- Tania Ganguli, ESPN Staff Writer
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ESPN's fantasy experts gathered last week for a summit designed to help construct a first version of fantasy rankings.
They compiled these rankings. It's early, and a lot of things will change with many teams. For the Texans in particular, the quarterback competition is still in its early stages. The rankings will adjust as time passes, but just for fun let's take a look at their views on the fantasy values of some Texans.
QB Ryan Mallett, ranked 30th among quarterbacks
QB Brian Hoyer, ranked 37th among quarterbacks
Mallett ranks higher than Hoyer, but only the starter has fantasy value, so right now that's basically a guess. Whoever wins this job will have some good weapons around him, and I think that will bode well for his fantasy value.
RB Arian Foster, ranked sixth among running backs
RB Alfred Blue ranked 61st among running backs
Foster ranks sixth behind Eddie Lacy (Green Bay), Le'Veon Bell (Pittsburgh), Jamaal Charles (Kansas City), Adrian Peterson (Minnesota) and Marshawn Lynch (Seattle). Foster will have some very strong games for whomever drafts him, but having his backup is also a wise idea because of Foster's recent injury history. Blue did a nice job in relief of Foster last season and he became the only player in franchise history to score touchdowns rushing, receiving and returning (when he returned a blocked punt for a touchdown).
WR DeAndre Hopkins, ranked 15th among receivers
WR Jaelen Strong, ranked 61st among receivers
WR Cecil Shorts, ranked 77th among receivers
I think 15th is a little low for Hopkins. Likely, that ranking is impacted by the uncertainty with the Texans' quarterback position. He is four spots ahead of his college teammate and Bills receiver Sammy Watkins, and I think the Texans are better off at quarterback than the Bills are. As for Strong and Shorts, it'll be easier to evaluate their roles in the offense once we get a better idea of that. They're both new to the system and Strong is new to the NFL, so it's hard to project what kind of numbers they'll put up.
Texans D/ST, ranked third
Defense is where the Texans shine the brightest and here they rank behind only Seattle and Buffalo. Last season the Texans' defense ranked fourth in total fantasy points, but first in points that were either from pick-sixes or fumble return touchdowns. Where they suffered a bit was on special teams where the Texans didn't have any kick- or punt-return touchdowns.