Week 12
November 25, 2015

Houston Texans

AFC South

2015 Schedule

PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart

The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.

Houston Texans - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview




“Your typical city involved in a typical daydream

Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings


Dallas, got a soft machine; Houston, too close to New Orleans

New York’s got the ways and means; but just won’t let you be, oh no.”




I don’t know if it is really too close to New Orleans, but I sure as hell know Houston is not anywhere close to winning the AFC South this year.  They finished dead last in that division and only scraped together 2 wins last year. Just because a team is not winning, doesn’t mean there is no fantasy value to be had. New head coach Bill O’Brien, yet another Belichick protégé, is looking to turn a new program around. In all honesty, this Houston challenge should be a piece of cake compared to the Penn State mess the guy walked into a few years ago. After turning the program around in 2012 from the unprecedented Sandusky scandal, O’Brien won Big Ten coach of the year. He was offered NFL jobs, but said at the time: “I am not a one-and-done guy”. The following year, he was done. Evidently, he is a two-and-done sort of fellow. So, now he sets his sights on the mess that is Houston. As far as his offensive impact, he tends towards pocket passing and the running game. I don’t see Ryan Fitzpatrick having the ability, nor the opportunity to be anything except a game manager. He is a smart QB that can go through his reads and will understand the O’Brien’s offense. Fitz has been in the league since 2005. His career touchdown to interception ratio is 106 to 98. Houston’s defense should be decent enough, and number 1 draft pick, Jadeveon Clowney, looks as advertised. You have seen it before, but can you really tire of the mega-hit against Michigan?




Clowney is up to his old tricks and announced his presence in the Atlanta preseason game.




 He and J.J. Watt will be a formidable force and fun to watch. 





With a decent defense, and a guy like Foster running the ball, Fitzpatrick will simply need to feed guys here and there. He has some nice weapons on his receiving core. However, Fitzpatrick has never thrown for 4,000 yards, nor has he passed for 25 touchdowns in a season. When all is said and done, he should be smack in the middle of the 20’s for fantasy ranked quarterbacks.





Arian Foster is going to be a huge part of O’Brien’s offensive scheme. His physical break down, which Pyro called very early last year, was inevitable. In 2010, he carried the rock 327 times. In 2011, he had 278 carries.  In 2012, he racked up 351 totes. It seems obvious now, but if you remember, Pyro was one of the few sites shouting this from the roof tops last year. Yet, the douche canoe sites, who always prefer to play it safe, still ranked Foster in the top ten, if not the top five in 2013. So, his season was put on ice with a major back injury, he played 8 games, only turned in 542 yards on 121 attempts and 1 rushing TD. This is dwarfed by his 2012 numbers were he rushed for 1,424 yards and 15 TDs. But, that does not mean he has fallen off the proverbial running back cliff. This year, Foster should have a bounce back season, although he is not off to a reassuring start. He has yet to play in a preseason tilt as he is recovering from an early camp hamstring injury. Besides concussions, these are some of the trickiest injuries, you just never know how severe it is, or how much it actually hampers performance. On the plus side, Houston has the best strength of schedule for running backs in 2014. This year, it seems we have come full circle. Now, if healthy, he should be able to land inside the top 10 this year for fantasy running backs. Foster is something of a dying breed in the NFL landscape. He is a workhorse back, once a staple, it is now a rarity that a team leans on one back as much as Houston does. Even if his yards per carry continue to dwindle, he will have fantastic fantasy value just for sheer volume of work. Without looking at his first season in 2009 when he only had 54 attempts, his rushing average seems to be sliding. In 2010, he averaged 4.9 yards per carry; in 2011 it was 4.4; in 2012 it was 4.1; finally, last year’s shortened season saw him rush an average of 4.5 yards per attempt.  One thing to remember with Foster is his use in the passing game. In 2010, he hauled in 66 passes for 604 yards and 2 TDs. In 2011, he snagged 53 for 617 and 2 TDs again. The following year, he caught 40 passes for 217 and 2 TDs yet again. In his injured, half season of 2013, he collected 22 passes for 183 yards and 1 TD. Again, this was done in 8 games, so if you double that, then it is pretty consistent with the year before. Looking at his ADP in 12 team leagues, he might just be of value by the time your draft rolls around.  Looking back over the past month, Foster has fallen almost a full round. In mid-July, he was going as the 1st pick in the 2nd round. As of mid to late August, he is the 11th pick in the 2nd round. Look, outside the top one, maybe top two running back tiers, there is risk in one form or another. Pyro is liking Foster more and more. I have to say, if he is there in round 3, it would be hard to pass that up. If you want to hear more about Foster’s rising value, check out the latest podcast where the boys dissect our recent PPR draft, episode 28: show 141. 




