Sean Pendergast

Fantasy Football Projections for 2022 Houston Texans

For the first time in a long time, a running back, Dameon Pierce, is the best fantasy option fo rate Texans.
For the first time in a long time, a running back, Dameon Pierce, is the best fantasy option fo rate Texans. Photo by Eric Sauseda
Now that the NFL calendar has its newly extended annual lull in between the end of the preseason games and the start of the regular season, a full 17 days for the Houston Texans, we've hit the patch of the calendar that is probably heavy in fantasy football for many of you. Your drafts and your auctions — and yes, for many of you that's plural, because you are addicted fantasy freaks — are coming up at a breakneck pace.

Myself, I've had one auction already, and have a draft and an auction coming up in the next eight days. Yes, I am in three leagues. Wisely, the third one is a league in which I share a team with my wife. I've already had fantasy football assist in plundering one marriage. In this marriage, it will be something that unifies us!

If you're reading this, there is a good chance you're a Houstonian, and if you're a Houstonian, there is a decent chance you're a Texans fan. Granted, not as good a chance you're a Texans fan as there was, say, ten years ago, but they're doing their best to bring you back. Good things are happening at NRG Stadium, and one of those good things is that they finally have a few players worth sniffing in a fantasy football draft.

Thing about it. This time last season, here was the horrific skeleton of the fantasy elements on the 2021 Houston Texans' roster:

QB: Tyrod Taylor
RB: David Johnson, Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, Rex Burkhead
WR: Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, Chris Conley, Danny Amendola
TE: Jordan Akins, Pharaoh Brown
K: Ka'imi Fairbairn

THAT is depressing. Add in a defense that was one of the worst in football in 2020, AND was saying goodbye to J.J. Watt. In short, it was BAD, man! Now, I am NOT here to tell you that it's all sunshine and ice cream now, but at least there are a few things to get excited about! So, without further ado, here are my fantasy football projections for the Houston Texans, to help you determine just how much homer-ism you should exhibit on draft night:


Pendergast Projections: 3,741 yards passing, 23 TD, 14 INT, 108 yards rushing, 2 TD

Mills was really good in his final five starts of the 2021 season, putting up a 102.4 passer rating, and a stellar 9/2 touchdown to interception ratio. He struggled at times this preseason, and didn't really show anything that tells me we should push him way up the charts. He will likely go undrafted in leagues with anything less than 12 owners, but could be a good pick up if you have bye week issues, depending on matchups.


Pendergast Projections: 978 yards rushing, 9 TD, 342 yards receiving, 1 TD

Pendergast Projections: 341 yards rushing, 2 TD, 106 yards receiving, 0 TD

Pendergast Projections: 261 yards rushing, 2 TD, 265 yards receiving, 2 TD

 By far, the player who has excited the most Texans fans this preseason is rookie running Dameon Pierce, who is shooting up draft boards everywhere, based on his stellar preseason (11 carries, 86 yards, 1 TD). He should flirt with a 1,000 yard rushing season, if he stays healthy. From there, the depth is underwhelming, with former 1,000 yard rusher Marlon Mack likely the backup. I think the Texans may shop around the waiver wire for some backs, too. It's Pierce and nobody else on this roster, when it comes to fantasy drafts.


Pendergast Projections: 81 catches, 1,097 yards, 5 TD

Pendergast Projections: 60 catches, 801 yards, 6 TD

Pendergast Projections: 38 catches, 497 yards, 2 TD

Pendergast Projections: 33 catches, 415 yards, 2 TD

SP COMMENT on WR: Cooks is still the most reliable fantasy player on the team, as he proved last season, where he was able to cobble together over 1,000 yards receiving with Taylor and Mills. This season should be no different for Cooks, but the big difference will hopefully be the ascension of Collins in his second year, where it would be disappointing if he didn't approach doubling his rookie stats (33 catches, 446 yards). He is worth a late round pick, especially in keeper leagues. Conley and Dorsett are filler and not draft-able in any format.


Pendergast Projections: 50 catches, 487 yards, 4 TD

Pendergast Projections: 23 catches, 231 yards, 2 TD

SP COMMENT on TE: Before Brown was injured in training camp and missed some time, Lovie Smith was all but anointing him the starting tight end, but from a fantasy perspective, Jordan is the much mroe intriguing play, as his role on this team is solely as a pass catcher, and he flashed some glimpses last year of superior run-after-catch ability. Jordan is probably a late round selection, Brown should not be drafted.


Pendergast Projections: 28/33 FG, 30/34 PAT

SP COMMENT on K: Ever since getting overpaid on a contract extension by Bill O'Brien, Fairbairn has been, at best, inconsistent. He had issues making extra points last season, and was banged up at the end of camp this year. Unless the Texans' offense is a HUGE surprise, Fairbairn is, at best, an emergency kicker pickup if your regular kicker catches COVID in warmups one Sunday.

My guess is that most of the fantasy football publications rank the Texans' defense near the bottom of the league, and that's understandable. They don't have any Pro Bowl players (yet) on that side of the ball, it's mostly veteran short timers, and the secondary is 100 percent brand new starters. The most talented guys on that defense have yet to play an NFL snap (Derek Stingley, Jalen Pitre). That said, I do think they will force a disproportionate number of turnovers for a mediocre defense (Lovie loves turnovers!), and they may be worth a spot start depending on a matchup if you need them on a bye week for your regular defense. They do play Chicago, Jacksonville (twice), Washington, and the Giants this season, all very offensively challenged teams.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast