen Ryan Fitzpatrick He has occasionally put up big numbers like the ones that earned him a big contract in Buffalo, and then he gives you nothing for a month. Interceptions have always been a problem for Fitzpatrick, and if he can't fix this issue, he won't be Houston's starter for very long. Fitzpatrick will have some good weapons to share the ball with. In the right matchup Fitzpatrick could be a bye week fill-in, but don't expect much consistency out of him on a week-to-week basis. He should not be viewed as a starter or reliable back-up if your quarterback goes down long term. Exhaust your other options before relying on the former Harvard alumnus.
Editor's note: Scoring a 48 on the Wonderlic test, the one oft the highest known results in the NFL. Not that it has led to much on-field success. It's just not worth the risk or the use of a draft pick to go after Fitz.
RB Alfred Blue, HOU - Fantasy Handcuff
Update: After the release of Andre Brown and Dennis Johnson, Blue becomes a late round stash and cash type player to keep your eye on in the pre-season. He'll be battling with Dennis Grimes and newly acquired Ronnie Brown for backup duties.
Alfred Blue was on track to be LSU's feature back before tearing his ACL in 2012 (Jeremy Hill, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, ended up taking the starting job). Blue has a great combination of size and speed. He is a very powerful back that can run through arm tackles. He lacks explosion and has very good vision. One of the knocks on his skill set is doesn't show enough second effort. He also is very weak in the passing game, both as a receiver and blocker. Blue is unlikely to contribute much more than the occasional carry from game to game. He has a lot of upside and may be worth a closer look in dynasty leagues.
RB Andre Brown, --- - Not Draft Worthy
Update: Brown was cut from the team in a somewhat surprising move. He's looking for a new home. Do not draft until further notice.
Andre Brown ran very well in New York when he got his opportunity. If Brown were to stay healthy more often, he can perform as an excellent handcuff for Texans feature back Arian Foster. That is where the issue lies though: his health. Brown has dealt with multiple issues, including breaking the same leg twice. Don't expect Brown to play 16 games; if you draft him, just hope he's healthy when it counts. Brown is excellent goal line runner and is a very good receiver out of the backfield. He could earn a decent amount of playing time due to a lack of competition deeper on the depth chart. With Foster returning from back surgery, you never know how that injury will respond or how the coaches will manage his health. Brown is a top tier handcuff if healthy, yet draft with caution.
RB Ronnie Brown, --- - Fantasy Handcuff
What can "Brown" do for you? With the release of Andre Brown, in comes Ronnie Brown to save the day. Well, not really. Ronnie Brown is a veteran with a lot of miles on him. It wouldn't be all that surprising to see him contribute if he does in fact make the team. Someone is a Foster injury away from being thrust into a full-time gig. It could be Ronnie Brown.