Houston Texans 2020 Team Overview
Texans 2020 Team Overview
Janice McNair is the owner but she was the wife of the Bob McNair who originally won the bid of the expansion team for Houston in 1999.
McNair was known for a technology firm and real estate firm for his wealth.
He had a really bad comment about players protesting the national anthem when he said in 2017 that the “inmates were running the prison”.
When Bob passed away he gave the majority ownership to his wife Janice.
Bill O’Brien is the GM. Jamey Rootes is the President. Rootes oversees the business of the franchise. Bill has control of pretty much everything in Houston.
He is essentially what Bill Belichick is to the Patriots, but in Houston.
He has made a number of trades that have left a lot of people scratching their heads. So far they have been looked as all bad trades.
He traded away a lot of first round draft picks in 2019 and then just traded Deandre Hopkins for an aging RB in David Johnson.
He also called plays last season. This made him GM, HC and the OC. It is too early to tell if he has mismanaged these team moves over the past 2 off seasons.
We have to give him a little time to see if his crazy moves actually pay off.
It doesn’t appear to be paying off and he completely mismanaged the divisional playoff game against Kansas City last season.
The Texans were up 24 to 0 in the first half and ended up losing to the Chiefs by a lot when it was all said and done.
Bill O’Brien. Read the GM section to know more about Billy OB
Fantasy Outlook for the Texans
QB: Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson hasn’t had a good wide receiving corps since he got to the Texans. He has had essentially Deandre Hopkins and that is it.
Will Fuller struggles to stay healthy every year he has been in the NFL. Kenny Stills isn’t anything to rely on week in and week out.
They also have average tight ends but Watson makes them look better then what they actually are.
This is why Watson has not thrown more then 26 touchdown passes in any of his years in the NFL. He has only eclipsed 4,100 passing yards and that was 2 seasons ago.
Now, the Texans traded away Watson’s favorite pass catcher in Deandre Hopkins. They just added Brandin Cooks but Cooks is very unreliable the past couple of seasons.
The Texans also added Randall Cobb and he should be a good possession receiver but he won’t boost Watson’s numbers tremendously.
Will Fuller is special but Fuller is constantly hurt. The tight end is Darren Fells and again Watson makes him look better then what he actually is.
They also have running back David Johnson who looks to rebound his career. Lastly they have Duke Johnson as the other running back. It’s not a great cast for Watson.
However, fantasy projections still look favorable for Deshaun.
The texans secondary is not very good so it looks like the Texans will be either behind or always giving up leads in 2020.
This means Deshaun will be passing and scrambling a lot in 2020. I think with the lack of quality receivers, Watson will scramble for a lot of first downs this year.
My projections are that he throws for 25 touchdowns, 3,700 passing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns and 800 rushing yards. This will still make Watson a top 5 fantasy QB.
RB: David Johnson
I am really high on David Johnson. I think the offensive line is just fine if Carlos Hyde was able to rush for 1,000 yards last season.
The offensive line had 2 rookies, Max Scharping and Tytus Howard, on the starting O-line last year and both did well and are hungry to make the 2nd year jump.
Tunsil is a great Left Tackle and just signed a huge deal. The concern for run blocking would be 5th year man Center Nick Martin.
The Right Guard is Zach Fulton and he has mixed reviews.
But overall I like this O-line to improve slightly in 2020. And that is all David Johnson will need in order to have a really good season.
Head Coach Bill O’Brien said that David Johnson is a 3 down back. And Johnson better be if you are willing to trade Deandre Hopkins for him and pay him 11 million dollars this season. The only concern for Johnson is his health.
And it’s a big concern. He missed all of 2017 with a wrist injury and in 2019 was hampered by a hamstring and back problem.
If Johnson can stay healthy then I really think he has a huge year. Johnson is the 2nd best player on the Texans offense behind Deshaun Watson.
He will be the Texans bell cow in 2020, let’s just hope he can make it to your fantasy superbowl in week 16.
WR: Brandin Cooks
The Texans receiving corps is either old or injury prone. Cooks is a little bit of both. He has struggled with around 5 concussions in his career.
His play has considerably declined. I am not taking a chance on Cooks this year. He also doesn’t have the best of hands.
The only bright spot for Cooks is that, according to Bill Belichick, he is an extremely hard worker.
