NFL Franchise Exit Report: Houston Texans

By: Little Italy (Publisher)

Follow on Twitter: @LILITALY853

Division: AFC South

2020 Finish: 30th

Record: (4-12)

2021 First RD Draft Pick: 3rd (Traded to MIA)

What went Right in 2020?

The Houston Texans in 2020 didn’t have much to be excited about entering the season. Prior to the season, then Head Coach Bill O’Brien, traded away arguably the league’s best receiver (DeAndre Hopkins), for a running back (David Johnson) well past his prime. This is why we in the fantasy industry were worried about QB Deshaun Watson being able to meet the expectations of his high draft price in fantasy drafts last summer. The season started slow for Watson and those fears we had were coming to fruition, but then he started to get hot and would end the season with his best career fantasy numbers. Watson was able to do this with receivers who also had question marks entering the 2020 season. Will Fuller was being looked upon to replace Hopkins as the new number one, which he was doing nicely for much of the season, until he was suspended at the end of the season for violating the league’s PED policy. However, despite the early end to the season, Fuller fully met the expectations the industry laid at his feet. Brandin Cooks was also added to the team during the offseason, and like Fuller, performed much better than expected. Throughout the season, there were meaningful contributions from secondary receivers Randall Cobb, Keke Coutee, and even Chad Hansen, which is a testament to Watson and his natural ability to elevate his teammates. Watson has proven he is a locked in top five fantasy QB whether he has a good supporting cast or not. With that said, do I think Watson is a Texan next season? I do not believe he will be.

What Needs to Improve in 2021?

The defense is an area of the Texans that needs to improve, as the unit was dreadful in 2020. Star defensive end JJ Watt is going to be playing his football in a new city for the first time in his NFL career, after being released. Another area the Texans need to improve is up front on the offensive line. If Watson remains a Texan, he will need better protection. The one knock on Watson’s game is he tends to hold onto the ball a little too long, which leads to him taking many unnecessary hits. Another area that needs improved upon is the teams rushing attack. I don’t see this happening in 2021, with the team just trading for Johnson last season, but it will need to happen sooner rather than later if this Texans team wants to get back to being a playoff contender. I believe the Texans rushing attack will feature David Johnson, Duke Johnson, and a third back, likely a rookie drafted in the later rounds, to rotate in. In terms of fantasy David Johnson cannot be viewed as more than a backend RB2 in 2021, due to the fact that he offers zero upside. Next time I will dive into the Franchise Exit Report for the Atlanta Falcons.