Until Alfred Blue finds meaningful playing time with a team this fall, Fantasy owners shouldn't bother adding him to rosters.
Blue's value on special teams should help him secure a spot on the 53-man roster, John McClain of The Houston Chronicle reports. The 27-year-old running back owns career marks of just 3.6 yards per carry and 6.4 yards per catch, offering little in the way of explosiveness or pass-catching ability. However, he did log 198 snaps on special teams in 11 games last season, and he's well acquainted with coach Bill O'Brien's offensive scheme. There's still some chance Blue could be released if he doesn't look good in August, as his one-year, $880,000 contract with Houston includes only $90,000 guaranteed, per OverTheCap. He'll compete against Tyler Ervin, Troymaine Pope and undrafted rookies Terry Swanson and Lavon Coleman, with as many as three roster spots potentially up for grabs if D'Onta Foreman (Achilles) starts the year on the PUP list.
Blue is signing a one-year contract with the Texans, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. A 2014 sixth-round pick, Blue had a stint as the Texans' featured back during his second pro season, but he was limited to 72 carries for 262 yards and a touchdown in 11 games last year. He'll provide insurance while D'Onta Foreman (Achilles) and Tyler Ervin (knee) recover from major injuries, though he ultimately may end up competing with undrafted rookies Terry Swanson and Lavon Coleman for a single spot on the 53-man roster. Blue's lack of speed and pass-game skills limit his upside.
Blue rushed 18 times for 39 yards, scored his first touchdown of the season, and added 36 receiving yards on four catches in Sunday's 22-13 loss to the Colts. There were limited options on offense Sunday, as DeAndre Hopkins (calf) was inactive and Will Fuller (knee) was removed from the game early. That led to a bunch of opportunities for Blue, who had a season-high 22 touches and a team-high five targets. Blue finished the season on a positive note, averaging 15 carries and 67 yards over the final three weeks, out-touching and out-gaining starter Lamar Miller. That should be viewed in perspective. The Texans' season was over a several weeks ago, so they didn't want to expose Miller to injury. 2017 was the final year on Blue's contract, so his late-season surge should leave a good impression on prospective employers in 2018, including the Texans.
Blue rushed 16 times for 108 yards, but wasn't targeted in the passing game during Monday's 34-6 loss to the Steelers. Just under half of Blue's yardage came on a 48-yard scamper in the first half. He could have had an even bigger game, but was denied on a direct snap from the one-yard line during a second quarter possession that ended with a T.J. Yates interception. Blue's recent emergence has to put some serious doubt in the minds of Lamar Miller's owners ahead of a favorable Week 17 matchup against Indianapolis. He got 16 carries to Miller's 10 in this one.
Blue carried 12 times for 55 yards and failed to bring in his only target during Sunday's 45-7 win loss to the Jaguars. Blue set new season highs in touches and rushing yardage, thanks in large part to the lopsided nature of the game. He out-touched starter Lamar Miller and easily topped Miller's 3.6 yards per carry, but neither back was put in a position to succeed as the offense floundered under T.J. Yates. Blue could remain involved for the 4-10 Texans next week against the Steelers, but it's difficult to imagine him receiving enough meaningful work to post significant fantasy returns.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New England Patriots||17||17.47|
|3||09/23||New York Giants||21||17.88|
|15||12/15||@New York Jets||24||18.50|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||118||460||1||11||68||0||56|