The Houston Texans made the questionable choice this offseason to load up with veteran running backs when incumbent David Johnson was already on the roster. Tuesday's cutdown deadline provided a chance to give some clarity on the backfield.
Instead, Houston held on to their horde of RBs. And that gives them all a murky outlook ahead of fantasy football season.
David Johnson Fantasy Outlook
David Johnson was Houston's lead back in 2020, racking up a team-high 147 carries. He finished the year as RB21 in PPR scoring after recording 1,005 yards from scrimmage and 8 total touchdowns.
Johnson's numbers had room for improvement, especially after playing just 12 games. The departure of Duke Johnson also meant 77 attempts from last year were there for the taking.
However, the additions of Phillip Lindsay, Mark Ingram and Rex Burkhead have destroyed any dreams of a workhorse role. Lindsay and Ingram are more than capable of siphoning away rushing attempts from Johnson, and Burkhead is a receiving specialist out of the backfield.
Johnson is being taken as RB41 in current drafts, according to FantasyPros' average draft position (ADP) data, but he doesn't have the upside of handcuff backs with little competition in that same range.
Mark Ingram Fantasy Outlook
Mark Ingram is currently late-round fodder in current drafts. He's being taken as RB54, according to FantasyPros' ADP data, after a lackluster year.
The 10-year veteran was squeezed out of the Baltimore Ravens' backfield last season, ceding touches to rookie J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Ingram recorded a meager 299 rushing yards and 2 scores across 11 games in 2020.
The three-time Pro Bowler isn't far removed from a 1K-yard season and RB11 finish in 2019, but it's possible the mileage is finally catching up to the veteran. His days of carrying an offense on his legs appear to be over.
Ingram primarily being a running threat also undercuts his value given how the Texans are likely to trail early and often throughout the 2021 campaign. He's best left on the waiver wire with no clarity on the backfield at the moment.
Phillip Lindsay Fantasy Outlook
Injuries were a problem for Phillip Lindsay in 2020, limiting him to just 11 games and 530 yards from scrimmage after a torrid first two seasons in the league. Houston presents a chance for the RB to bounce back, yet there's too many mouths to feed right now.
Lindsay finished as RB13 in 2018 and RB19 in 2019, so he has the potential to be a league-winner if an opportunity arises. But currently, there's two main threats to his rushing work (Johnson and Ingram), plus a back who'll be a big part of the passing game (Burkhead). That severely caps his usual dual-threat upside.
As a result, Lindsay is being taken as RB46 in current drafts, according to FantasyPros' ADP data. Others in this range like Tony Pollard (RB43) and Alexander Mattison (RB47) have much clearer paths to being their team's lead back, which makes Lindsay an underwhelming choice, even in later rounds.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.