2016 Defensive Player Rankings

 

2016 Defensive Player Rankings by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Overall 2016 Defensive Player Rankings-

1. HOU DE J.J. Watt
2. OAK DE Khalil Mack
3. CAR MLB Luke Kuechly
4. TB OLB Lavonte David
5. SF ILB NaVorro Bowman
6. LA MLB Alec Ogletree
7. DET  WLB DeAndre Levy
8. SEA MLB Bobby Wagner
9. CAR OLB Thomas Davis
10. LA DT Aaron Donald
11. BALT ILB C.J. Mosley
12. MIA SS Reshad Jones
13. JACK OLB Telvin Smith
14. IND ILB D’Qwell Jackson
15. PHIL DT Fletcher Cox
16. PITT ILB L. Timmons
17. DET DE Ezekiel Ansah
18. MIA MLB Kiko Alonso
19. NE MLB Jamie Collins
20. NO OLB Stephone Anthony
21. DAL WLB Sean Lee
22. ARI ILB Deone Bucannon
23. NYJ DE M. Wilkerson
24. KC ILB Derrick Johnson
25. MINN FS Harrison Smith
26. NYG DE Olivier Vernon
27. OAK OLB Malcolm Smith
28. BALT FS Eric Weddle
29. NYG FS Landon Collins
30. CHI ILB Danny Trevathan
31. TB MLB Kwon Alexander
32. BUFF ILB Preston Brown
33. DEN  ILB Brandon Marshall
34. GB SS Morgan Burnett
35. BUF  FS Corey Graham
36. CHI ILB Jerrell Freeman
37. DEN  OLB Von Miller
38. NYJ ILB David Harris
39. PHL FS Malcolm Jenkins
40. OAK FS Reggie Nelson
41. MIA DT Ndamukong Suh
42. CINN DE Carlos Dunlap
43. ARI ILB Kevin Minter
44. JACK MLB Paul Posluszny
45. CAR DT Kawann Short
46. NO SS Kenny Vaccaro
47. BUFF ILB Reggie Ragland
48. SEA OLB K.J. Wright
49. CLE  ILB Chris Kirksey
50. LA OLB Mark Barron
51. PITT ILB Ryan Shazier
52. DAL SS Barry Church
53. SEA SS Kam Chancellor
54. TB MLB Daryl Smith
55. MIN MLB Eric Kendricks
56. WAS CB Bashaud Breeland
57. CAR FS Kurt Coleman
58. JACK SS Johnathan Cyprien
59. IND  ILB Nate Irving
60. ATL  MLB Paul Worrilow
61. TENN ILB Avery Williamson
62. TENN  ILB Wesley Woodyard
63. NO MLB James Laurinaitis
64. SD  OLB Melvin Ingram
65. NE DE Rob Ninkovich
66. ATL DL Adrian Clayborn
67. WASH ILB Chris Baker
67. MINN DE Danielle Hunter
68. TB SS Chris Conte
69. NYG SS Darian Thompson
70. SEA CB Brandon Browner

 

Defensive Linemen Rankings

Tier One DLs

1. HOU DE J.J. Watt

Tier Two DLs

2. OAK  DE Khalil Mack
3. PHIL DT Fletcher Cox
4. LA DT Aaron Donald
5. CINN DE Carlos Dunlap
6. NYJ DE M. Wilkerson
7. NYG DE Olivier Vernon
8. DET  DE Ezekiel Ansah
9. MIA DT Ndamukong Suh
10. CAR DT Kawann Short
11. NE DE Rob Ninkovich
12. NO DE Cameron Jordan
13. CINN DT Geno Atkins

