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What Week 1 tells us about Texans running backs in fantasy football

The Texans won in Week 1 thanks to their running backs, especially veteran Mark Ingram.

 Houston Texans running back Mark Ingram (2) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2021 offseason, the Houston Texans seemed to have signed every free agent running back they could get their hands on creating quite the running back committee. David Johnson was the only running back holdover from last season as the team signed veterans Mark Ingram, Philip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead in free agency. In Week 1, the Texans ran the ball a total of 41 times with 37 of those attempts being by running backs.

Ingram ended the day with 26 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. Philip Lindsay and David Johnson, who were the front runner candidates for the lead running back role, combined for 11 rushes for 35 yards and a touchdown.

Fantasy football analysis: analysis: Texans RBs Mark Ingram, David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay

Ingram looks to be the guy coming out of Week 1 for the Texans, but it may be too early to tell which strategy the team uses for its run game. Ingram certainly has the most playing time under his belt playing in his 11th season. Johnson is now in his seventh season with Lindsay in his fourth.

When it comes to fantasy value for running backs, you have to look at rushing as well as receiving. Ingram was targeted once and didn’t come down with the reception, and the same is true for Lindsay. Johnson was targeted four times and had three receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown.

If Week 1 is any indication, Ingram will be the running back that specializes in getting the team down the field and will have goalline carries five yards out. Lindsay appears to be the running back that the Texans will utilize in goal-to-go situations, especially within five yards. And Johnson is going to be the receiving back. At this point, Ingram is the only one that is showing any fantasy relevance.

Week 2 recommendation

When looking at your waiver wire, Ingram and Johnson may be the only two Texan running backs available. Ingram will probably be a popular add from his performance, but don’t give up your roster spot for Lindsay to get him. The Texans could ride the hot hand all season and Lindsay has the youth and the talent to last a full 17-game season. If you have to start one now though, it is Mark Ingram. Leave Johnson on waivers.