I think Cooks has a nice little year for him but not worthy of my fantasy team. I will project 900 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.
WR: Will Fuller
This is the guy worth noting out of this receiving corps. He is the receiver that has been with Watson the longest now and is also the most talented.
He was the 1st round pick for the Texans a couple year back. However, he hasn’t played more then 11 games in the past 3 seasons.
He is extremely unreliable but when he plays he is definitely exciting to watch. He is one of the fastest receivers in the NFL.
Overall, I am not drafting him this year. There are a lot of quality wide receivers that do not have an injury history as bad as Fuller.
If he is healthy all year then he could have a breakout year but that is a really big if.
WR: Kenny Stills/Randall Cobb
I am staying away from these 2 players unless Fuller and Cooks get injured which is a really big possibility.
Only pick these 2 players up in the middle of the season if Fuller or Cooks gets injured. Do not draft these 2 players.
TE: Darren Fells
I won’t be drafting Fells in 2020.
He will be a week to week boom or bust matchup. If he hasn’t scored a touchdown in a while then you will probably want to pick him up because Fells should score around 5 touchdowns this year.
Texans Offensive Preview 2020
Offensive: Tim Kelly was the offensive coordinator last season but did not call the plays. This will be Kelly’s first season calling plays at any level on Offense.
He is 34 years old and this will be his 7th year in the NFL. He followed Bill O’brien from Penn State to the NFL. Bill O’brien has got to really trust Kelly.
Kelly had one year to study the duties of a play caller by studying O’brien every week last season. O’brien feels that Kelly is ready to take the first step this season in calling plays.
I am sure that O’brien will be heavily involved in the game plan every week and basically check what plays he wants Kelly to run every week.
But seeing Kelly execute these plays for the first time will be very interesting to watch. Especially interesting to watch what the passing game looks like with no Deandre Hopkins.
They drafted a tall receiver in the 5th round out of the CAA conference from the University of Rhode Island in Isaiah Coulter.
Coulter is 6’3”. However, all of the other notable wide receivers are relatively short and quick or fast.
These WR’s are Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills. David Johnson is the RB they acquired in the trade that sent Deandre Hopkins to Arizona.
The other RB is Duke Johnson. Darren Fells is the tight end. So there is a lot to digest there from a fantasy standpoint. I will make it all clear for you.
Texans Defensive Preview 2020
Anthony Weaver is the defensive play caller for the first time in his coaching career. He joined the NFL in 2012 as a coach.
He used to play for the Baltimore Ravens and Texans in the 2000’s. Weaver has only coached the defensive line as an NFL coach since 2012.
Now he gets a tall order of being the DC for the first time and also playing calls now that Romero Crennel is the assistant head coach.
Last season the Texans finished 29th against the pass, 25th against the run and 27th in sacks.
Weaver has coached under Mike Pettine, Rex Ryan and also Romero Crennel. So he has a wealth of knowledge of what good defenses look like and how to call them.
Now making it all work with a defense that was really bad last year, is going to be challenging.
Weaver has coached the D-line in houston for awhile now and says that he is optimistic about the D-line and the outside pass rushers on this defense.
He said that they have the talent that can win one on one matchups. A lot of the problems with the lack of sacks came with JJ Watt not being on the field half of the year due to a torn pectoral muscle.
With him on the field, obviously things change for everybody. Even with Watt entering his 10th season, there is still plenty of juice in Watt.
The pass rushers are Whitney Mercilus who signed a 4 year 53 Million $ contract this past december, 2nd year guy Charles Omenihu who had 3 sacks, Jacob Martin who had 3 sacks.
Last year, 3rd year guy Duke Ejiofor who was hurt all year and only had 1 sack his rookie year but had 17.5 sacks in his last 2 seasons at Wake Forest, rookie Jonathan Greenard who had 10 sacks with Florida.
Last season, Defensive Tackle 2nd round pick Ross Blacklock who was highly touted coming into the 2020 draft.
Weaver stands behind this unproven group of pass rushers saying that the talent is there but it is on him to put them in the right place to make it happen.
Putting them in the right place could look unorthodox at times since Weaver plans to have Rex Ryan blitz packages added to this defense.