Tier Three DLs

14. SD DE Joey Bosa
15. PHIL DE Connor Barwin
16. ARI DE Calais Campbell
17. KC DE Jaye Howard
18. TB DT Gerald McCoy
19. SEA DE Michael Bennett
20. MIA DE Mario Williams
21. PHIL DE Brandon Graham
22. SF DT DeForest Buckner
23. WAS DE Chris Baker
24. MIA DE Cameron Wake
25. PITT DE Stephon Tuitt
26. SEA DE Cliff Avril
27. NYG NT Damon Harrison
28. NYG DE Jason Pierre-Paul
29. NYJ DE S. RichardsonNYG
30. PITT DE Cameron Heyward
31. MINN DE Everson Griffen
32. CINN DE Michael Johnson
33. MINN DE Brian Robison
34. TB DE William Gholston
35. MINN  DT Linval Joseph
36. SF NT Ian Williams
37. TB DE Robert Ayers
38. DAL DE D. Lawrence
39. TENN  DE Jurrell Casey
40. NYJ  DT Leonard Williams
41. BUFF DT Kyle Williams
42. LA DE William Hayes
43. DEN DE Derek Wolfe
44. BUFF DT Marcell Dareus
45. NE DE Jabaal Sheard
46. JACK DE Dante Fowler
47. PHIL NT Bennie Logan
48. JACK DE Malik Jackson
49. DEN  DE Jared Crick
50. CAR  DE Charles Johnson
51. SF DE Quinton Dial
52. NE DT Malcom Brown
53. BALT NT Brandon Williams
54. MINN DE Danielle Hunter
55. GB  DE Mike Daniels
56.BALT DE Lawrence Guy
57. OAK DT Dan Williams
58. TB DE Jacquies Smith
59. DET DE Devin Taylor
60. NE DE Chris Long
61. CAR DE Kony Ealy
62. IND DE Kendall Langford
63. ATL DE Derrick Shelby
65. CLEV DE Desmond Bryant
66. OAK DE Mario Edwards
67. IND DE Authur Jones
68. ATL DE Vic Beasley
69. JACK Sen’Derrick Marks
70. KC DE Allen Bailey

 

Defensive Linebackers Rankings

Tier One LBs

1. SF ILB NaVorro Bowman
2. CAR MLB Luke Kuechly
3. TB OLB Lavonte David

Tier Two LBs

4. LA MLB Alec Ogletree
5. DET WLB DeAndre Levy
6. SEA MLB Bobby Wagner
7. JACK MLB Paul Posluszny
8. DAL WLB Sean Lee
9. BALT ILB C.J. Mosley
10. JACK OLB Telvin Smith
11. PITT ILB L. Timmons
12. NO OLB Stephone Anthony
13. MIA MLB Kiko Alonso
14. NE MLB Jamie Collins
15. IND ILB D’Qwell Jackson
16. ARI  ILB Deone Bucannon
17. KC ILB Derrick Johnson
18. OAK OLB Malcolm Smith

Tier Three LBs

19. CHI ILB Danny Trevathan
20. TB MLB Kwon Alexander
21. BUFF ILB Preston Brown
22. DEN ILB Brandon Marshall
23. CHI ILB Jerrell Freeman
24. DEN OLB Von Miller
25. NYJ ILB David Harris
26. ARI ILB Kevin Minter
27. CAR OLB Thomas Davis
28. BUFF ILB Reggie Ragland
29. SEA OLB K.J. Wright
30. CLEV ILB Chris Kirksey
31. LA OLB Mark Barron
32. TB MLB Daryl Smith
33. IND ILB Nate Irving
34. PITT ILB Ryan Shazier
35. MINN MLB Eric Kendricks
36. NO MLB James Laurinaitis
37. ATL  MLB Paul Worrilow
38. TENN ILB Avery Williamson
39. TEN ILB Wesley Woodyard
40. SD OLB Melvin Ingram
41. HOU ILB Brian Cushing
42. PHI WLB Mychal Kendricks
43. ARI OLB Chandler Jones
44. NYG OLB Jonathan Casillas
45. GB ILB Clay Matthews
46. PHI MLB Jordan Hicks
47. CINN OLB Vincent Rey
48. CLEV ILB Demario Davis
49. NYG MLB Keenan Robinson
50. SD ILB Manti Teo
51. CINN ILB Karlos Dansby
52. DAL MLB Rolando McClain
53. CINN OLB Vontaze Burfict
54. CHI ILB Christian Jones
55. JACK OLB Myles Jack
56. BALT OLB Terrell Suggs
57. SD ILB Denzel Perryman
58. WASH ILB Will Compton
59. DEN ILB Todd Davis
60. MINN OLB Anthony Barr
61. ATL  WLB Deion Jones
62. NYJ LB Erin Henderson
63. HOU  OLB Whitney Mercilus
64. BUFF OLB Jerry Hughes
65. NE OLB Donta Hightower

 

Defensive Backs Rankings

Tier One DBs

1. MIA SS Reshad Jones
2. MINN FS Harrison Smith
3. NYG FS Landon Collins
4. BAL FS Eric Weddle
5. GB SS Morgan Burnett
6. SEA 5 FS Earl Thomas
7. PHIL FS Malcolm Jenkins
8. OAK FS Reggie Nelson

