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2016 Houston Texans Coaching Tree

Fantasy Football Expert Joe Jefferson dives into the Houston Texans' offensive system and which players could provide value for Fantasy owners.

Houston Texans

Offensive Coordinator:  George Godsey (HOU QB) (New OC in 2016)

Head Coach:  Bill O’Brien (Same as 2015)

Head Coach Involvement:  O’Brien is entering his third season as HC but also acts as the official offensive coordinator as well, and he will call the plays.

Offensive Basis:  West Coast Offense passing game that features one WR and could potentially support two WRs but no TE involvement. RBs are fairly heavily targeted here. Heavy Lead RB Use.

Where the OC comes from:  O’Brien come over from coaching Penn State, and he can trace his roots back to the start of the “Gulf Coast” offense. He worked for the Patriots with Charlie Weis who used the power running game of Corey Dillon but the WCO scheme of passing the ball. O’Brien was Tom Brady’s offensive coordinator for one season in 2011 after Josh McDaniels. O’Brien loves the passing game with the power run attack. George Godsey is OC in name only and was promoted internally from QB Coach here last year. Godsey worked with O’Brien in New England, where Godsey was Offensive Assistant in 2011 and later TE Coach from 2012-2013.

Texans 2015
2015 RB Reception Total Rank: #13
2015 WR Receptions Total Rank: #7
2015 TE Receptions Total Rank: #31

2015 QB FF Rank: #18
2015 RB FF Rank: #18
2015 WR FF Rank: #7
2015 TE FF Rank: #31

Texans 2014
2014 RB Reception Total Rank: #27
2014 WR Receptions Total Rank: #15
2014 TE Receptions Total Rank: #32

2014 QB FF Rank: #25
2014 RB FF Rank: #12
2014 WR FF Rank: #19
2014 TE FF Rank: #31

2016 Offensive Player Outlook Overall: The Texans improve via free agency and the draft starting with paying Brock Osweiler big time money to be their starter after showing flashes in Denver last year. The Texans put up with some horrible QB play last year so no doubt Brock is an improvement. However, I’m not sold he takes this offense to another level unless they can run the ball effectively and another WR besides Hopkins steps up big. No need to draft Brock on draft day in most leagues so you can wait and see if a fantasy opportunity arises.

I would expect another player they paid big, Lamar Miller, to be the bell cow and get more carries than he has ever seen in the NFL. Miami seemed to refuse to overexpose Miller in the past, but he apparently wants the opportunity to show that he is a true, dominant three-down NFL RB. Honestly, I’m a bit skeptical that he can handle the number of touches or get enough scoring opportunities that he would need to return value as an early second-round pick. I do expect Miller to be the main RB as long as he is healthy, even though O’Brien wants to pass to set up the run because Miller will catch plenty of passes. His receptions may be his saving grace in PPR leagues. Alfred Blue looks like the handcuff to own here because he has some experience but he has only proven viable and not great. Rookie Tyler Ervin could get a shot with an injury as well. Also keep in mind Jonathan Grimes is also there to muddle any potential of a backup RB here.

DeAndre Hopkins is a stud, and I’m happy to take him fourth-overall in most PPR leagues. Hopkins saw an unbelievable 192 targets last year. Although he may not reach that number in 2016, he will be a force and could do more with less if this offense takes the next step.  He is a very safe pick IMHO. You should consider Cecil Shorts the No. 3 WR, but this offense can only support two fantasy-relevant WRs at this point. Shorts can run but has trouble holding on to the football at times. Rookie Braxton Miller could push for time as well. Jaelen Strong has a shot to contribute, and Keith Mumphery is buried on the depth chart right now.

The TE will not be involved enough to be fantasy relevant. There is no TE of real notable talent here, but C.J. Fiedorowicz looks like the starter with Ryan Griffin as the only other option.

Sleeper/Value Players: Rookie Will Fuller looks great in preseason and ready to contribute Week 1. If he can be a threat opposite Hopkins, this offense will move the ball well. He will get favorable coverages most of the time I would think. Fuller’s possession style mixes well with Hopkins and could limit Hopkins’ targets. I like what I have seen from Fuller, so I’d say draft him in the early teen rounds of your draft as a value play.


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