Upside. What most fantasy managers are looking for in the later rounds of their drafts in hopes of finding a player that can provide league-winning production down the stretch of the fantasy season.
Luckily for fantasy managers, the Houston Texans have nothing but players with upside that cost little to nothing in most fantasy drafts. I mean, which fantasy managers wouldn’t want a low-risk, high-reward player on their squad?
Brandin Cooks is the only Texan being drafted in the first five rounds of fantasy drafts, and deservedly so. However, there are a few players on this Houston team that fantasy managers should keep an eye on in the later rounds of their drafts.
Here are three Texans players that could win you your fantasy league in 2022:
RB: Dameon Pierce – ADP: #123 (Sleeper)
Dameon Pierce was taken in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft by the Texans and could step into a significant role early on in the season.
Houston currently has Pierce third on the depth chart at running back behind Marlon Mack, who is coming off of an Achilles tear, and Rex Burkhead, who is 32 years old and is mainly a complimentary back rather than a lead back.
It is likely that Mack will get the first snap at running back to start the season, however, it has yet to be seen whether or not he is the same player he was before his injury.
Pierce, on the contrary, brings a fresh set of legs to the running back room and could provide a spark at the position that the team hasn’t seen since Arian Foster.
“He’s an urgent runner with twitchy downfield burst, tackle-breaking leg drive and outstanding balance through contact. He reads and reacts to block development quickly and creates additional yardage with both power and subtle shiftiness.”
– Lance Zierlein (NFL Analyst) https://www.nfl.com/prospects/dameon-pierce/32005049-4524-5478-115c-8ae11dbeefa6
If Mack disappoints to start the season, the Texans could turn to Pierce as the lead back in Houston and he could receive a lot of volume. Volume is everything in fantasy, especially in a PPR format. With an improved offensive line and little competition at the position, Pierce could be a league-winning player in fantasy in 2022.
WR: Nico Collins – ADP: #227 (Sleeper)
Nico Collins underperformed in his rookie season due to injuries, however, he enters his second season fully healthy and as the clear-cut number two in the passing game.
There’s no doubt that Brandin Cooks will get most of the attention from opposing secondaries, and Collins could benefit from that. It is likely that he will see a lot of one-on-one matchups, and with his 4.4 speed along with his 6-4 frame, he has the potential to win a lot of those battles.
Sarah Barshop of ESPN reported that starting quarterback Davis Mills mentioned Collins as a player who has stood out during team activities this off-season, saying, “his talent is off the charts.”
The Texans are going to be down in most games and will have to throw the ball a lot. Expect a ton of those throws going Collins’ way and for him to make a leap in his second season.
WR: John Metchie III – ADP: #196 (Sleeper)
John Metchie III was drafted in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft by the Texans, and will likely be the starting slot receiver for the team heading into the regular season.
If it wasn’t for an ACL injury, Metchie could’ve easily been a first-round pick in this year’s draft. In 2021, Metchie secured 96 passes, tallied 1,142 yards, and caught eight touchdowns as the number two receiver behind fellow draftee Jameson Williams at Alabama.
He is an outstanding route-runner and has the potential to be Davis Mills’ security blanket throughout the season at the slot position. Slot receivers tend to tally up a lot of receptions throughout the course of a season and in PPR that is golden.
A perfect example is Lions’ receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. He broke out towards the end of the season in 2021, racking up 8+ receptions in every game from weeks 13-18. During that stretch, St. Brown was the #3 receiver in fantasy.
Metchie will likely take some time to develop throughout the first few weeks of the season, however, in an offense that will likely throw the ball a ton, he could produce similar numbers down the latter stretch of the season. Look to draft him late in your fantasy drafts.