The Houston Texans have one of the best starting quarterbacks in the entire NFL in Deshaun Watson. Have they done enough to help him add to his game in 2019?
Following the seven players drafted and the 20 players added to the roster via being undrafted rookie free agents, plus the players added through free agency, the question for fantasy football fans is: Have the Houston Texans done enough to help Deshaun Watson add to his game this upcoming season?
That is a very valid question for fans of the Texans and fans of the quarterback himself, as his improvement will no doubt make a difference if the Texans succeed or fail in 2019, but it will also make a difference for the millions who have him on their fantasy football roster.
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This past season is the first time in his two-year career where Watson played the entire 16 game schedule, and in those games he completed 68.3 percent of his passes (345-of-505), as he has 31.6 passing attempts per game.
Watson also passed for over 4,000 yards (4,165), while averaging 8.2 yards per completion and 260.3 yards per game. The Texans starter also built stats of 26 touchdown passes, nine interceptions and 51 times completed a pass for 20-plus yards. Last season, Watson also had eight passes completed for 40-plus yards and had a QB rating of 103.1.
Even when rushing the football, Watson excelled with 99 rushing attempts for 551 yards and five touchdowns, including 33 times rushing for a first down. Twice last season, Watson had a run of 20-plus yards.
Then there were the sack numbers, with Watson being sacked an NFL-high 62 times during the regular season, and even more so, those sacks cost the Texans 384 yards. For the season, the Texans offensive line was charged to allowing a total of 126 QB Hits in 2018, and in one playoff game, that same offense line was charged with allowing seven QB Hits.
It was very evident the Texans needed to fixed what ailed them this offseason, and they’ve done what they believe is the best for the production of their quarterback by selecting players potential in the draft and working on various positions on the offense and defense of the Texans this offseason.
In the draft, the Texans selected an offensive tackle in the first round, as Tytus Howard of Alabama State joined the team with the 23rd overall selection. Houston also drafted offensive lineman Max Scharping from Northern Illinois in the second round (55th overall), and in the third round (86th overall) the franchise selected Kahale Warring, a tight end from San Diego State. With their last pick of the draft, Houston added Texas A&M running back Cullen Gillaspia in the seventh round (220th overall).
The plus for Watson is the Texans worked through the draft to add offensive linemen and players who could add to his production, but with most of the picks made by the Texans this year, it is the fact they might need a year or so to really meet their potential to see how much they can really help the franchise.
What about this year? What can the draft choices do to help Watson elevate his game in 2019? The Texans really believe in Howard to pass on some of the talented offensive linemen they didn’t draft in the same spot they took Howard off the board. Many were surprised by the spot where they took Howard, but in selecting him, the Texans added a player who is 6-5, 322 pounds and has the potential to become a solid NFL starter one day.
That is the issue with Howard when it comes to Watson this upcoming season … the part where he might not be ready to be a starter in the NFL this upcoming season. The progression of Howard is going to be very important for Watson this season and in future seasons because without the proper offensive line protection, it won’t matter how good Watson can be to the Texans and to those who have them on their fantasy rosters.
For 2019, Howard might be a right tackle for the Texans before he works his way to being the left tackle for the offensive line. Pro Football Focus has a stat on Howard where when lining up as a right tackle the grade is 81.7 for Howard.
For now, it looks like the left tackle starting job is going to Julie’n Davenport and the starting center will be Nick Martin. The right guard will most likely be Zach Fulton, at least at this point of the offseason for Houston.
Warring could and should make the tight end battle interesting for the Texans as he has the abilities to help add to the game of Watson this upcoming season. The tight end duo that could enhance Watson’s game this season is Warring and Jordan Thomas, whom the Texans drafted last season.
Other tight ends currently on the roster are Ryan Griffin and Jordan Akins, but varying issues could push them back on the depth chart or off the roster completely, because Houston is going to give their consecutive third-round picks the best chance to succeed.
The Texans are trying to add players around Watson in 2019. They’ve drafted players who – if they develop like the Texans believe they can – could be big pieces of the franchise for years to come.
Watson will also need to improve his game too, but entering his third NFL season, the former first-round pick is only going to get better. The Texans didn’t do awful in their draft selections, but was it enough?
Watson will add to his fantasy value this upcoming season, and with players to throw the football to like DeAndre Hopkins, Keke Coutee and Will Fuller, Watson will shine if those players can stay healthy and on the field.
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