If you are looking for a name to handcuff with Foster, get in line. I have heard Ronnie Brown’s name from other sites that I trust. Now that they cut Andre Brown, it is a murky depth chart. Jonathan Grimes has seen the most carries this preseason. In two games, Grimes has a 4.3 yards per carry. Alfred Blue is the only back to score a touchdown. He has averaged the most yards per carry with 4.7. Ronnie Brown has only played in one game. He looked incredibly ineffective, running the ball six times for 3 yards. The remainder of the preseason will be telling, but Pyro is backing Blue in this race. He can fill Foster’s shoes nicely as the dude is virtually a mini-Arian. He is a sleeper pick for Pyro. Personally, I think there is a good chance Foster does not play a full season. If indeed that is the case, Blue could have some nice value later this year. I would take the total production of Foster and Blue on my fantasy team, especially if together, they filled the role of my RB#2.


Moving to the passing game, Andre Johnson is a PPR machine. I am not talking about a half man, a half robot like Robocop.




Andre Johnson just racks up the receptions and yardage year in and year out. He has been playing since 2003 and has gone for at least 100 catches five different times. From 2007 to 2010, he crossed the end zone at least 8 times in every season. But, in the last few years, he seems to have lost some speed and does not score like he once did.  Yardage wise, he is reliable. He has had at least 1,000 yards seven different times in his career, and that does not count his rookie season where he missed that mark by 24 yards. He has put up at least 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons. He will be 33 this year. Again, you are not drafting him for his scoring potential. Last year, his five TDs came in two consecutive weeks. If you have some boom or bust guys, he is a nice rock steady receiver that can even out your line up. He was given double digit targets in 10 games last year, and saw 9 targets in 2 other games. He went for over 100 yards 6 times in 2013 and that includes his monster 229 yard game. He finished the season as the 12th best WR in standard leagues. As I have stated before, touchdowns are highly unpredictable. When drafting, you want a guy whose fantasy value primarily comes from yardage. Out of the top 20 fantasy receivers last year, Andre Johnson had the highest percentage of fantasy value tied to his receiving yardage; 82.4% of his fantasy points came from his yardage. Marvin Jones, on the other hand was lowest out of that same group. Only 51.7% of his total fantasy value came from his yards. What would you rather bet on: Marvin Jones scoring another 10 touchdowns this year or Andre Johnson going for at least 1,100 yards? By the way, Johnson has done this 7 times in his career. 





If you are hip to the “Touchdown Dependency” philosophy, it is just one of 19 tabs on the Pyro draft kit. That one table alone has complete data for the top 40 QBs, the top 70 running backs, the top 100 wide receivers, and the top 40 tight ends.


Another receiver drawing the fantasy eye is DeAndre Hopkins. He is entering his second year in the NFL. Pyro likes him as a sleeper pick. Personally, I think he is a year away. Curiously, everyone is talking about fellow second year man, Cordarrelle Patterson from the Vikings. Look, I would rather have Patterson. But the gap between these two players is not as wide as 5 whole fantasy round.  Patterson has less of a talent in front of him. Cordarrelle is on the field with Greg Jennings and DeAndre is playing with Andre Johnson. Plus, Patterson is more versatile, and the Vikings offense will put up far more points than Houston. If you were to just look at the receiving numbers from last year, they favor Hopkins. Patterson was targeted 77 times, caught 45 balls for 469 yards receiving. Hopkins was targeted 91 times and caught 52 balls for 802 yards. Going beyond their box scores is where the difference is really noticeable. Patterson has the advantage in overall scoring and multi-dimensional usage. Patterson had 4 receiving touchdowns whereas Hopkins crossed the goal line twice. Patterson also gets some play in the running game. He managed 12 rushing attempts for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns. Patterson also had 2 touchdowns in the return game. This is where you need to know your league. Is it a full point ppr? Do you get individual return yardage and touchdowns or does that fall under special teams? Depending on your response, their value can swing either way. You would think this would be essential knowledge, but if your tiers do not reflect the rules of your league, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Find out your rules, then, take a listen to the podcast episode 22: show 135.





