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2021 Houston Texans Projections: The Running Backs

What the computers have to say about how the Texans running backs will fare this season.

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Houston’s running back room is more crowded than a hydra in a hat store. The Texans currently have David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, Scottie Phillips, Rex Burkhead, Gregory (Buddy) Howell, Mark Ingram, and Dontrelle Hilliard on the roster. Nick Caserio has turned what is usually an expendable position group into a highly invested position by keeping Johnson and adding a trio of veterans to the roster.

In Part I, we looked at Football Outsiders’ KUBIAK system that projected the Texans’ quarterbacks. Part II dives into what the KUBIAK projection system has to say about the Texans’ running backs. You can purchase the KUBIAK projections, and the Football Outsiders Almanac once it is published here.

2021 Houston Texans Running Backs Projections

Player Rushes Rushing Yards Rush Touchdowns Rushing DVOA Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving Touchdowns Receiving DVOA
Player Rushes Rushing Yards Rush Touchdowns Rushing DVOA Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving Touchdowns Receiving DVOA
David Johnson 148 629 5.6 -1.2% 30 269 1.2 -0.9%
Phillip Lindsay 96 414 2.6 -2.6% 15 130 0.4 -4.2%
Scottie Phillips 9 38 0.3 -6.2% 1 11 0 -1.7%
Rex Burkhead 9 35 0.3 -6.5% 2 18 0.1 -0.9%
Buddy Howell 9 36 0.3 -6.3% 1 11 0 -2.8%
Mark Ingram 60 247 2.2 -2.9% 12 92 0.4 0.1%
Dontrelle Hilliard 8 36 0.3 -1.1% 3 12 0 -2.6%

The computers have Houston’s three primary running backs as Johnson, Lindsay, and Ingram. Everyone else is either cut, ends up on the practice squad, or receives scant playing time, if any at all. If you are expecting Johnson to bounce back, toss your computer through the window. At age 30, Johnson is projected to have a similar lackluster season to last year. Lindsay, splitting carries with Johnson and Ingram, is more of a complementary back in this projection. Ingram is typically ineffective until the red zone, where he is expected to get the bulk of his carries. None of the backs are projected to do much in the passing game.

This is what the computers have to say. Please enter your projections for Johnson, Lindsay, and Ingram utilizing the following format: Rushing: Rushes, Rushing Yards, Rushing Touchdowns, Receiving: Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving Touchdowns.