The 2 inside linebackers are some of the best at stopping the run in Benard McKinney and Zach Cunningham. Both of these players were high draft picks also.
However, McKinney struggles in pass coverage. So bad that he is known as one of the worst in the NFL. Cunningham wasn’t much better in pass coverage.
This is definitely a concern for the Texans defense. Speaking of pass coverage, the corners on this team are the left overs or underperformers from other teams.
Bradley Roby joined in 2019 after starting his career with the Broncos and they just signed Vernon Hargraves who has struggled his entire NFL career after being a 1st round draft pick.
Gareon Conley also joined the Texans from the Raiders in 2019 and he too was a 1st round draft pick.
None of these 3 corners have played to their hype. Lonnie Johnson or Conley will start on the opposite side of Roby.
Johnson was a 2nd round pick in 2019 out of Kentucky but didn’t have a good rookie year. One of the best players on this team is Safety Justin Reid.
Reid is going into his 3rd year and is a budding start. They let last years other safety, Gipson, explore free agency.
They brought in Eric Murray to be the other safety in free agency but he hasn’t done anything good.
Overall this defense is a bunch of “what if guys” that have a brand new defensive coordinator.
At least Weaver has been around the team the past 6 years so everybody knows him but this situation doesn’t look promising. I will admit that the pass rush has some potential but the players are extremely unproven.
The inside linebackers struggle mightily in pass coverage. The cornerbacks lack a true lockdown corner or even a really good corner.
Roby is supposed to be there guy but even he is nothing to hang your hat on. The other corners are all liabilities.
Justin Reid looks to be great but they don’t have a quality starting safety on the roster to pair with him.
I see too many holes on a defense that is supposed to learn Rex Ryan blitz schemes in a Covid-19 off season. Even if the pass rush is improved, I do not see this team being good against the pass.
Fun Facts About Coaches
Andre Johnson, former Texans WR has the title of special advisor to the head coach and general manager. Who really knows what that means.
TJ Yates, the former Texans QB is the assistant QB coach.
Contract Year Players:
CB: Gareon Conley
WR: Kenny Stills
WR: Will Fuller
LB: Zach Cunningham
Texans Offesnive Line Preview
Oh how misleading Pro Football Focus (PFF) can be. Please do not take what PFF says as bible. Houston is returning all 5 starting offensive lineman in 2020.
According to PFF, they were great pass blockers but one of the worst units in run blocking. However, the Texans finished the season as the 9th best rushing offense in the NFL.
They also finished with 4.6 yards per carry which was 8th best in the NFL. This O-line unit allowed the 8th most sacks in the NFL but that has a lot to do with Deshaun Watson holding the ball longer than any other quarterback.
The best player on this O-line is Laremy Tunsil. He is the Left Tackle and is unfortunately known a leaked picture of him wearing a bong mask on draft night.
However, he had a great season last year in protecting Deshaun Watson. The Left Guard is Max Scharping.
Scharping was a rookie out of Northern Illinois and he did well in pass protection too only giving up 3 sacks all year.
Coach O’brien really likes Scharping calling him very coachable and a person who works hard in the weight room and on the field to get better.
The Center is Nick Martin and he signed a 3 year 33 million dollar deal in September of 2019. Martin is a great pass blocker and has a good relationship with Deshaun Watson but he is not very good at run blocking.
Martin has been a great leader of the O-line, he is always trying to get an extra film session in with his position mates.
The Right Guard is Zach Fulton and Baltimore Ravens head coach said that Fulton was one of the most physical right guards in football.
However, a lot of fans in texan forums say that Fulton is not very good at run blocking. He also didn’t grade well in run blocking from PFF, if you want to believe there rankings.
The Right Tackle is Tytus Howard and he made the all rookie team last year in 2019. Bill O’brien is high on him and thinks he should have a great 2020.
The only concerning thing about the O-line is that the starting 5 struggled to stay healthy all year.
However, they drafted an Tackle in the 4th round and signed another guy in free agency. Greg Mancz and Roderick Johnson have been serviceable backups.
Overall this line could make a little jump in 2020. I think bringing back all 5 starters really does help when it comes to the offensive line.
The left side of the line looks to be really good with Scharping and Tunsil and the right side of the line looks to get a little better but is probably the problem side.
I think this line is a middle of the pack O-line in the NFL.