Texans Fantasy News
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:14pm
Bills WR Robert Woods took over during the 7-on-7 goal line drill to end practice on Wednesday. Woods ran his routes correctly, didn’t come back to the ball when he was near the goal line and displayed outstanding hands during his few reps. Woods first took a well-placed over the shoulder throw from EJ Manuel while a defender was draped all over the wide receiver. Woods simply reached out with his right arm, still getting his left arm dragged from behind and corralled the pass in for a touchdown. It was a gorgeous play.
Woods averaged 2.9-42-.21 in 14 games as a rookie, which translates to 46-671-3.4 if extrapolated to a full season. As it stands, he had the 5th-most receiving yards of any rookie in 2013. (His extrapolated total would have finished 4th, behind Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins and Terrance Williams.) He should see starter’s snaps opposite rookie Sammy Watkins, but in a run-heavy offense with a mediocre (at best) quarterback, Woods isn’t a sure thing to be fantasy relevant (top 60) in 2014.
The injury Texans RB Arian Foster was dealing with wasn’t life threatening. It wasn’t even serious enough to keep the star running back off the practice field Wednesday. Foster was in uniform and returned to action during the fifth day of training camp, after missing back-to-back sessions.
Foster's health is obviously a concern. He has missed 11 games in the last three years, but did play a full season in 2012 and no longer has Ben Tate to worry about. After finishing in the top 2 in fantasy points per game from 2010 to 2012, he was #19 in that category in 2013. There is a new regime in Houston, so Foster's usage is a bit up in the air. Still, he has been one of the most productive RBs in the league when healthy and is a candidate for a bounceback season.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 11:38am
John Harris, analyst of the Houston Texans, on the team's backup running backs: Andre Brown and Alfred Blue got a ton of reps with Arian Foster out with a "minor" issue. Neither one of them is Foster, but then again, who is? Brown, though, can pound and after absorbing a few hits, Blue ran hard, especially down during the goal line drill. He stuck up into the line a couple of times, hard, only to run into a defensive brick wall. More on the goal line drill in a second.
I was, and still am, a big fan of Brown. I wanted the Texans to draft him when he was coming out of NC State and he's a lot like I remembered him. Nagging injuries throughout his career have slowed his development a bit but that wasn't evident one bit today. The vet ran the ball hard all day long and continued to catch it well too.
It's not yet clear who is the best handcuff for Foster, but it appears that Brown is still running ahead of Blue. Both players have been praised at camp.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 5:13pm
Under the previous coaching staff, Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright was given unique freedom to run routes the way he saw fit, as long as he ended up at the right place at the right time.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick described it — in complimentary fashion — as "streetballer-ish" and "freewheeling," while offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains just called it creative.
Whatever the term, it worked pretty well, as Wright caught 94 passes for 1,079 yards in 2013. But with a new coaching staff come new roles and responsibilities.
Wright will be expected to adapt not only to a more disciplined approach to route-running, but also to a more disciplined approach at the buffet table, where coaches hope to trim his weight to increase his speed.
Wright is ranked highest of the Titan WRs on our list and we project him for over 1,000 yards and 88 catches while projecting as a WR3 on your fantasy team. The good news is, according to the story, Wright doesn't seemed too phased about losing some freedom on his routes.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 1:47pm
Texans running back Arian Foster missed practice Tuesday, which marks two-and-a half consecutive morning practices he's missed. Foster missed the final hour of Sunday's morning training camp practice and then missed Monday's altogether.
Texans coach Bill O'Brien has termed Foster's injury minor. Foster dealt with three different injuries last season, but the team isn't concerned about him falling behind right now. However, fantasy owners may not like the fact that Foster is already missing time...
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 1:42pm
While saying he wasn't worried about it, Texans WR Andrew Johnson said on Monday the most important thing for him going forward was to take care of the hamstring that tightened up when he made a diving catch during practice.
Tuesday, that meant one more day without Johnson on the field.
Head coach Bill O'Brien said he considers the injury minor. Johnson was away from football in the spring working out on his own.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 1:06pm
One of the Texans’ hardest-working players is third-year receiver DeVier Posey.
Posey (6-1, 210) stays after practice every day working with the JUGS gun. Other receivers and tight ends always join Posey after practice, but long after the others are gone, he remains.
Posey catches passes from every angle. He faces the machine. He turns his back to the machine and turns right to make catches, then turns left to make more receptions.
When Andre Johnson sat out the offseason program, Posey benefited by getting more repetitions in the OTAs. There’s a good chance he could be the team’s most improved receiver.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 12:29pm
Texans WR Andre Johnson said he tweaked his right hamstring while making a catch down the middle of the field Monday. He didn’t apply ice after the injury and said he isn’t concerned. However, Johnson acknowledged he’ll have his hamstring examined as a precautionary measure.
The Texans played much of last season without running back Arian Foster because of a back injury, making life more difficult for their offense and creating some worry when Foster had to leave Sunday’s practice early.
The good news is that the reason for his departure, which came with the assistance of a cart, didn’t seem to have anything to do with his back. He was getting his legs stretched out on the sideline before riding the cart to the trainer’s room and the Texans didn’t express much concern about his status.
Whatever the issue — Foster dealt with hamstring troubles in training camp last year — it is enough to keep the back off the practice field during Monday’s first padded practice of camp as well. It may just be precautionary as the Texans try to keep a small problem from blossoming, but it will certainly be something to watch given Foster’s recent injury history.
Andre Brown will likely see a few more reps with Foster out of the lineup.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 3:39pm
Sunday, the second day of training camp, was a great day for the Texans' receivers. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was also a good day for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was the best I've seen him since he came to Houston.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 5:20pm
Much was made about the lack of timing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and WR Andre Johnson would have because they'd never worked together. On the first play of team, CB Kareem Jackson was up in press man on Dre. At the snap, Dre gave a little shimmy, buzzed his feet, all the while setting up his inside move on the slant route. At the perfect time, Dre planted his left foot, pivoted inside and as he turned the ball was put between the 8 and the 0. Perfect timing.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 5:12pm
After skipping previous offseason work, Texans WR Andre Johnson is catching up on Bill O'Brien's offense. "I think it's just gonna be fun for me, me picking up the things I need to pick up, him telling me that he's gonna move me around a lot and stuff like that," Johnson told NFL Media's Desmond Purnell. "So it's going to be interesting to see because I really wasn't moved a whole lot before, so I just got to, day-by-day, just progressively get better and make sure that I'm on top of everything ... "
Andre Johnson has reported for the Texans’ 2014 training camp. Despite spending the last two months threatening to hold out, Johnson has arrived at NRG Stadium and is expected to begin practicing Saturday morning.
Johnson's decision will certainly help his fantasy stock. It gives him time to learn the new offense and get valuable reps with his new quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. He should once again be a force in PPR formats, though he has always had trouble scoring touchdowns.
Titans TE Delanie Walker hauled in 60 catches for 583 yards and team-high six touchdowns – all career marks -- in his first season in Tennessee. Walker has publicly stated his desire to catch 80 passes in 2014 and is confident that a healthy Jake Locker can make that happen. He may well be on his way to the desired milestone after becoming the team’s first tight end to grab 60 passes in a season since Frank Wycheck in 2001. Walker is excited to work with Whisenhunt, a former NFL tight end who understands how to get the most out of the position. In 2013, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates posted his best receiving numbers in four years (77 catches for 872 yards) with Whisenhunt as his offensive coordinator. The combination of Whisenhunt’s tight end-friendly system and having Locker at 100 percent makes adding another 20 catches a feasible goal.
He was targeted much more heavily in games where Ryan Fitzpatrick was under center (6.8 vs. 4.2 T/G), but Jake Locker did throw three TDs to Walker while he was still the starter. From Week 10 to Week 15, Walker had the 6th-highest PPG (8.7), so he’s capable of playing at a TE1 level. Moreover, new HC Ken Whisenhunt had this to say about Walker: "Working with Antonio Gates got me excited about the position, and I think there's a lot of elements to what Delanie does that are similar in that capacity.” This bodes well for Walker’s usage in Whisenhunt’s offense.
As one of the Browns’ priority free-agent signings and with four years of NFL experience as a solid backup with the Houston Texans, Ben Tate enters camp as at least a slight favorite to win the starting job. When he was first signed, Tate had every reason to assume he was a shoo-in to become the Browns’ No. 1 back because at the time there was no one approaching his talent level on the team. That dramatically changed when the Browns made Terrance West their third-round draft pick and added Isaiah Crowell as an undrafted free agent. West quickly emerged as a formidable challenger for the starting role.
Tate's stock has taken a big hit upon the arrival of West. This is a camp battle to watch. Whoever wins the job will likely have low-end RB2/RB3 value.
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