Jordan Thomas, the Texans' second-year tight end, tied for the second-most touchdowns on the team last year with four. Scoring four times in 16 games isn't impressive by Fantasy standards, but doing so as a rookie on a team with a bunch of quality receiving threats while splitting reps at tight end is pretty snazzy. Thomas will compete for playing time again this summer, and the 6-foot-5, 265 pounder should get some attention. It's too soon to call Thomas a sleeper, but if the reports out of Houston are good, he might crawl into final-round consideration. If you can get him in dynasty leagues, do so.
Thomas has been working as the No. 1 tight end at OTAs, Aaron Reiss of The Athletic reports. Ryan Griffin's release leaves Houston with one veteran blocking specialist (Darren Fells) and three recent draft picks at tight end. Thomas was only a sixth-round selection last year, but he started 10 games and posted a 20-215-4 receiving line on 27 targets, while third-round pick Jordan Akins made six starts and went for 17-225-0 on 25 chances. Houston then used a 2019 third-round pick on Kahale Warring, an impressive athlete who caught just 51 passes during his college career at San Diego State. With Warring likely needing some time to develop, Thomas and Akins will battle this summer for the top pass-catching role. Houston tight ends accounted for 95 targets (T-17th) last season, representing 19.3 percent (13th) of total team volume.
Thomas caught his lone target for six yards in Sunday's 20-3 win over Jacksonville. This was the third straight week that Thomas was limited to one target, as Houston's tight ends have been an ignored bunch all season. He finished the regular season with four touchdowns to lead the position group, but Houston's passing attack focuses mainly on its wide receivers.
Thomas was targeted once and did not have a catch in Sunday's 32-30 loss to the Eagles. Houston's rotation of tight ends had a relatively good game with a combined eight targets, four catches and 48 yards, but Thomas was on the short end of that production. Ryan Griffin (four targets, two catches) and Jordan Akins (three, two) were more active in the passing attack during a game in which quarterback Deshaun Watson threw 40 times. If the Texans can't solve their rushing woes -- 3.2 YPC over the last three weeks -- they'll need to rely on Watson's arm. With Demaryius Thomas (Achilles) out for the rest of the season and Keke Coutee (hamstring) battling a nagging injury, that opens the door for Houston's tight ends.
Thomas caught all four of his targets for 31 yards in Sunday's 24-21 loss to the Colts. With Houston's wideout corps culled due to injury and DeAndre Hopkins getting extra-special attention from Indianapolis' secondary, the tight ends increased their profile within the offense Sunday. Thomas, Ryan Griffin (five catches, 80 yards) and Jordan Akins (two catches, 40 yards) all made contributions Sunday, a rarity for the position group this season. Keke Coutee (hamstring) missed his eighth game, and DeAndre Carter left the game with a concussion, so their status heading into Week 15 against the Jets will impact the potential value of Houston's tight ends next week.
Thomas caught all three of his targets for 32 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown, in Sunday's 29-13 win over Cleveland. Week 13 turned out to be Thomas' turn to lead the Texans' tight ends. He scored his fourth touchdown of the season, which also leads the position group -- neither Ryan Griffin nor Jordan Akins have a touchdown catch in 2018. Griffin gets the most playing time and targets, but quarterback Deshaun Watson will throw to any of them, which makes it difficult to pinpoint one as a fantasy starter in any given week.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New Orleans Saints||14||6.22|
|3||09/22||@Los Angeles Chargers||10||5.67|
|6||10/13||@Kansas City Chiefs||31||9.56|
|13||12/02||New England Patriots||18||7.37|
|16||12/22||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||7.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||27||20||215||4||12||10.75||45|