The NFL season kicked off last night, and with it the Fantasy Football season. Both the Patriots and the Steelers were good to fantasy owners in the 2015 season opener, but now as the weekend gets closer we shift our focus towards the teams we are most interested in, in particular the Houston Texans.
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- Are the Houston Texans’ run defense to blame?
It can be easy to want to start only players from your favorite team, but that isn’t always the best idea. While it can be nice to watch your favorite players win you fantasy points, sometimes just because you like a player doesn’t mean he’s worth a spot in your starting lineup, or even on the roster.
Sadly, the Houston Texans don’t have the most fantasy friendly team this season. While they may win plenty of games on the field, they aren’t likely to win you a bunch of your fantasy leagues. There are a few players though that should be worth a spot in your lineup in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Possibly the most obvious starting fantasy commodity in Houston is their defense. With defensive end J.J. Watt, there’s no telling how many sacks and turnovers the team will accumulate, each one earning you fantasy points. The Texans may have the league’s best fantasy defense this season, and they should be in your lineup each and every week.
DeAndre Hopkins is another must-start in Week 1. He was typically drafted as a No. 2 fantasy receiver, so it is pretty unlikely that many owners have much of a choice but to start him every week. He is far and away Brian Hoyer‘s No. 1 target, and he should be getting the majority of the team’s receiving yards and touchdowns. Even against a solid Kansas City defense, Hopkins should have a decent game.
None of the other Houston receivers are worth a start in standard leagues, and its tough to be willing to start any of them in any but the deepest of leagues. Cecil Shorts, Jaelen Strong, and Nate Washington each could have a big game, but we really have no idea how the team hopes to use them yet. If you have a deep league or one with a lot of wide receiver spots, I’d turn to someone else for production this week, at least until we see how Houston uses its second-tier receivers.
At running back, Alfred Blue may actually be a bit of a sleeper this week. Many people don’t have high expectations for him and think he may get stuffed by a solid defense, but I have high hopes for the second year player. He will get the lion’s share of the carries, and the Texans want to run the ball a lot. He should get a lot of fantasy points, even if by sheer volume, and if he can find the end zone a time or two he could be a great value. Consider starting Blue in very deep leagues or if you don’t have much running back depth.
Brian Hoyer is another player that I think could be a sleeper this week, but I don’t expect him to have an outstanding game in his Houston debut. He should be decent and efficient though, and in two-quarterback leagues or very deep leagues he could be a good, safe play. He’s not likely to set any league records in Week 1, but he also isn’t likely to cost you a matchup either.
Ultimately, the only Texans you are starting without a doubt are their defense and DeAndre Hopkins. Beyond these two, look to Houston in deep leagues for fantasy production, but don’t rely too heavily on any other Texans. The Kansas City Chiefs are a solid defense and won’t allow for a whole lot of offense production this week, but let’s see how the Houston offense looks, and hopefully in a few weeks we’ll be more ready to start some more of these guys.