In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.
The offseason departure of DeAndre Hopkins was always going to be an exciting transition to follow for the Houston Texans. In recent seasons, Hopkins had established himself as one of the elite wide receivers in football. The question waiting to be answered was which wide receiver would step up to take on a larger role, if any. We may have found our answer.
For anyone wondering what the breakdown of the Houston Texans receiving corps would look like in 2020, the answer after one week seems to be that wide receiver Will Fuller V is going to dominate the touches. Fuller was targeted 10 times against the Chiefs — twice as many times as anyone else on the team — and had eight catches for 112 yards. He was involved in the short and intermediate passing game, proving he’s more than just a deep threat.
Injury Prone or Unlucky?
The injury history of Fuller is well-known and well-documented. He hasn’t played a full season in his four-year career and missed 20 games in his last three seasons. A torn ACL and a series of repetitive hamstring injuries have left fantasy owners with a sour taste in their mouths. The frustrating aspect is he’s been a top-end player when he and Deshaun Watson both play.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson has also been a different player when Fuller is on the field. Noted above, Watson averages nearly a full touchdown more per game with Fuller than without. That paces out to 15 additional touchdowns on the season.
That’s fantasy gold. This is the first year without Hopkins in the fold, but it demonstrates the strong connection between Watson and Fuller.
Assuming full health for the time being, just how high is Fuller’s ceiling?
Can Will Fuller finish as a WR1?
Thursday night’s game between the Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs gave us a glimpse of how the Texans offense could operate in the post-Hopkins era. The game script may have had something to do with it, but Fuller posted a strong line of eight receptions (on 10 targets) for 112 yards. With a better throw, he could have tacked on a long touchdown as well.
The 32% target share and 50% of the team’s air yards are strong positives.1 Also, Fuller’s usage in both the short and intermediate passing game demonstrates the Texans’ willingness to utilize him as more than just a deep threat.
WR Schedule Strength – Week 2-4
Over the next three weeks, Fuller has a top-10 schedule at the wide receiver position. If he remains healthy (fingers crossed) and continues to receive a robust target share, he could help your fantasy team get off to a strong start this season. His Week 1 usage is WR1 caliber and puts him in the conversation to be a 2020 league winner.
- Last season, Fuller recorded a 21% target share and 32% air share when healthy. Hopkins led the way with 31% and 36% respectively. Even with Hopkins on the roster, Fuller managed 92 air yards per game. He recorded 129 on Thursday. (back)