Look, Patterson is going in the 4th round in 12 team leagues as of mid to late-August, whereas Hopkins is going in round 9. Patterson, though overvalued, is going to pop this year. While I like Hopkins, I do not think the conservative Bill O’Brien offense is going to allow Hopkins to flourish, at least not in 2014. Not only that, if you look around the 9th and 10th rounds for wide receivers, there are some nice rookies that I like better : Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans, and Jordan Matthews are all going about the same spot as Hopkins. The bottom line is Hopkins is a poor man’s Patterson, but Andre Johnson still has too much value, and the system he is currently in, just will not have enough juice to fill both glasses. I would take Hopkins in a dynasty draft, otherwise, he is on my breakout list for 2015.


Finally, looking at the tight end position, the Texans are starting Garrett Graham. In his 4th season in 2013, Graham scored 6.35 fantasy points per game. Pyro likes him as a deep sleeper. Dawg and Stagg Party are highest on Graham. As of the 2014 draft kit, version #4, both Dawg and Staggs have Graham tiered with guys such as Eric Ebron and Antonio Gates.  Personally, I don’t think the Houston offense has enough fire power to make a huge impact outside their running back and top receiver. There is certainly not enough goo to spill over into the tight end position.



By Mo



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The Texan standard at wide receiver

andre johnson silences his critics

Andre Johnson is the best wide receiver to ever don a Houston Texans uniform, and is one of the all time greats at the position. Johnson is a physically imposing 6’2” and 220 pounds but also possesses sprinter speed. Johnson played on the vaunted Miami Hurricane teams of the early 2000’s that probably had more NFL talent than some NFL squads. Johnson and Ken Dorsey proved to be an effective combo in college as Johnson would catch 89 passes for 1,777 yards and 19 scores in two seasons together. The Pair would also be named Co-MVP’s of the 2002 Rose Bowl game as Johnson caught seven passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

While dominating on the football field at Miami, Johnson was also an accomplished sprinter winning the 60 and 100-meter dash for the Big East. Johnson ran his 100 in 10.59 seconds, a very impressive time for someone of his size. At the combine he would run a 4.4 forty and scouts would be drooling to get their hands on a guy that averaged 21 yards a catch his final season. Johnson would end up being drafted third overall after Carson Palmer and Charles Rodgers by the Houston Texans.

Johnson would go on to establish himself as one of the elite pass catchers in the NFL even without ever playing with an elite quarterback in his career. Johnson would go on to set just about every Texans receiving record in his career and establish himself as a top fantasy asset during his time in Houston. Johnson has started every game of his NFL career when healthy, constantly performing at a high level. Johnson is currently second in NFL history in yards per game at 80.4 trailing only Calvin Johnson. Another of Johnson’s accolades is that he is the first receiver in NFL history to catch 60 or more passes in each of his first eight seasons.

Johnson is currently the Texans all time leader in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and most starts. He is also the leader in single season receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Andre is currently 17th on the all time receiving yardage list but with a few more productive seasons could find himself behind only Jerry Rice as one of the greatest to ever play the game.



Larry fitz chart


By Stagg Party

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Mario Williams over Reggie Bush and Vince Young

mario williams take #1 overall in 2006 NFL draft

The 2006 NFL draft was one of the best in recent memory and had a number of story lines starting with what the Houston Texans would do with the number one overall pick on draft day. It was believed to be a three way race through the evaluation period between the favorite, Reggie Bush, the hometown hero, Vince Young, and the uber athletic Mario Williams. Each had a unique story coming into the draft, Reggie Bush had just won the Heisman Trophy over teammate Matt Lienart and Texas quarterback Vince Young who had just beaten USC in the National Championship game with his play. Vince Young had just completed one of the greatest college seasons ever and was a Texas hero after leading the Longhorns to a National Championship. Mario Williams was an athletic freak at 6’7” 290 pounds and ran a 4.7 forty-yard dash at the combine.

The 2005 incarnation of the Houston Texans finished 2-14, which was the worst record in franchise history, so they had holes all over the field. The team would also have newly hired Gary Kubiak in charge for the 2006 season so no change would be a surprise. Many draft analysts pegged the Texans to select Reggie Bush as the franchise’s leading rusher Domanick Davis suffered a knee injury in the 2005 season and was expected to miss some time. The team also was not sold on David Carr as he had been one of the most abused quarterbacks in the league and had a .291 career winning percentage. The Texans would spurn all analysts and select Mario Williams first overall, signing him to a contract the night before the draft. Reggie Bush would be selected second overall by the New Orleans Saints and Vince Young would be selected third overall by the Tennessee Titans.

The 2006 was an absolutely loaded draft as 18 of the 32 players selected in the first round would go on to make at least one Pro Bowl.  Mario Williams, Vince Young, and Reggie Bush would all make at least one Pro Bowl in their careers. Mario Williams would leave the Texans after the expiration of his six-year rookie contract for the Buffalo Bills. Upon leaving Williams was the franchise leader in sacks with 53 and forced fumbles with 11. Selecting Williams was one of the most talked about decisions of the 2006 NFL Draft but the case can be made that it paid off.

By Stagg Party

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DeAndre Hopkins targets should continue to be in doses


Pyro's take: Expect Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ targets to continue to soar with T.J. Yates expected to start against the New York Jets. Yates is the quarterback who threw Hopkins his first NFL touchdown -- albeit in the 2013 preseason. Hopkins is the current Texans receiver with whom Yates is most comfortable. The two of them also have spent time before and after practice this week working together, Hopkins said. Despite missing the official parts of practice Wednesday and Thursday, Hopkins said he is 100 percent healthy. -- Tania Ganguli

11/22/15, 03:27 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: espn.go.com

Surprise on the injury report: #Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins is listed as did not practice with a knee injury. #Texans


Pyro's take: Tania Ganguli via Twitter has stated that "Surprise on the injury report: #Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins is listed as did not practice with a knee injury. #Texans"

Thursday will shed more light on this situation.

11/19/15, 02:53 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Brian Hoyer (concussion) is likely to miss Sunday's game against the Jets.


Pyro's take: Ian Rapoport has stated via Twitter "Why did the #Texans claim QB Brandon Weeden? I'm told Brian Hoyer (concussion) is likely out this Sunday. Expect TJ Yates to start."

11/19/15, 02:40 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Cecil Shorts caught 3-of-7 targets for 16 yards


Pyro's take: He hasnt seen the field since week 6, and it showed. He is of some value in deep PPR leagues but thats about it.

11/16/15, 08:10 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Brian Hoyer exited Monday night's Week 10 game against the Bengals with a concussion


Pyro's take: Brian Hoyer went to the locker room due to a concussion and did not come out. It was kind of surprising since it didnt seem like he took a hard hit or a blow to the head.

Hoyer finished the game 12-of-22 passing for 123-yards and an interception. With a short week for Houston he may have to sit out against the Jets.

11/16/15, 01:17 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

DeAndre Hopkins caught 5-of-11 targets for 57 yards and one touchdown


Pyro's take: Hopkins was down in yards and targets tonight against the Bengals. He only had 57-yards on five receptions, he also caught the game winning touchdown. His touchdown was definitely highlight reel material.

He is the highest targeted player in the NFL and it should continue next week against the Jets. Yates will look his way often if Hoyer cannot play.

11/16/15, 01:13 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

T.J. Yates completed 5-of-11 passes for 69 yards and one touchdown


Pyro's take: After Brian Hoyer went down with a concussion, Yates stepped in and threw the only touchdown of the game to DeAndre Hopkins. He could get the start against the Jets, if Hoyer is not cleared by Thursday.

11/16/15, 01:05 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Nate Washington caught 2-of-5 targets for 32 yards


Pyro's take: Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts will continue to cancel out each others fantasy production as long as they are on the field together. Both make PPR flex options at best.

11/16/15, 12:47 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Nate Washington (hip) practiced in full Friday


Pyro's take: Washington will be ready to go on Monday Night Football, but his targets will decrease with Cecil Shorts returning. He make an adequate flex play in PPR leagues.

11/14/15, 01:14 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Cecil Shorts (hamstring) returned to practice


Pyro's take: Deepi Sidhu via Twitter has stated that "Cecil Shorts III returned to practice today. Griffin was on short-term IR with knee sprain."

As long as Cecil Shorts can remain healthy he will get plenty of looks going his direction. He is a solid flex Wr3 play in PPR leagues.

11/09/15, 03:29 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

TE Ryan Griffin (MCL) has resumed practicing.


