Depth Chart Battle: Texans Running Backs (Fantasy Football)

The Houston Texans beat camp last week, starting the race for the role of number one running back. Veteran backs Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack signed his one-year deal with Houston this offseason, and the team announced that former University of Florida running back Dameon would invest his four years in Pierce. Choosing to do so, in 2022 he selected him in the NFL’s 4th round. draft.

Since 1997, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has held the positions of quarterback coach, passing game coordinator, offensive coordinator, assistant head coach and head coach for 11 different organizations. A master of his game, Hamilton became known as the quarterback whisperer after coaching passers such as Andrew Luck, Justin Herbert and Houston’s own Davis his Mills. Houston promoted Hamilton this offseason, giving him full control of both playbooks in play-calling duties. His West Coast scheme relies on high-efficiency passing plays that make life easier for quarterbacks. Hamilton occasionally taps into running back committees like Indianapolis natives Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson, but his offense has performed best with a man to watch who can do anything in the backfield. ing. Past students such as Curtis Martin, Frank Gore, Matt Forte and Austin Ekeler come to mind.

Burkhead and Mack are sure to make an appearance this year, but if there’s one man who could emerge as the next big double threat from Hamilton’s West Coast plans, Pierce is the one to bet on.

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Dameon Pierce (Underdog ADP: 129.5, RB43)

At 5’10, 218 lbs, Pierce is built for workhorse roles and has a very good profile as both a rusher and pass catcher. At University of Florida, 2020 first-round draft pick, wide He is receiver Kadarius He is Tony, tight end Kyle He is Pitts-dominated passing game, then Gators offensive in 2021 He is Alpha took over. Pierce then led the team. in both yards from scrimmage (790) and total touchdowns (16). After his 17 receptions in 2020 his campaign, Pierce increased his season best by 1 to his 19 in 2021, but his back and recent Dallas Cowboys UDFA signer Malik is despite his Davis rise.

Pierce is highly regarded by his teammates and coaching staff for his attention to detail in his route running technique and his physical strength. Pierce’s apparent work ethic, along with his dark eagerness to punish blitzers with his protection pass, is characteristic of an NFL-ready youth.

As for mileage and durability concerns, Pearce recorded a total of 329 carries and 45 receptions in Florida. Neither amount matters from a health standpoint, with Pierce’s only recorded injury being a concussion from October 2019.

4for4 has listed Pierce as Houston’s second running back, and has implied that he will take over lead back duties, as his projected 155 touch count exceeds Mack’s and Burkhead’s touch counts. I hope. Breaking down projections into per-game levels, Pierce is modestly expected to handle 8.05 carries and 1 reception each week.

Marlon Mack (Underdog ADP: 177.6, RB54)

Mack was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft after three years of college at the University of South Florida. He never missed a game and Mack averaged 195.33 carries, 21.67 receptions and 11 touchdowns per season.

During his first three years in the league, Mack faced stiff competition from immortal Frank Gore and pass-catching dynamo Nyheim Hines. His best injury record was tainted badly as Mack suffered two concussions, a recurring hamstring strain, a lacerated shoulder lip and a broken hand. In both 2019 and 2019, he gained over 1,000 total yards from scrimmage and averaged nine all-purpose touchdowns on the year.

Perhaps due to heightened injury concerns, Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard has drafted Jonathan Taylor, the top-ranked rookie running back for 2020. However, Mack’s season ended with four carry-ins when he suffered a career-threatening Achilles tendon rupture. Expectations were high for Mack to return from his Achilles tendon repair in 2021, but he’s a shell of his former self and the team will give him his 28 carries and his five targets. judged to be suitable for

Medicine continues to advance in many areas, but Achilles tendon repair seems to move more slowly than others. Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers was able to return to play in January 2022 after rupturing his Achilles tendon in July 2021, but he was completely ineffective and his long-term streak continued. Former Houston running back Donta Foreman was able to come back from an Achilles tendon tear last year in Tennessee, but suffered his first injury during his 2017 rookie season.

4for4 currently has Mack at the top of the depth chart, but with 115 carries and 20 receives, he’s second most touched on the team. But his expected average of 4.49 yards per carry is too much, as it’s nearly 0.2 yards better than his three-year average before the Achilles tendon rupture. Given his realistic playing situation, Mack is unlikely to finish as the No. 2 running back in Houston.

Rex Burkhead (Underdog ADP: 215.9, RB85)

Burkhead, 32, began his career in the sixth round of the draft from the Cincinnati Bengals, won the Super Bowl in New England, and later joined former Patriots front office man Nick Caserio in Houston. Burkhead has career totals of 1,828 rushing yards and 1,330 receiving yards, and was an occasional slot receiver while in New England. Burkhead has been plagued with injuries since his 2017, followed by his torn ACL in 2020 and his sprained groin in 2021.

Burkhead and Mark Ingram David Johnson’s average of 3.5 yards per carry last year definitely has the coaching staff ready to move him into a mentorship role. I’m planning a barkhead. That latter figure may hold up, but the odds of him playing enough to move his yards-per-carry mark up 0.85 yards from last year’s average are very low.

Which one would you like to draft?

At worst, Houston will transition Pierce to the number one backroll over the course of the Week 6 bye, but there are health and endurance challenges to Pierce and his ability to quickly contribute as a rusher, receiver and pass protector. No gender concerns. With Pierce on the deal, we can easily see his way to a much higher average per game than 4for4 currently predicts with his 8.05 carries and his 1 receptions.

If Mack’s and Burkhead’s paltry 2021 performances weren’t an anomaly, Pierce would clear 200 carries and 50 targets with an attainable workload of 14 carries and 4 targets per game. Playing behind Houston’s newly revamped offensive line, that amount would be very lucrative.

It’s also worth noting that this will be second-year quarterback Davis Mills’ third season playing in the Hamilton system. Mills was a starter at Stanford for two years, and although Hamilton left the Cardinals years ago, the university still embraces his West Coast plan. Mills looked like he was at home, pouring targets into dual threat leadbacks while he was there, and 2020 bell cow Austin his Jones scored his second-best target on the team. . Expect Houston to move the ball much more effectively than they have in years past, with the rookie running back, Dameon Pierce serving as the next great player, and Pep Hamilton’s West Coast offensive plan. I’m back.

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