Houston Texans running back Rex Burkhead had a couple of moments last season where he was a fantasy starter. Given that Burkhead is past the age of 30 and facing more competition this year, what can fantasy football managers expect from the veteran back in 2022, and is he a good value at his current ADP in fantasy drafts?
Rex Burkhead’s fantasy outlook for 2022
Burkhead has been in the NFL since 2014. Over that span, he’s had exactly two fantasy-relevant seasons. Burkhead averaged 13 PPR fantasy points per game with the Patriots in 2017 and 10.8 ppg in 2020.
Last year, Burkhead averaged just 6.5 ppg. For most of the season, he was completely irrelevant. But there was a stretch where Burkhead was not only useful but a must-start.
Beginning in Week 11, the Texans turned their backfield over to Burkhead. He was incredibly inefficient, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. However, he did post 28.9 fantasy points in Week 16, propelling many fantasy teams into their championship.
Of course, one week doesn’t suddenly make Burkhead a worthwhile fantasy asset. But it does establish Burkhead still has enough juice to be worth starting if he’s going to be force-fed volume.
How the Texans’ depth chart impacts Rex Burkhead’s fantasy projection for the season
The Texans saw enough from Burkhead last season to bring him back for another year. Although his contract is only for one year, that’s what you would expect for a 32-year-old running back. The $2.1 million guaranteed suggests he is going to make the team.
With that said, the Texans still set out in search of upgrades. The team signed Marlon Mack and selected Dameon Pierce in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. They also signed Dare Ogunbowale to a two-year deal.
Burkhead remains “old reliable.” If the Texans need to turn to him for any reason, he will be serviceable. A starting Burkhead is at least worth a look in fantasy lineups as an RB3. However, the Texans very clearly do not want to feature him.
By all accounts, it looks like Pierce is the starter, with Mack certainly mixing in to some degree. Ogunbowale does look to be firmly behind Burkhead, though, so Burkhead’s role as the passing down back appears safe. Unfortunately, it’s just not a valuable role in fantasy.
Rex Burkhead’s ADP for 2022
With the Texans’ depth chart the way it is, Burkhead’s fantasy outlook is grim. There’s no reason to be drafting him outside of extremely deep leagues.
With the final picks of your fantasy football drafts, you want to really swing for upside. It’s fine taking players you know you will likely drop after Week 1 or 2. Burkhead is one of those guys, but he lacks the upside.
If Burkhead pops up as a waiver wire add at some point during the season, then perhaps you can try and pick him up if you need the spot start. Otherwise, Burkhead is best left in the pool of available players.