Tier Two DBs

9. DAL SS Barry Church
10. NO SS Kenny Vaccaro
11. SEA SS Kam Chancellor
12. BUFF FS Corey Graham
13. CAR FS Kurt Coleman
14. JACK SS Johnathan Cyprien
15. ARI 9 FS Tyrann Mathieu
16. PHIL SS Rodney McLeod
17. KC SS Ron Parker
18. GB FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
19. IND FS Mike Adams
20. OAK SS Karl Joseph
21. LA CB Trumaine Johnson
22. ARI SS D.J. Swearinger
23. TB FS B. McDougald
24. PITT FS Mike Mitchell

Tier Three DBs

25. DET FS Glover Quin
26. SD FS Dwight Lowery
27. KC CB Marcus Peters
28. NYG CB Janoris Jenkins
29. MIA FS Michael Thomas
30. TENN CB Antwon Blake
31. ATL SS Keanu Neal
32. NYJ FS Marcus Gilchrist
33. NE SS Patrick Chung
34. WASH CB Bashaud Breeland
35. TB SS Chris Conte
36. NYG SS Darian Thompson
37. SEA CB Brandon Browner
38. CLEV FS Jordan Poyer
39. WASH CB Josh Norman
40. ATL  FS Ricardo Allen
41. PIT  SS Sean Davis
42. NE  CB Logan Ryan
43. LA  CB Lamarcus Joyner
44. BUF  CB Ronald Darby
45. OAK  CB D.J. Hayden
46. NYG  CB D. Rodgers-Cromartie
47. DAL CB Brandon Carr
48. TENN FS Rashad Johnson
49. NE CB Malcolm Butler
50. JACK CB Davon House
51. JACK CB Jalen Ramsey
52. MINN SS Andrew Sendejo
53. ARI SS Tyvon Branch
54. SF FS Eric Reid
55. CINN CB Dre Kirkpatrick
56. TB  CB Vernon Hargreaves
57. SF  CB Kenneth Acker
58. OAK  CB David Amerson
59. GB SS Micah Hyde
60. MIA CB Byron Maxwell
61. CAR SS Roman Harper
62. NYJ  SS Calvin Pryor
63. NE FS Devin McCourty
64. HOU CB Kareem Jackson
65. KC CB Eric Berry
66. NO FS Jarius Byrd
67. TB CB Brent Grimes
68. JACK FS Tashaun Gipson
69. NYJ CB Darrelle Revis
70. GB CB Damarious Randall

 

2016 TOP 150 FANTASY FOOTBALL
2016 QB Rankings Standard League
2016 RB Rankings Standard League
2016 WR RANKINGS STANDARD LEAGUE
2016 TE RANKINGS STANDARD LEAGUE

NFL Players Are Like Movie Stars

NFL Players Are Like Movie Stars by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

Even at nine years old, I loved the NFL. It was 1972, and the local Sunoco gas stations in Jackson, Michigan (and I would assume elsewhere) had a promotion where they gave out an NFL stamp booklet with every tank full. Inside the booklet, were 9 stamps of current NFL players. For a small price, you could buy the ’72 NFL Action 56 Page Stamp Album to put them in. My friends and I found out that if we walked to the gas station (about 6 miles away) and asked nicely, the attendants would just give us each a booklet. The album required 624 stamps to fill (26 teams in the NFL at the time…12 offensive and 12 defensive players each). Needless to say, it took a long time, and more than a few long walks to fill my album, but I did it. I still love my album.

1972 Sunoco NFL Album

Back then, although I had no idea who he was, I very much needed a Duane Thomas RB Dallas Cowboys stamp to fill my Dallas team page. In 1972, you knew a handful of players from your favorite team, and a few of the most popular in the sport at the time (i.e. Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath and Lyle Alzado) but that’s about it. You had favorite teams, not favorite players.

Now however, it’s a different story. Over 40 million people play fantasy football, and competing means knowing the players. Ask any seasoned fantasy owner who the 2nd string RB for the Jacksonville Jaguars currently is, and he or she will try to impress you with the speed in which they give you the answer. Combine this knowledge of NFL players with the explosion of media outlets and you have players in the NFL getting the attention that Al Pacino did when he played Michael Corleone in the Godfather (1972). Although the audience was down from what it was in 2015, the 2016 NFL Draft pulled in 7.47 million viewers on day one which translated to a 4.6 household rating. A lot of people found out quickly who Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Ezekiel Elliott were and what they looked like.

