Texans Preview Capsule
HOUSTON TEXANS (10-8)
New faces: QB Deshaun Watson, RB D’Onta Foreman, LB Zach Cunningham, K Ka’imi Fairbairn, linebackers coach Mike Vrabel promoted to defensive coordinator.
Key losses: QB Brock Osweiler, CB A.J. Bouye, S Quintin Demps, offensive coordinator George Godsey.
Strengths: Houston’s defensive front should be strength of team with three-time Defensive Player of Year J.J. Watt returning after missing most of last season after two back surgeries, and 2014 top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney coming off best season. Lamar Miller returns to lead strong group of running backs after rushing for 1,073 yards last season in first year in Houston. Group should get boost this year with addition of Foreman, last year’s Doak Walker Award winner, who will be good complement to smaller Miller.
Weaknesses: Questions abound on offensive line with veteran left tackle Duane Brown still holding out and unit looking shaky in preseason. Texans need center Nick Martin, who missed all of rookie season with injury, to develop quickly and guard Xavier Su’a-Filo to improve if they hope to have more potent offense. Team is set at cornerback with veterans Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson, but Houston could be suspect at safety after losing Demps in free agency.
Fantasy Players To Watch: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Miller, defense.
Expectations: If Watt is healthy and back to form, Houston’s defense featuring him and Clowney should be among best. Question is if Tom Savage, expected to start, or Watson can step up and provide consistent quarterback play after years of problems at position. If Houston finally gets its QB situation solved and Miller has another good season, Texans could contend for championship after failing to get out of divisional round of playoffs in previous four postseason trips.