|By Mark Morales-Smith, Saturday, August 16, 2014|
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - 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 Arian Foster - Solid/Safe Pick
REMEMBER ME?: From 2010 to 2012 Arian Foster was arguably the best fantasy running back. He is a strong runner, great pass catcher and knows how to find the end zone. In 2013, Foster was solid when he played, but he also dealt with calf, hamstring and back injuries. In fact, his back injury was so severe it required surgery and ended his season after just eight games. Heading into 2014, Foster will no doubt be the feature back in Houston; however, there is serious injury risk involved in drafting him. Still, Foster is well worth the risk because his production on the field speaks for itself. Just two seasons ago, he compiled over 1,600 total yards and scored 17 TDs. With Ben Tate signing in Cleveland, it is unlikely anyone will compete with Foster for significant playing time. Andre Brown is a good back, but will undoubtedly deal with injuries like he has every season of his career. Foster can be a fringe RB1 or strong RB2 for your fantasy needs.
Editor's note: The market may have over-corrected here. Foster, just one season removed from huge numbers, is still playing on an offense which will rely heavily on him to move the chains. He retains a ton of value as a receiver out of the backfield and the team's primary goal-line back. A lot of stock is being placed on second-year backs like Montee Ball, Le'Veon Bell, Giovani Bernard, Eddie Lacy and Zac Stacy. All of these guys might come off the board before Foster. Will they all bust? Of course not, but a couple might, just ask Doug Martin. A good preseason performance or two, or even just one big run would rebound Foster's ADP (29.26) and push him up into the second round.
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.