According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, there won't be a true competition for the Texans' starting QB spot this summer. The job will reportedly belong to Tom Savage until/unless he gets hurt or proves that he doesn't deserve it. That falls in line with what the team has said since drafting QB Deshaun Watson. Of course, there's always the chance that Watson simply outperforms expectations, picks up the offense quicker than anticipated and leaves no doubt that he's the team's best option under center. We'll see how things shake out come training camp. In the meantime, neither Watson nor Savage looks particularly attractive as a redraft fantasy football option for 2017.
Texas RB D’Onta Foreman was selected by the Texans in the 3rd round of the draft. After spending his first 2 years in Austin as a backup, Foreman exploded in 2016. He carried 323 times for 2,028 yards (6.3 YPC) and 15 scores. No one averaged more than his 184.4 yards per game. Foreman’s efforts earned him the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top RB. A stress fracture in his foot prevented him from working out at the Combine, but the 6’0, 233-pounder reportedly clocked a 4.45-second 40 time at his Pro Day. That’d give him the class’ 2nd-best Speed Score, behind only Leonard Fournette. Foreman’s tape didn’t blow us away, though, and he caught just 7 passes in last year’s workhorse campaign. He’ll battle for the backup job behind Lamar Miller and is unlikely to threaten for the starting job anytime soon. Miller is just 26 and signed through 2019. Foreman is strictly and draft-and-stash dynasty pick.
Houston spent its 2nd-round pick on LB Zach Cunningham. The Vanderbilt alum figures to arrive as the heir to ILB Brian Cushing, who looks like cap-casualty candidate after the 2017 season. Cunningham tied for 10th in FBS with 125 total tackles last season but didn't flash big-play upside in his pass-coverage stats.
Texans HC Bill O’Brien threw cold water on the notion that QB Deshaun Watson would start Week 1. "As a rookie quarterback it's a big jump," O'Brien said. “Tom [Savage] is our starter and Deshaun will come in and he's going to work hard and we're going to teach him and feed him a lot of information. And he'll work at it.” GM Rick Smith added: "I don't know if people believe us but we're comfortable with Tom Savage as our quarterback.” Ultimately, we think Watson could push for the starting gig with a strong summer. While he’s transitioning from a spread offense, the Clemson product enters the NFL with 35 college starts.
The Texans made a move up from #25 to #12 to grab Clemson QB Deshaun Watson. Watson led his Tigers to 28 wins over the past 2 seasons, including a National Championship this past year. He was especially impressive in big games, racking up 825 yards and 7 scores through the air — plus another 116 and a TD on the ground — in the past 2 title games. Watson finished his college career with a strong 67.4% completion rate and 90 TDs. He added 1,934 rushing yards and 26 scores. The concerns: he tossed 30 INTs over the past 2 years, showing questionable decision-making and inconsistent accuracy. There are arm-strength worries after he was clocked with a ball speed of 49 mph at the Combine. (55+ is considered ideal.) And he has a significant adjustment to make coming from Clemson’s spread offense. Still, the most experienced QB in this class has an excellent shot to win the Week 1 starting job. His “competition” will be Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden. Watson will also be working with a young trio of WRs in DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Braxton Miller. This is a nice landing spot.
Texans HC Bill O'Brien says he wants to avoid the big early rushing workloads that RB Lamar Miller endured in his 1st season with the team. "I think he probably carried it a little bit too much early on," O'Brien told the Houston Chronicle. "We were very, very dependent on him because he's that type of player. We feel like we have a pretty diverse group of running backs so I think in order to get him at his best in January, we probably need to cut down on that early in the year." Miller carried 19+ times in each of the 1st 4 games and 5 of the 1st 6 -- but he also reached 21 carries in each of his final 2 games and then 31 in the Wild Card round win over Oakland. We agree with O'Brien that lightening the rushing load at least a bit should help Miller's efficiency. We'll see whether 2016 rookie Tyler Ervin or any yet-to-arrive RB is ready to play a more significant role in 2017.
Texans DE J.J. Watt said this week that he has completed the rehab stage in his recovery from re-injuring his back in September, according to ESPN.com. "The one nice thing about the situation is that I've had the proper amount of time to take the recovery as methodically as it needs to be taken and do things the right way, with the proper patience, but also the proper aggressiveness at times," he said. Watt also said that he let his "pride" get in the way of rehabbing from his initial back surgery to repair a herniated disk last summer. If he steers clear of setbacks through this offseason, we should expect to get back the dominant force that IDP owners have enjoyed over the past several years -- now with a delivering Jadeveon Clowney attacking the opposite edge.
