For years now, it seems the Houston Texans are a good quarterback away from being an elite NFL football team. For fantasy football, Arian Foster had been the lone star on the Texans until the emergence of DeAndre Hopkins last year. Now it's Hopkins.
No doubt, this is JJ Watts team, but Hopkins is the guy you want in fantasy. Other than Hopkins, only question marks remain for the Texans. Is Osweiler the Texans' QB of the future? Will Lamar Miller finally thrive in this offense. Who will emerge as Hopkins' WR2? Are the Texans a top-five fantasy defense? At this point, we can only speculate.
But ain't it fun speculating? And the Texans should be a fun team to watch in 2016. If Osweiler and Miller excel, this team could challenge the Colts for the AFC South title. If not, it's going to be a long season for Texans' fans.
As for the Texans' fantasy outlook, here are TJ's 2016 Houston Texans fantasy football projections.
Brock Osweiler (QB) - 3800 yards, 25 TDs, 15 INTs.
Osweiler is undoubtedly the biggest question mark in Houston. If Miller is the second coming of Foster, it's irrelevant, and Osweiler will be irrelevant for fantasy purposes. If not, the Texans could be throwing a lot, which means fantasy goodness for Hopkins and possibly Osweiler. You're not drafting Osweiler in standard leagues, but keep him in mind for the occasional DFS play - remember the Fitzpatrick-6-TD-Hopkins-200+-yard game a couple of years ago?
Lamar Miller (RB) - 1200 yards, 9 TDs, 50 receptions, 400 yards, 2 TDs.
Lamar Miller never became the back we all expected him to be in Miami. although there were flashes of brilliance. The Texans' offense, however, appears to be a better fit for Miller. I'm betting it will be, which means TJ's rushing yards are a little low.
I'm also banking on double-digit rushing touchdowns. I think the threat of Hopkins opens the rushing game up for Miller, who will be a low-end RB1.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR) - 105 receptions, 1400 yards, 10 TDs.
Nuk is a stud. Period. And, although a better Texans offense could mean a little regression for Hopkins, it won't be enough to matter. Hopkins, talent wise, is on par with the Beckhams, Joneses, and Browns of the world. Of course, they have the Mannings, Ryans, and Roethlisbergers throwing them the ball. If Osweiler is half-decent, Nuk is a top-five wide receiver, but if he's not, he's still top-ten.
Will Fuller (WR) - 50 receptions, 750 yards, 5 TDs.
As a Notre Dame fan, I'm biased in Fuller's favor. If Fuller becomes the No. 2, Hopkins' numbers go up, and Fuller is a solid WR3. He is a rookie, so I'd rather draft him in dynasty and keeper leagues, but he's certainly worth a flyer in redraft leagues. He should also be a decent DFS tournament play.
Sleeper - Braxton Miller.
Braxton Miller is TJ's selection for the Texans' sleeper. I'm not so sure. Again, I'm biased in Fuller's favor, and there won't be enough balls to go around with Hopkins, Fuller, Miller, and Strong, not to mention Shorts, Mumphery, and a whole bunch of other guys you've never heard of. In my opinion, Miller is a project, but, if he pops, he could be great.
Bust - Will Fuller.
Can I say it again? I'm biased in favor of Fuller, so for TJ to list Fuller as his bust is blasphemy to me. However, it is conceivable, but I'm praying against another immaculate conception in this case.
The Texans are an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. The Osweiler acquisition was either ingenious or ridiculous. Lamar Miller will either be the second coming of Arian Foster or the second going of Lamar Miller. The young wide receivers either launch Nuk or flame out. Whatever happens, it should be entertaining to watch.