In Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus, the Texans have several key players coming back from serious injuries but they won’t be getting tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz back.
Fiedorowicz signed a three-year deal with Houston after a 54-catch season in 2016, but three concussions limited him to five games in 2017 and led to his decision to retire once the year came to an end.
“I think they all have different strengths and weaknesses that they have to work on,” tight ends coach Tim Kelly said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “As far as replacing anybody, I don’t know if one person is going to do it. I think it will be more of a collective effort. But again, if you look at the tight ends and how they played last year, it’s more of a collective group, even when C.J. was in the room.”
The Texans have seven tight ends on the roster right now and tight ends coach Tim Kelly said several of them will be tasked with filling the role come the regular season. The story said Griffin will likely be at the top of the group, but the team drafted Akins and Thomas, so they are likely the future. It's a situation to watch, as it would be hard to believe anyone who emerges offensively wouldn't get more snaps and opportunities as the season goes on.
HOU TE Stephen Anderson - 2018 Fantasy Football Outlook
Anderson caught 25 passes for 342 yards and one touchdown last year. As Bleacher Report notes, he moves like a big receiver, which creates matchup problems for defenses. B/R added, "His route running has developed, and he looks like a top tight end in terms of separation. He had issues with drops and making adjustments on the fly, but he was mostly working with backup quarterbacks." When all was said and done, Anderson ranked third on the Texans in receiving yards, and, as SBNation.com suggests, was the only somewhat consistent receiving option at tight end in 2017.
Anderson is more of a slot receiver than an every-down tight end. Specifically, his shortcomings as a blocker keep him off the field in running situations.
2018 Bottom Line
With the team drafting a pair of TEs in April, Jordan Aikens in the third round and Jordan Thomas in the sixth, to go with Ryan Griffin. All three are bigger-bodied players than Anderson, who at best will be the second option to Griffin. That secondary role will likely relegate Anderson to DFS bargain-basement fodder barring a significant change of circumstances.