C.J. Fiedorowicz is the rare tight end who combines pass-catching and blocking ability. The Texans seem to have been extremely happy with his development -- a fact that's borne out by their usage at the position. According to ESPN's Mike Clay, during head coach Bill O'Brien's first two seasons with the Texans, 12 percent of the team's targets were directed at the tight end position. Last year, that mark nearly tripled to 31 percent. Houston had two or more tight ends on the field for 24 percent of its offensive snaps in 2014, 20 percent in 2015, and 20 percent in 2016.
The question then becomes whether some of Fiedorowicz's increased action was due to the presence of QB Brock Osweiler. Of Osweiler's 557 aimed throws, Clay reports 31.6 percent were directed at a TE. Of Tom Savage's 70 aimed throws, only 24.3 percent went to a TE (although Fiedorowicz did miss one of his games). With Osweiler now gone and WRs Braxton Miller and Will Fuller entering year two of their NFL careers, there could be fewer throws to the TE position this season. In addition, the Texans retained fellow tight end Ryan Griffin, who had a career season in 2016, catching 50 passes of his own while working in tandem with Fiedorowicz. The potentially limiting factors are a concern.
2017 Bottom Line
Fiedorowicz's ability to both block and catch give him the edge over Griffin. After the Texans ranked 31st in the NFL in red-zone offense last season, they'll be focused on improving in that area. Could Fiedorowicz be more of a factor there? It's possible. But Texans TEs are more waiver wire fodder (or cheap DFS plays) than players meriting an investment of draft capital.