The sports’ popularity means that famous quarterbacks aren’t the only ones landing endorsement deals. JJ Watt can be seen doing commercials for Verizon and Ford, Jadeveon Clowney is making “crazy” money pushing Gillette products and even Marshawn Lynch, who hates publicity, hawks Nike, Activision and Pepsi for the big bucks. Whether they like it or not, most of the NFL players, not just a few, are now celebrities. Some of them handle it pretty well, like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, and some don’t, like the spiraling Johnny Manziel. Truth of the matter is, the stage for them is only going to get bigger, not smaller, so handling “being famous” almost over-night is going to be as much an issue for these young superstars as the their new-found wealth.

I get why the Commissioner has to come down hard on some of these young men for their wrong-doings, but I also try to understand how different this must be for them. I wonder how many autographs Odell Bechkam Jr has signed, since making his infamous TD catch? I guarantee that Lynn Swann made a few of those himself, but they weren’t caught by 9 different cameras or seen by 40 million people, so he wasn’t on national TV the very next week selling Old Spice.

Not only did some of the great characters like Dick Butkus, Reggie White, John Riggins and John Randle miss out on the giant contracts being handed out in the NFL today, they are also missing the ultimate limelight, that I know these guys would have loved.

 

You may also like to read my poem- “Zeke Zeke Physical Freak”

Houston Texans Team Profile 2016

Houston Texans Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

There have been four head coaches of the AFC South Division Houston Texans. Don Capers was the first, followed by Gary Kubiak, who was fired mid-season on December 6, 2013. ( He was replaced on an interim basis by defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for the last 3 games.) In the 2013 off-season, Bill O’Brien was hired to be the 4th Texans’ next head coach. O’Brien had previously served as the NE offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick. Heading into his 3rd season, O’Brien  serves as both the Texans’ head coach and offensive coordinator.

2016 Team Outlook–
In 2014, Houston’s 9-7 record didn’t come close to winning the AFC South Division, but in 2015, the Houston’s record of 9-7 did win the AFC South. The Indianapolis Colts couldn’t match their 2014 11-5 record, with QB Andrew Luck out most of the season, so Houston leaped on top. With question marks still at quarterback, it will be difficult for Houston to challenge a healthy Andrew Luck and the Colts. ( the Jacksonville Jaguars are an interesting sleeper team)

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-

QB–
The Indianapolis Colts have only needed only 2 great quarterbacks playing for them since 1998 (Prior to QB Andrew Luck’s injury in 2015). Meanwhile the Texans have struggled with Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, TJ Yates, Brandon Weeden, Matt Schaub, Case Keenum, Matt Leinart, Sage Rosenfls, David Carr, Tony Banks and Dave Ragone! Texans owner Bob McNair has made to clear to the GM and head coach that he isn’t a fan of Hoyers. If there is a Week 1 starting quarterback in this NFL Draft, he probably won’t be there at Houston’s No. 22 overall. UPDATE: The Texans have signed former Bronco QB Brock Osweiler

RBs– Arian Foster has only played in 25 games over the past 3 years. Foster ruptured his Achilles tendon on October 25, 2015, in a loss to the Miami Dolphins. Two days later, Foster was placed on injured reserve. On January 14, 2016, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Texans would likely release Foster before the 2016 season. RB Alfred Blue played 14 games in 2015, ranking only 50th among NFL running backs. The top 5 running backs currently headed for the 2016 NFL Draft are 1. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State, 2. Derrick Henry, Alabama, 3. Alex Collins, Arkansas, 4. Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech and 5. Devontae Booker, Utah. UPDATE: The Texans have signed former Dolphin RB Lamar Miller

WRs– DeAndre Hopkins, also known as “Nuk,” was drafted by the Texans in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Clemson. You know that you have a great NFL offensive weapon, when he can put 1521 receiving yards and 11 touchdown receptions (ranking #6 wide receiver in the NFL) with 4 different quarterbacks in 2016. Houston selected two wide receivers back-to-back in the 2015 NFL Draft, WR 6’2″ Jaelen Strong in Round 3, and 6’0″ Keith Mumphery in the 5th Round.


TEs–
Ryan Griffin, CJ Fiedorowicz and Garrett Graham all had minimal action in 2015. Griffin topped the group 251 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. There are talented free agents tight ends looking for new teams this year, including Dadarius Green, Dwayne Allen and Zach Miller, if Houston feels they are upgrades. 2016 Free Agents-

K–
former Texan place kickers Randy Bullock and Nick Novak (13 games in 2015) are both free agents this year.


DEF–
LE J.J. Watt earned his third Defensive Player of the Year award in the past four seasons. Despite this honor, the Houston defense took a few steps backwards in 2015, dropping from 6th top defense in 2014, to 8th in 2015. The Texans were a pedestrian 13th vs the run last season. Houston used their 1st two selections in the 2015 NFL Draft on 6’0″ CB Kevin Johnson and 6’4″ ILB Benardrick McKinney.


2016 Houston Fantasy Surprises–
Only the Panthers ( Week 2), the Dolphins ( Week 7), the Saints ( Week 12) and the Patriots ( Week 14) were able to slow down wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in 2016. His best game of the season came in Week 6 vs the Jaguars- 10 catches for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns. RB Alfred Blue was moderately effective when given the opportunity, ending 2015 as the 40th running back in the NFL. In Week 3 vs Tampa Bay, he had 31 carries for 139 yards and 1 TD.


2016 Free Agents that Houston Needs to Address–
WR Nate Washington, K Nick Novak, P Shane Lechler, RB Chris Polk, RB Jonathan Grimes (RFA),OG Brandon Brooks, OT Chris Clark, DE Jared Crick, C Ben Jones, FS Quintin Demps, SS Eddie Pleasant (RFA), OLB John Simon (RFA)


2016 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Houston is at quarterback, running back, at safety and on their defensive line. The Texan’s first pick doesn’t comes until the 22nd selection of the first round.

Did You Know–
The name Texans has a long history in professional football. The Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City to become the Chiefs. The San Antonio Texans played one year in the Canadian Football League. The Houston Texans of the NFL began play roughly 25 years after the Houston Texans of the WFL left town.

Team Home Page: www.houstontexans.com

All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Team Profiles- Houston Texans

Team Profiles- Houston Texans by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Bill O’Brien is the current head coach and offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans. This is his first head coaching job in the NFL. O’Brien has spent most of this coaching career at the college level, but was with the New England Patriots from 2007-2011. He served as a wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach, and was promoted to offensive coordinator in February 2011. In 2012, he was hired by Penn State to take over a program that had just endured the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. O’Brien finished his first Texan season with a 9-7 record. O’Brien is an offensive minded coach, who has a solid defense, so the fit should work. 2014 was still a reflection of the team HC Gary Kubiak had built, so it will be interesting to see what changes O’Brien makes in 2015, to mold the team into his design.

2015 Team Outlook–
The AFC South has the Indianapolis Colts, and the other 3. Other than some question marks at the running back position, the Colts have all the pieces in place to easily lead the AFC South in wins again in 2015. The Texans meanwhile, have lots of pieces missing, so while the Colts are repeating, the Texans will be rebuilding. The other 2 teams, Jacksonville and Tennessee, only had 5 wins total between the two teams in 2014. Jacksonville is growing around a “just OK” quarterback in Blake Bortles, drafted in 2014, and Tennessee keeps drafting and plugging in a different QB, seemingly every year. The AFC South will finish in 2015, like it did in 2014. Colts winning the division, Houston in 2nd place, and the other 2 teams out of contention.

2015 Fantasy Outlook–

QB–
It’s almost unfair that the Colts have needed only 2 great quarterbacks playing for them since 1998, while the “other 3″ struggle to have just a competent QB on their roster…for any season. The “other 3″ are Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville. Of the 3, only Jacksonville knows who their 2105 quarterback will be. The Texans have QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and Tom Savage listed on their roster, but last year the Texans traded for Ryan Mallett, and there are rumblings that the Texans want him to start in 2015. (It didn’t cost Houston much to get him from New England, only for a conditional 6th round pick.) Mallett is a free agent however, so Houston first has to re-sign him. UPDATE: Texans Acquired a 2016 seventh-round pick from the Jets in exchange for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Sign former Brown QB Brian Hoyer. Re-signed QB Ryan Mallett.

RBs– RB Arian Foster’s may have a reputation for being injured often, but for a running back who carries the ball as many times as he does, Foster actually plays a lot, and for most of every season. RB Foster missed half of 2013 due to a lingering back injury, but in the other 4 seasons since 2010, the workhorse has only missed a total of 6 games. Foster played 13 of the 16 regular season games in 2014, and ended the year as the #5 RB in the NFL. Foster totaled 1373 yards from scrimmage and scored 13 TDs. UPDATE: It didn’t take Foster long to get injured! Out at least 8 weeks of regular season. Alfred Blue, a 6’2″ 223 pound running back drafted by the Texans in the 2014 sixth round, is Foster’s back-up.

WRs– There aren’t many wide receivers who spend their entire career with one team, but WR Andre Johnson could be a guy that joins that elite group. Johnson was drafted by the Texans third overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, he is second all-time in NFL history in receiving yards per game trailing only Detroit’s Calvin Johnson. He holds nearly every Texans receiving record. The Texans have expressed a strong desire that Andre Johnson retire a Texan, and hopefully he does. 1st rounder in the 2013 draft, WR DeAndre Hopkins is now the #1 wide receiver in Houston and ended the past season as #14 among all WRs. The Texans have a lot of young wide receivers on their roster right now, and some of them have to step it in 2015, or Houston needs to find some new WRs that will. UPDATE: Texans release Andre Johnson, who then signed w/ Indy. Texans sign former Jag WR Cecil Shorts. With Houston’s 3rd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, they selected 6’2″ WR Jaelen Strong who will battle newly-signed WR Cecil Shorts for the starting position opposite WR DeAndre Hopkins.

TEs–
Like Green Bay, Baltimore and New England, Houston has always been an offense that has incorporated a big, sure-handed tight end into the play-calling. (TE Owen Daniels comes to mind.) The Texans have drafted a tight end in 3 of their last 5 NFL drafts. TE Garrett Graham, drafted in 2010, was the 49th ranked TE in the NFL in 2014, with only 197 yards and 1 TD. HC O’Brien might just be a guy who’s tight ends don’t play a significant role in any offense.

K–
Randy Bullock was selected by the Houston Texans in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, becoming the first kicker ever drafted by the team. In 2013, Bullock became the first NFL kicker since 1985 to have a field goal percentage less than 62 percent with at least 20 attempts. K Bullock rebounded in 2014, successfully hitting 30 of 35 field goals, including 6 out of 6 in Week 16.

DEF–
One of the biggest stories of the 2014 NFL season, was the dominating, week after week performance of J J Watt, AP’s Defensive Player of the Year. Watt became the first defensive lineman to score five touchdowns in a season in a season since 1944. Watt scored 3 TDs on offensive and 2 on defense. As a team, the Houston defense ranked #4 in the NFL for 2014. Only the 49ers and the Browns had more INTs. Unlike some teams who’s defense are being dismantled by free agency, most of Houston’s key defensive players will be returning for the 2015. UPDATE: Signed FS Rahim Moore and former Patriot NT Vince Wilfork.

2014 Houston Fantasy Surprises–
J J Watt’s 5 touchdowns. When Arian Foster plays, he averages 22.9 touches per game which is still the 4th-highest workload in the league. Andre Johnson only scoring 1 TD from Week One to Week 13, and only 3 total for 2014.

2015 Free Agents that Houston Needs to Address–
QB Ryan Mallett (re-signed)- OT Derek Newton (re-signed)- DE Ryan Pickett- OL Brooks Reed Signed w/ Atlanta)- CB Kareem Jackson (resigned)- S Kendrick Lewis (Signed w/ Baltimore)

2015 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Houston is at quarterback, corner back, and at wide receiver. The Texan’s first pick doesn’t comes until the 16th selection of the first round, so it’s unlikely they’ll address the QB position unless one of the top 3 QBs drops that far in the upcoming NFL Draft (QB), shoring up their secondary is a top priority for Houston (CB) and 3 of Houston’s last 4 drafted wide receivers have not turned out to be play-makers, so they may address this position again (WR). UPDATE: Houston’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- HOUSTON’S DRAFT

Did You Know–
JJ Watt’s contract made him the NFL’s highest paid non-quarterback player in the NFL? Prior to the start of the 2014 season, JJ Watt agreed to a six-year contract extension, worth $100 million, $31 million he received at signing and he will receive $21 million at the start of the 2016 season if he is still on the roster. He will be!

All team reports
can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Team Home Page: www.houstontexans.com