We all fell in love with the Houston Texans on this year’s edition of “Hard Knocks,” but after five weeks, it’s very possible that they’re the worst team in the NFL. Off to a 1-4 start, much of the blame can be placed on what was expected to be an elite defense that simply has not lived up to the hype. However, the mess that Houston has experience at the QB position definitely can’t be helping their cause.
Brian Hoyer was named the starter before the season began. Coach Bill O’Brien told Hoyer that he wouldn’t be on a “short leash,” but he needed to play well to hold off Ryan Mallett. After going 18-for-34 for 236 yards with a touchdown and an interception, Hoyer was yanked in favor of Mallett in the middle of the first game.
I’d call that much less than a short leash, and more of a predetermined decision that Mallett was going to enter the game. Mallett had remained the starter, until now. Hoyer came on in relief of Mallett in back-to-back weeks, outplaying him each time.
Here’s a look at how both have performed on the whole this season (courtesy of ESPN.com):
Brian Hoyer is your QB, Texans. All the info is right in front of you.
Fortunately, if you’re a Texans fan, Bill O’Brien agrees … again. But you can see what a mess it’s been so far.
Here’s the amazing part — DeAndre Hopkins has been one of the best fantasy wide receivers throughout the entire season, even while going back-and-forth between QBs during the same game.
Take a look at Hopkins’ game log so far this season (courtesy of ESPN.com):
Those numbers are good for an average of 25.8 points on DraftKings, and that includes a hiccup on the road against a tough Carolina defense. Pretty consistent and reliable stats for a player on such a bad team.
So what’s the point in showing you all this?
First and foremost, DeAndre Hopkins is already one of the elite WRs in the NFL, whether you saw him coming or not. I can’t go as far as to knock Julio Jones of his thrown atop the WR kingdom, but Hopkins is clearly in that next tier with the rest.
Secondly, it’s hard to imagine that Hopkins’ numbers can get much better, but if Houston just sticks with Hoyer, it gives the duo a chance to get on the same page for the long haul. It gives Hopkins the consistency of getting to know one QB, while Hoyer gets to throw to Hopkins everyday (rather than taking second team reps). Once Hoyer is no longer looking over his shoulder, this could be one of the best QB/WR tandems in the NFL … for cheap/low owned fantasy purposes, of course.
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