Texans Fantasy News
Tight end Garrett Graham has agreed to a deal with the Texans.
Once the team parted ways with Owen Daniels, re-signing Graham became much more feasible. After Daniels went down, Graham was the #11 TE from Week 6 to Week 14 before getting injured himself. He could be a baseline fantasy option at TE, but Gary Kubiak's TE-friendly offense is gone and it's not clear how much new HC Bill O'Brien will feature the tight end. While at Penn State, TE Jesse James was second on the team in receiving yards (333) in 2013, while TE Kyle Carter was second in 2012 (453 yards), so Graham could have a sizable role in the offense. Time will tell.
Texans released TE Owen Daniels.
The 31 year-old Daniels was a cap casualty. With Garrett Graham also hitting free agency, the Texans are left with 6th-round pick Ryan Griffin atop the depth chart at tight end. He caught 19 passes for 244 yards and one TD in 2013, posting a solid but unspectacular 1.09 FP/target on 28 targets.
Monday, March 10, 2014, 7:59pm
Texans TE Owen Daniels was lost for the season during a Week 5 loss at San Francisco when he fractured the tibial plateau in one of his legs. Five months later, he said he's fine. "It's like it never happened," Daniels said. "I feel good in that respect. I'm looking forward to coming in fresh and healthy." Daniels said he completed his rehab by mid-January, and is looking forward to getting back on the field.
Daniels should be a decent baseline candidate but not playing in Gary Kubiak's TE-friendly offense may have a negative impact on his production.
Free agent Ben Tate said he will have a message for those teams who are interested in his services. "I think I can bring you an elite running back," Tate said. "I've learned a lot being behind Arian. Definitely, when I'm healthy I think I'm an elite running back in this league, and I feel like I can show my abilities and my numbers and my play will speak for itself, and guys will be able to see that I am a guy who is a top-five running back in this league, which I believe once I get out there and get to show that on a consistent basis.
We'll have to wait and see where Tate lands before we can assess his value heading into 2014, but he's definitely a threat to move into the first three or four rounds if he gets a starting gig. Injuries have been a concern.
During four games in December after being activated, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta proved that his surgically repaired hip was structurally sound. He knocked off the rust quickly, catching 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. However, what Pitta didn't have was his trademark elusiveness after the catch, and he wasn't quite as quick or fast as in the past, which was understandable given the severity of the injury and his accelerated rehabilitation timetable. “I’d be lying to you if I said I was 100 percent with my explosion and strength,” Pitta acknowledged during a news conference earlier this week to announce his five-year, $32 million contract that includes $16 million guaranteed and an $11 million signing bonus. “I didn’t have any pain and I felt good playing, but kind of that quickness and that explosion wasn’t all the way back, which was expected.” Now, Pitta says he's getting closer to regaining his old form.
Pitta missed most of 2013 due to a hip injury and he was sorely missed in the Ravens’ passing game. Upon his return, he saw 33 targets in four games, putting him on pace to finish with the 3rd-most targets in the league. It’s not a solid sample size, but it’s still an indicator of what may come. (He finished with the 12th-most targets in 2012.) The big plus for Pitta heading into 2014 is the arrival of new OC Gary Kubiak who has been very TE-friendly throughout his career, specifically with the development of both Shannon Sharpe in Denver and Owen Daniels in Houston.
The Ravens have locked up tight end Dennis Pitta, with the team confirming an agreement on a five-year contract. The contract is worth $32 million, according to league sources. Pitta and the Ravens got the deal done before Monday's deadline to use the franchise tag. That would have potentially been a complicated situation for the Ravens if they had to designate Pitta as a franchise player, because of the financial difference between the $6.709 million tight end tag and an $11.5 million wide receiver tag. A grievance was expected to be filed through the NFL Players Association if the Ravens had designated Pitta as a tight end, on the basis that he often lines up wide of the formation like a receiver.
Pitta missed most of 2013 due to a hip injury and he was sorely missed in the Ravens’ passing game. Upon his return, he saw 33 targets in four games, putting him on pace to finish with the 3rd-most targets in the league. It’s not a solid sample size, but it’s still an indicator of what may come. (For what it’s worth, he finished with the 12th-most targets in 2012.) The big plus for Pitta heading into 2014 is the arrival of new OC Gary Kubiak who has been very TE-friendly throughout his career, specifically with the development of both Shannon Sharpe in Denver and Owen Daniels in Houston.
Saturday, February 22, 2014, 12:31pm
Texans running back Arian Foster's rehab is going well, general manager Rick Smith and head coach Bill O'Brien said Friday. "He's working hard, he's in the building, he's in the training room consistently," Smith said. "The reports I'm getting from Geoff [Kaplan, head trainer] indicate he's going to be fine." Foster struggled with several injuries last season, starting with a calf strain during organized team activities then a back injury that healed in time for him to start the regular season. Foster also dealt with a hamstring injury and then finally a back injury which knocked him out for the rest of the season when he decided to have surgery. Foster's back injury required microscopic lumbar disectomy surgery, which was performed by Robert Watkins in California in November.
While the Texans were the worst team in the NFL last season and the 32-year-old Johnson’s entering his 12th season, the seven-time Pro Bowler hasn’t given any thought to ending his career anytime soon. “I know I’m not a second-, third-, or fourth-year guy. Everything comes to an end at some point,” said Johnson, who started all 16 games in 2013, recording 109 receptions for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns. “But right now I don’t know when it might end. I’m feeling fine. I’m feeling healthy. So I’m going to continue to play as long as I can. “Everybody knows that day when it’s over. When that day comes, I’ll have no problem stepping away. But right now I feel fine. I feel like I still have a few more years left in me.”
