Lovie Smith takes over a Houston Texans team in complete rebuild mode. Coming off a 4-13 season, their second four-win season in a row. The Texans continue to work on turning this team around and will battle it out in the running back, receiver, and tight end room.
In this series, we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project — correctly — which players will win training camp battles.
Here’s a look at our picks to win the training camp battles for the Houston Texans ahead of your 2022 fantasy football drafts.
Marlon Mack vs. Rex Burkhead vs. Dameon Pierce
Our pick to win: Marlon Mack
Marlon Mack is coming off an almost silent year but that was returning from an Achilles injury and sitting behind one of if not the best running back in the league, Jonathon Taylor. The season before his injury, Mack rushed for 1,000 yards and had eight touchdowns. Rex Burkhead has the benefit of playing with this team in 2021 but he never took off as the guy in Houston. Rookie back, Dameon Pierce could put up a fight for this RB1 role this upcoming season but I'm betting on Mack at this point. All three will likely get a decent amount of playing time this season.
Nico Collins vs. Chris Conley vs. Chris Moore
Our pick to win: Nico Collins
Brandin Cooks was clearly the No. 1 receiver on the Texans in 2021 and barring injury nothing will change for 2022. Collins took on the WR2 role but the gap between him and Cooks was massive, almost 600 yards and 74 targets. QB Davis Mills needs a much bigger threat in the air to give this team a chance. Unfortunately, rookie WR John Metchie III will miss the entire season after being diagnosed with leukemia on July 24. With Metchie out of the picture, it could open up opportunity for Conley and Moore. Neither wideout instills much confidence and excitement. So that sort of leaves this battle going to Collins by default.
Brevin Jordan vs. Pharaoh Brown
Our pick to win: Brevin Jordan
Not a pretty battle but a battle nonetheless. Brevin Jordan didn’t make too much of a name for himself in his first season as he was a healthy scratch in the first seven games in the season. But he played in six fewer games than Pharaoh Brown and managed to catch for 7 more yards and three more touchdowns on six fewer targets. That being said, let’s keep in mind his stats for 2021, 178 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns and 28 targets. Neither are worth drafting this season but let’s see if Jordan can take a big step in his second year.