The Houston Texans are right in the thick of the AFC playoff race, which is not something most anybody would have predicted at the start of the year. Rookie QB C.J. Stroud has been fantastic, but the play of his receivers has also been very good.
All three of Nico Collins, Tank Dell, and Noah Brown have been good in fantasy, but which one should fantasy football managers have in their lineups this week?
Should You Start Nico Collins, Tank Dell, or Noah Brown This Week?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, PFN’s Consensus Rankings say that Dell is the player to start. His projected 15.0 points include a projection of six receptions and 72 yards. That doesn’t seem like a big stat line, but it outperforms the consensus projections of Collins’ 14.1 points and Brown’s 5.1 points.
I’m going with the optimizer on this, but this is something we’ll have to pay attention to. Dell missed practice on Wednesday, and Collins was limited after missing the previous two practices.
Fantasy Outlook for Dell This Week
If Dell is healthy, then this is a no-brainer. The Dell-Stroud duo started during the combine and workout phase, with Stroud throwing to him multiple times while preparing for the NFL Draft. That work together has paid dividends, as Dell has 47 catches for 705 yards and seven touchdowns. Stroud has thrown 19 total this season.
The Texans are optimistic that he is going to be able to go on Sunday, as HC DeMeco Ryans told reporters that he expects Dell to be fine.
Dell is a must-play as long as he’s healthy in every game down the stretch. He has a chance to be one of those players who wins fantasy managers championships with a great end to the season.
Fantasy Outlook for Collins This Week
While Dell has gotten a ton of the talk recently, Collins has been outstanding for Houston this year as well. In fact, it’s actually Collins who leads the team in catches (50) and yards (800), while also having five touchdowns on the year.
The former Michigan player hit a little lull midway through the season, but he’s had two straight games of at least seven catches and 65 yards. Last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Collins had seven receptions for 104 yards and one touchdown.
If Dell isn’t in the lineup, then Collins has a chance to have a monster week. Keep an eye on Dell’s status, but having Collins in your fantasy lineup shouldn’t be a bad thing, regardless.
Fantasy Outlook for Brown This Week
If you just looked at the numbers, Brown isn’t quite there with the other two. He has had to battle injuries and has missed the last two games. He was limited in practice Wednesday, but that could be just the step he needed moving forward.
Brown put together back-to-back monster games before the injury. First, on Nov. 5, he had six catches for 153 yards and one touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Then, the following week, he finished the game against the Cincinnati Bengals with seven catches for 172 yards. In those two games, he was absolutely dominant, catching 13 of 14 targets.
But like Dell, you’re going to need to keep an eye on Brown’s health.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.