Johnson finished the season as the #12 WR but failed to find the endzone in the final seven weeks after scoring all five of his touchdowns in Week 9 (9-229-3) and Week 10 (5-37-2) against the Colts and Cardinals, respectively. With the #1 overall pick in their pocket, the Texans should get an upgrade at QB, though a rookie passer is always a bit of a risk. Johnson will turn 33 in July and is starting to show signs of slowing down. But he should continue to be a quality fantasy starter for at least another year or two.
Saturday, February 15, 2014, 9:46am
Expect Ray Rice to return to his marquee position in the Ravens offense. With Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak’s run-first offense, Rice will see plenty of action in 2014. And the offense’s success will largely rest on his stocky legs. “I think as he goes, we’ll go,” Kubiak said of Rice in an interview with BaltimoreRavens.com. “Our goal is to get him going, and he’s excited to get going and put last year behind him.” Kubiak shared the carries between Arian Foster and backup Ben Tate in Houston. And he’ll do the same in Baltimore with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. “I think in this league nowadays you need a couple of guys,” Kubiak said. “It’s hard to hand it to one guy 30 times a game; they just get worn down. It’ll take both of them. They’re very talented and if we can get both of them going, the better we’ll be.”
The article doesn't really shed a ton of light on the situation, other than the fact that Kubiak seems committed to getting Rice going again. But then he compares Pierce to Arian Foster. Rice looked like an "old" 26 year-old, but said after the season that he struggled all year with a hip injury.
Beat writer Mary Kay Cabot was asked how WR Josh Gordon will fare in new OC Kyle Shanahan's offense. "If Gordon fares as well as seven-time Pro Bowler Andre Johnson in Shanahan's West Coast-oriented scheme, the reigning receiving yardage leader (1,646) will continue to tear it up. With Shanahan as Texans' coordinator in 2008-09, Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards in both years (1,575 in 2008) and (1,569 in 2009). He also led the league in receptions in 2008 (115). During those two seasons combined, Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards (3,144) and ranked second in receptions (216). So more trips to Honolulu should be in store for Gordon, who flourished in the vertical passing game last season."
Gordon actually outscored Calvin Johnson in PPG (16.2 vs. 15.8) and finished as the top fantasy receiver in 2013 despite missing the first two games due to suspension. He’d be a no-brainer top 5 wideout heading into 2014 if not for his history of off-field issues, a change at offensive coordinator and continuing issues at quarterback. If he can finally get some consistency at QB (and stay out of trouble), the sky is the limit for this kid. It’s pretty amazing what he did with Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden throwing him the ball.
Friday, February 7, 2014, 10:58am
As expected, Texans HC Bill O'Brien, who will call plays on offense, won't have an offensive coordinator, at least for the first year he coaches.
The arrival of new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak could provide a boost to the production of tight end Dennis Pitta. Kubiak's offensive game plans over the years with the Houston Texans -- and previously with the Denver Broncos -- have been friendly toward athletic tight ends like Pitta. “I remember studying Dennis, and I’m very impressed with him as a player," Kubiak said. "I know he went through a tough year this year with getting injured, but that position has always been a big part of our offense. I’m sure it won’t be any different.”
We had Pitta as a mid-TE1 prior to the injury, so that's roughly where he'll be ranked heading into 2014 with a TE-friendly coach like Kubiak.
The Baltimore Ravens officially announced Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator on Monday, pulling a reverse late in their search. After reportedly being down to two finalists this weekend, the Ravens changed direction and went with Kubiak, who began talking with the team only a few days ago. Kubiak becomes the Ravens' third offensive coordinator in the last 13 months and the third in coach John Harbaugh's tenure.
It's a strong hire by the Ravens. Kubiak was the offensive coordinator for 11 seasons in Denver before taking over as the head coach in Houston. In Denver, his offenses had an average ranking of 7.2 in points scored and 6.0 in yards gained. After taking over a Texans team that was 30th in yards gained in 2005, Kubiak's offenses were 3rd, 4th and 3rd in yards gained from 2008 to 2010. Even in the Texans' nightmare season in 2013 (31st in points scored), they were still a respectable 11th in yards gained. The Ravens offense slumped in 2013, but Kubiak's arrival should help considerably. Kubiak has already spoken highly of free agent TE Dennis Pitta, so we should expect him to be back in Baltimore next season. Kubiak has a long track record of featuring the tight end position, specifically Shannon Sharpe in Denver and Owen Daniels in Houston. This bodes well for Pitta.
Saints Inactives RB Pierre Thomas QB Ryan Griffin DB Terrence Frederick S Jordan Pugh LB Rufus Johnson DT Tyrunn Walker WR Nick Toon
Look for Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson to see extra carries against a tough Seattle defense.
Saturday, January 4, 2014, 7:03pm
Saints Inactives Isa Abdul-Quddus FS Keyunta Dawson DE Terrence Frederick DB Ryan Griffin QB Pierre Thomas RB Nick Toon WR Tyrunn Walker DE
Darren Sproles will likely get most of Thomas's snaps in the passing game, while Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson should pick up most of his carries.