2014 Outlook: If we were going purely on skills, Foster would be ranked in the top five. He's the NFL's best current example of a one-cut stallion who can turn the faintest crack of daylight into a big gain. But it makes sense to use caution with a player who averaged 371.7 touches from 2010 to 2012 and is coming off serious back surgery. Word is that Foster will be healthy by training camp, and the Texans have good reason to emphasize the run. So perhaps a bounce-back season is in store, but the prospect of an injury-related decline is daunting.
2014 Outlook: The Texans had more than their share of QB woes last year, but it would be difficult to spot them when reviewing Johnson's numbers. Johnson posted stellar totals in targets (175, ranked third), vertical targets (76, fourth), catches (109, third) and yards (1,407, seventh). In fact, if you eliminate his injury-riddled 2011 season, Johnson has had at least 80 catches and 1,200 yards every season since 2008. Sure, his age is becoming a concern, but he still has enough of a burst to be a borderline WR1/WR2.
2014 Outlook: Like most rookie wide receivers, Hopkins had a predictably inconsistent inaugural NFL season. He scored three fantasy points or fewer in seven games and caught only 2 TDs. But Hopkins showed two things you look for in fantasy sleepers: durability -- his 969 offensive snaps were seventh most among wide receivers -- and big-play potential (his 15.4 yards per catch ranked third among qualifying rookies). It's also worth noting that Hopkins had only four fewer stretch vertical targets than Andre Johnson. Sure, his penchant for dud performances cannot be overlooked, but all it will take is a few more big plays for Hopkins to move into the WR3 conversation.
2014 Outlook: Maybe we're too low on a defense that was a consensus top-five unit heading into last season and just drafted Jadeveon Clowney No. 1 overall. J.J. Watt (31 sacks the past two seasons) is the best defensive player in the NFL right now, and Brian Cushing is very good when he can stay healthy. But cracks in the Texans' secondary became chasms last year, and highly touted outside linebackers Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus failed to meet expectations. New DC Romeo Crennel has a long track record, but does anyone else find it concerning that the Chiefs' D/ST became a force after he left town? Make these guys prove it to you.
2014 Outlook: Graham didn't do much with his big chance last season when Owen Daniels was sidelined. Granted, the Texans were terrible, but Graham looked slow and unathletic. He converted 84 targets (12th among TEs) into just 49 catches (17th), and when he missed the season's final three games, rookie Ryan Griffin looked better. With Daniels gone, expect Graham and Griffin to play at the same time a lot as new coach Bill O'Brien reminisces about his days with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Unfortunately, Tom Brady still plays in New England, so these Texans tight ends are best left undrafted.
2014 Outlook: Houston had plenty of chances to take a QB high in the draft but passed after signing Fitzpatrick to a two-year, $7 million deal in the offseason. The Texans did eventually nab a signal-caller in the fourth round (Tom Savage, Pitt), but Houston's front office still has remnants of a win-now mindset, and Fitzpatrick is a more polished product than both Savage and second-year QB Case Keenum. To be sure, Fitzpatrick is far from a Pro Bowler -- or a reliable fantasy starter, throwing an interception on 3.4 percent of passes since 2008, tied for second worst among qualifying QBs. He should be drafted only in deep two-QB leagues -- and even then, he's a last resort.
2014 Outlook: In 2012, Brown scored a TD in five straight games, then broke his left leg. Last year he was in line to be the Giants' early-down back but broke the same leg in the preseason. New York upgraded to Rashad Jennings and let the brittle Brown go, so now he'll back up Arian Foster in Houston. Another injury-prone RB, Ben Tate, proved that being Foster's understudy can occasionally net results, but there will be no hint of a platoon until Foster gets hurt. And even then, Brown would be a bad bet to stay healthy. He's merely a mildly interesting handcuff in deeper leagues.
2014 Outlook: An unheralded rookie out of UConn, Griffin took over the Texans' starting job in December after Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham suffered leg injuries. And though Houston's season was headed into the toilet, Griffin played well. Most important, he looked like a more attractive target than the lumbering Graham usually does. With Daniels out of the picture and Bill O'Brien in as coach, two-TE sets will become the norm in Houston. For the moment, that probably means a frustrating split of targets too, especially with rookie C.J. Fiedorowicz coming aboard. But Griffin is the guy we have our eyes on.