Texans WR Braxton Miller is completely recovered from the sprained AC joint in his shoulder that ended his 2016 season. Miller finished his rookie campaign with just 15 catches for 99 yards and 1 TD -- but the quiet debut wasn't a surprise for the converted college QB. "I learned a lot," Miller said. "It's just learning the little small details about getting separation, how to run your route, the little teaching techniques. I'm going to come back in 2017 and turn it up to another level." The slot job in Houston remains wide open, and Miller is the clear favorite to claim it. We'll see if he can progress enough and if the Texans can get good enough QB play to make Miller a fantasy asset.
Texans RB Lamar Miller (ankle) put in a full week of practice and isn't listed on the final injury report. He's set to play against the Raiders on Saturday and could be as healthy as he's been in a while. Miller carried 24 times for 104 yards and a score vs. Oakland back in Week 11. Expect a similar workload this weekend -- as long as that ankle allows it. Miller has as much upside as any RB not named Le'Veon Bell.
Texans RB Lamar Miller (ankle) is expected to be ready for the 1st round of the playoffs, HC Bill O'Brien said. Houston was able to give him the past 2 games off, so he should be healthier than he's been in a while. With the QB situation in flux, Miller will be the Texans' best chance of moving the ball this postseason.
Texans QB Tom Savage left in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Titans to be checked for a concussion. He returned to take a knee at the end of the half, but QB Brock Osweiler was back out there to start the 3rd quarter. We'll update this situation when we learn more.
Update: Savage was reportedly reevaluated for a concussion at halftime and then ruled out.
Texans RB Lamar Miller (ankle) is out for Sunday’s game against the Titans. Houston has nothing to play for in the season finale and will hope to get Miller healthy for the playoff opener. Alfred Blue will serve as the lead back this weekend and is a fine bet for 20+ touches.
Texans RB Lamar Miller (ankle) is inactive for tonight's game against the Bengals. That leaves Alfred Blue as Houston's top RB in an upside matchup with a Cincinnati defense that plays the pass tougher than the run.
Texans RB Lamar Miller (ankle) won't play against the Bengals tonight, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. That game won't mean much to Houston if the Titans beat the Jaguars this afternoon. (Next week's Texans-Titans game would decide the division.) So it makes sense to rest Miller up for that finale. Alfred Blue is the best bet for carries in the Texans backfield tonight, but Akeem Hunt and Jonathan Grimes also figure to be invovled.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Texans RB Lamar Miller (ankle) is "iffy at best" for tonight's game against the Bengals. He's been dealing with this bum ankle for a while and didn't practice all week. We won't know Miller's official status until around 7 pm ET tonight. He'll be a risky fantasy play if active. If not, Alfred Blue, Akeem Hunt and Jonathan Grimes will share backfield duties.
Texans C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) practiced all week and isn’t listed on the final injury report. He’ll play on Saturday night against a Bengals team that’s allowed the 3rd most catches and 2nd most receiving yards to TEs.
Texans RB Lamar Miller (ankle) is listed as questionable for Saturday night's game against the Bengals. He didn't practice all week. Miller has said he'll play, but we can't consider him a lock. The late kickoff makes it an even tougher situation for fantasy owners. You need to have a viable replacement lined up if you hope to use Miller. Alfred Blue would be the best bet in Houston's backfield if Miller sits out, but Akeem Hunt and Jonathan Grimes could also be involved.
Texans RB Lamar Miller (ankle) missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday. He said earlier in the week that he expected to play against the Bengals on Saturday night, but we can't consider him a lock at this point. Check back tomorrow for another update.
Texans TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) returned to practice on Wednesday, putting him on track to play against the Bengals on Saturday night. Only 2 teams have allowed more catches to TEs than Cincinnati, and only 1 has allowed more yards. Fiedorowicz will be a high-floor TE1 if he suits up this weekend.
The Texans are expected to start QB Tom Savage against the Bengals on Saturday night, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Savage stepped in for the benched Brock Osweiler in the 2nd quarter of yesterday's game and led the Texans back from a 13-0 deficit for a 21-20 win. Savage completed 23 of 36 passes for 260 yards with 0 TDs or INTs. His 85.4 QB Rating was better than Osweiler has posted in all but 3 games this season. Savage will be no better than a low-end QB2 for Week 16, but he looks like good news for WR DeAndre Hopkins. Savage targeted Hopkins on 15 of his 36 attempts (42%) yesterday, completing 8 for 87 yards.
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