Pyro's take: According to Deepi Sidhu "Ryan Griffin and Cecil Shorts III returned to practice today. Griffin was on short-term IR with knee sprain."

11/09/15, 02:08 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Cecil Shorts (hamstring) has been ruled out


Pyro's take: According to television reporter Drew Doughty, Cecil Shorts will be out for Sunday's game.

Nate Washington should continue to receive the targets Shorts would have gotten, and this moves him into flex territory.

10/30/15, 12:36 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Mallett has been released


Pyro's take: Ryan Mallett gets released after all. Tania Ganguli reports that veteran is likely to be T.J. Yates.

10/27/15, 06:04 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Texans GM Rick Smith vetoes Bill O'Brien's decision to cut QB Ryan Mallett


Pyro's take: Head coach BIll O'Brien runs a tight ship and doesn't tolerate malcontents like Ryan Mallett. Who has displayed a poor attitude and has struggled to be on time to certain events.

"We're talking about all those options," O'Brien said Monday at NRG Stadium, when asked what the Texans plan to do with Mallett, who missed a chartered flight and then blamed Houston's nonexistent Saturday traffic for not flying with his team to the game.

The article states: "Did allowing lazy No. 15 to remain in uniform undercut everything that O'Brien had publicly stood for since Jan. 3, 2014, when he was hired to be the hard answer to the perceived softness that set up Gary Kubiak's sudden demise? Without question."

10/27/15, 02:55 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.houstonchronicle.com

Bill O'Brien confirmed Brian Hoyer will remain the Texans' starting quarterback going forward.


Pyro's take: Aaron Wilson reported via twitter "Bill O'Brien on Brian Hoyer: 'I would say he's our quarterback. We're going to stick with him.'

Its about time. Ryan Mallett has been ineffective everytime he has had an opportunity. Hoyer hasn't been much better, but he has gotten more things done.

Mallett or Hoyer should only be owned in the deepest of leagues.

10/19/15, 09:32 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Ed Werder reports Brandon Weeden has been benched for Matt Cassel.


Pyro's take: According to Ed Werder via twitter "Source says Brandon Weeden has been informed by #Cowboys coaches the team will start Matt Cassel after the bye week vs #Giants"

Its desperation time for the Cowboys as they reach in the abyss and grab Matt Casel as their starting quarterback. I wouldnt even look in his direction unless you are as desperate as the Cowboys are right now.

10/14/15, 02:45 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Brian Hoyer completed 24-of-31 passes for 312 yards, two touchdowns and an interception (In relief)


Pyro's take: Brian Hoyer had to sub in again for an ineffective Ryan Mallett. He tore apart the Colts defense and had a 41-yard touchdown pass to Jaelen Strong who caught two touchdowns.

Brian Hoyer has been the best of the two quarterbacks, which says that Mallett is not worth anything in the fantasy world. If you own Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer they are both easy drops in redraft leagues.

10/09/15, 03:28 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

DeAndre Hopkins caught 11-of-14 targets for 169 yards


Pyro's take: DeAndre Hopkins did Hopkins things as he blasted his way to 11 receptions for 169 yards. Unfortunately he couldnt find the end zone. This marks the second week in a row he hasn't scored, but his 169-yards makes it three weeks consecutive of 100+yards.

Hopkins has now drawn at least 14 targets in three straight games, and is on pace for 240 looks. In the last three games he has 28 receptions for 427-yards and one touchdown.

10/09/15, 03:22 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Arian Foster rushed 19 times for 41 yards and also caught 9-of-10 targets for an additional 77 yards.


Pyro's take: Arian Foster didnt have the greatest rushing game against the Indianapolis Colts, but he dominated in the air. Basically, he stunk for standard leagues but was a delight in PPR. He did get over 100-yards of total offense, so at least he didnt put up a goose-egg.

He was evaluated for a concussion after a huge second quarter hit, and appeared to be operating without his typical burst. This can all be related to the long lay-off, the more he plays the more dominant he is going to be.

10/09/15, 03:18 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Alfred Blue rushed six times for 22 yards


Pyro's take: Alfred Blue is the clear back-up of Arian Foster. Unfortunately that doesnt mean much unless Foster gets hurt again. Blue can make a capable hand-cuff to Foster owners, but that is about far as it goes.

10/09/15, 02:50 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com


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