Tragic news hit the sports world when potential rookie of the year Deshaun Watson went down with a season ending torn ACL. Watson was making every receiver that played with him better. Now that he is done for the season, are the Texans’ wide receivers still valuable in fantasy football?
Will Fuller V
Will Fuller has taken the league by storm this year with 13 receptions and seven touchdowns. Yes you read that right. More than half of his receptions have been for touchdowns.
Again, that was with Watson at quarterback. Now Fuller is playing with the inconsistent Tom Savage at quarterback.
Fantasy owners have reaped the rewards with Watson throwing touchdowns to Fuller, but now owners have to deal with Savage, who has never thrown a touchdown pass in his NFL career.
Since most of Fuller’s points have come from touchdowns, regression should be expected with Savage in at quarterback. Fuller hasn’t had many receptions this season, averaging just over three a game. Along with Savage’s poor completion percentage and rating as a starting quarterback, Fuller probably won’t see as much action as a fantasy receiver.
Without the touchdown receptions that Fuller has experienced in 2017, he bumps down from a reliable WR2 to a WR3 or WR4. He becomes matchup dependent and therefore is reliable when facing poor defenses.
There’s not much to say about Lamar Miller without Watson, except for the fact that the run game may be improved and utilized more with a weaker passing game. However, we did see Miller more as a receiving back this year than he was last year with the Texans.
Last year, Miller caught 31 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown in 14 games. So far this year, Miller has 18 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
With Savage being more of a pocket passer, don’t expect those numbers to continue for the rest of the season. Expect less work in the passing game, but more work as a runner.
Hopkins won’t see as much regression with Savage because of his ability to work with poor quarterbacks in the past. In 2015 with the poor quarterback play, Hopkins exploded for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns. With Savage, Hopkins hasn’t seen as much success.
The volume is there for Hopkins as 34 percent of Savage’s throws have gone to him, but again, touchdowns may be a problem. We’ve seen Hopkins put up decent numbers with Savage at quarterback and Hopkins can work well with yards after the catch. Dating back to last week, Hopkins torched the Seahawks defense for a 72-yard touchdown off of a short pass. Fantasy owners are going to need to see the 2015 version of Hopkins and hope his volume equates to more production week in and week out.
With Savage at quarterback, Hopkins bumps down from a consistent every week WR1 to a WR2, but he should still be in your lineup every week.
At the end of the day, the receiver that is expected to regress the most is Fuller, but all receivers should see less production with Savage in at quarterback. Look at matchups and don’t expect high powered numbers for the Texans offense from here on out.
Feature image from chron.com
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