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The Value of Things: Houston Texans WR Fantasy Projections

Will we see improvement in Houston?

Houston Texans v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Houston Texans planned to be better at wide receiver. They executed that plan by moving on Day 2 of the draft to select John Metchie III in the second round. It was a good decision based on his performance, level of competition he played against, and the personal qualities he brings to the table. No one plans for cancer. No one is blaming them for picking a player that likely will be out for the 2022 season.

Still, that blow leaves them with the exact same receiving core that they had at the end of last season. There are reasons for hope. Nico Collins and Brevin Jordan are going into their second seasons. Davis Mills is hopefully a better passer than Tyrod Taylor and hopefully grow himself between year one and year two. Yet, their passing game was bad and the lack of depth behind Brandin Cooks is one of the reasons.

As we have done with the other positions, we are taking the top three wide receivers and reviewing their projections with ESPN, Fantasypros, and Yahoo. There are obviously dozens of other sources one could tap for fantasy projections, We will also compare that with the receiving corps in the rest of the AFC South.

Houston Texans projections

As we have done with the other two positions, we will look at projections in alphabetical order. That means that ESPN will be first, followed by Fantasypros, and Yahoo. The fourth number will be a composite of all four put together. However, we probably should start with the 2021 numbers since all three guys are the same three guys we had before.

Brandin Cooks — 90 receptions, 1037 yards, 6 TD

Nico Collins — 33 receptions, 446 yards, 1 TD

Chris Conley — 22 receptions, 323 yards, 2 TD

Total — 145 receptions, 1806 yards, 9 TD

So, that looks rough, but thinking of a team is a lot like thinking of a fixer upper. We are in the process now of going through a list of home renovations. There is no way we can afford all of them at once. So you pick what you are able to do within your budget and what is the most pressing. The following are the projections for those three this season.

Brandin Cooks — 85/1023/4, 93/1090/6, 82/1012/5, 87/1042/5

Nico Collins — 57/741/4, 48/626/3, 46/577/3, 50/648/3

Chris Conley — 42/573/3, 30/403/3, 23/306/2, 32/427/3

Total— 169/2117/11

So again this will be a good news/bad news kind of situation. Those three wide receivers should collectively perform better than they did a year ago provided they stay healthy. The situation with the running backs and Mills are the same. They should be better. However, will that match up to what the rest of the division is doing? We will have to see about that.

The AFC South

Indianapolis Colts

Michael Pittman Jr. — 85/1051/6, 89/1101/6, 85/1064/7, 86/1072/6

Alec Pierce — 49/657/4, 40/504/4, 52/600/4. 47/587/4

Parris Campbell 36/458/2, 39/492/3, 41/497/3, 39/482/3

Total— 172/2141/13

Tennessee Titans

Treylon Burks — 62/840/5, 61/867/5, 64/837/6, 62/848/5

Robert Woods — 65/792/4, 69/862/5. 65/764/5, 66/806/5

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine — 52/659/4, 41/516/4, 48/623/3, 47/599/4

Total— 175/2253/14

Jacksonville Jaguars

Christian Kirk — 77/866/4, 73/876/5, 63/761/4, 71/834/4

Marvin Jones — 58/674/6, 56/664/5, 48/585/4, 53/641/5

Zay Jones — 33/398/3, 40/466/3, 49/588/3, 41/484/3

Total — 165/1959/12

We have to keep two things in mind. First, these are only projections and at the end of the day they only have the weight that we give to them. I like doing this for fantasy purposes because if you have multiple points of data then you get a good idea of what a cross-section of experts think. Yet, there is nothing particularly scientific about it beyond what stock you might put in any particular source.

Secondly, this is only the first three receivers on the depth. Most teams employ five or six wide receivers and guys emerge all the time that the pundits didn’t really consider at the beginning. Does T.Y. Hilton continue to produce for the Colts? Does Phillip Dorsett pass up Chris Conley here? Does Laviska Shenault remain a target in Jacksonville? We don’t know the answers to any of these yet.

All that being said, we see how these numbers would lend credence to the fact that the division could be a close race this season. Tennessee has clearly taken a step back and the other three teams have question marks and reasons for optimism. That’s why they play the games as they say.

What it all means

When the Metchie news came down, the biggest question was whether the Texans should bring in another slot receiver to bolster the receiving corps. Cole Beasley’s name has come up. He had 82 receptions and 693 yards last season with Buffalo. Maybe that would be enough to leapfrog those other teams in terms of receiver quality. At the end of the day, he is essentially a slightly younger Danny Amendola. Such a receiver might be something nice for Davis Mills to have. There are others out there too. I guess we will have to stay tuned.