Led by the battery of Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, The Texans boasted one of the league’s most exciting offenses last season. While it wasn’t quite enough to get them that elusive playoff berth, the Texans are a steadily improving franchise.
Dynasty league owners have found many gems on this team in the past, including one of the best fantasy football waiver wire gems of all time in Domanick Davis (Williams). The future looks bright for dynasty league value from the Texans as well.
Make no mistake, there are still some questions to be answered with this offense, though. The first one revolves around the very valuable running back position where Steve Slaton regressed and Arian Foster flourished last year. With the addition of Ben Tate, where does that leave the depth chart?
We’ll look at that question and more in today’s Texas-sized edition of the dynasty capsule.
Players in their Prime
Matt Schaub QB
Schaub finished his first full season as the Texans starter posting 4,770 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions while completing nearly 70% of his passes. It certainly helps to have Andre Johnson, but Schaub is for real. His quarterback rating of 98.6 from last year reflects his accuracy and sound decision making ability.
At just 29, he’s a sneaky No. 1 quarterback in dynasty leagues and still seems to be underrated in many of them. Make no mistake, you can win a dynasty league trophy with Matt Schaub as your signal caller.
Andre Johnson WR
Stud. You really don’t have to go further when describing AJ. In his last two years combined, Johnson has 216 catches, 3,144 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Those numbers make him an elite receiver option in any league format.
From a dynasty league perspective, there are only two things to be concerned with at this point. First, he just turned 29 years old. Second, he’s never had a season where he’s scored more than nine touchdowns. That’s really the definition of splitting hairs, though.
No matter how you slice it, Johnson is a dominant fantasy performer and should be a No. 1 wide receiver for the next five years at the very least.
Kevin Walter WR
If you ever wondered what 53 catches and 611 yards would earn you in a contract year, we have the answer. Walter signed a five-year $21 million dollar contract after producing those numbers last year. Hmm.
Walter did deal with a hamstring injury last season that likely hurt his numbers. Don’t get too excited about him. From all accounts, Jacoby Jones is right on his heels for playing time and Gary Kubiak will have no problem playing anyone he thinks will help him win, regardless of a contract situation.
Arian Foster RB
Foster was one of DLF’s favorite sleepers going into last season. We looked like idiots until week #16 and geniuses thereafter. Foster finally put his fumbling issues behind him and rushed for a combined 216 yards and three touchdowns, leading many league owners to fantasy championships. His reward, you ask? The Texans drafted running back Ben Tate out of Auburn in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Here’s how things stand at the moment. Foster is on top of the depth chart after Tate missed much of OTAs with a hamstring injury. The coaches have also been very impressed with his improvement and commitment this offseason. At this point, he’s the No. 1 running back in Houston. All is not rosy for his future, though.
Foster has had a tendency to fumble dating back to his days at Tennessee. He’s also been known to be very inconsistent. Tate is a faster and more athletic player, so he would logically have the edge at some point.
Thing is, Foster has a real chance to take a stranglehold on this job and not let it go until he’s seriously outperformed. He’s a buy low after resurrecting his value the past few weeks.
Ben Tate RB
The road to the starting job is getting much tougher than previously expected for the young Tate. He’s the perfect type of back for the Texans as he specializes in one cut running and making quick decisions from the backfield. His surprising timed speed of 4.4 did nothing but solidify his status as a big-time prospect.
He could put up some serious numbers in this offense if given a chance. Tate is an easy first round selection in rookie drafts. Now, all he has to do is beat out Arian Foster. This should be fun to watch.
Jacoby Jones WR
He’s been teasing dynasty owners for years with his knack for the big play combined with his constant trips to the doghouse. It seems this could finally be the year he pushes for a starting job. If he can take that away from Kevin Walter at some point, Jones has big-time potential. He’s been looking good as of late…again.
Players with Falling Values
Steve Slaton RB
He’s ready to go after neck surgery from last season. Problem is, he’s been demoted to a third down back at best in this offense. It’s hard to believe his rookie season of 1,282 rushing yards may just end up being his career high. It’s just tough not to assume that at this point.
Owen Daniels TE
Daniels was well on his way to becoming a top five tight end in dynasty leagues until he blew out his knee last season. With three major surgeries under his belt now, durability is a serious question mark. He should be ready to go for week one, but he needs to make it through the year before his value can be resurrected in dynasty leagues.
James Casey TE
He only had six catches last year, but stats don’t always tell the story. The coaches have been raving about his ability and Owen Daniels’ long-term value to this franchise is in question. Could this be the next No. 1 tight end in Houston? If he is, he has major value in an explosive offense. Keep your eye on the progress of both Owen Daniels and Casey throughout the Summer.
Dorin Dickerson WR
Dickerson is a freak athlete who will convert from the H-back and hybrid tight end position he played at the University of Pittsburgh to wide receiver in the NFL. Expect him to be on the practice squad this season, but keep tabs on his progress. His workout at the combine was one of the most impressive of any athlete, regardless of position. Your patience in dynasty leagues could be rewarded with Dickerson.
The Texans are an offensive juggernaut with a lot to like from a dynasty fantasy football perspective.
This team is going to be very interesting to watch since they have so many questions to answer. Can Ben Tate overtake Arian Foster early in the season and become a solid fantasy performer? Can Jacoby Jones finally fulfill his potential and crack the starting lineup? Can Matt Schaub reach yet another level of greatness? What can Andre Johnson possibly do for an encore?
Those questions and more have huge implications in dynasty fantasy football leagues around the country.