We really aren’t allowed to have nice things in fantasy football, are we?
Fantasy managers who were counting on Houston Texans WR Tank Dell as a big part of their fantasy roster heading into the playoffs in their league may have to make contingency plans after the talented rookie was carted off the field in the first quarter of their game against the Denver Broncos.
Which Texans WR should fantasy managers target on their waiver wire heading into Week 14?
Tank Dell Injured Against Denver Broncos
Dell had a four-game streak of double-digit fantasy outings heading into Sunday with 25 receptions for 369 receiving yards and five touchdowns over that span. His ranking as the WR15 in PPR formats on the season heading into Week 13 made him the highest-scoring fantasy WR on the Texans’ roster this season.
While we don’t know the severity of Dell’s injury at this time, being carted off the field certainly suggests the injury could be serious and puts his playing status for Week 14 in serious jeopardy.
Editor’s note: According to Ian Rapoport, Dell suffered a fractured fibula on Sunday and is set to head to injured reserve.
Should You Add Noah Brown in Week 14?
While WR Robert Woods is certainly worth a speculative add, I have WR Noah Brown as the priority player to add from these two waiver wire options. Entering the game against the Broncos, Brown saw 48.5% of the snaps from the slot, which is where Dell spent most of his time operating this season.
Brown exploded for 13 receptions, 325 receiving yards, and a score over a two-game span prior to sustaining a knee injury against the Cincinnati Bengals back in Week 10. This production was outstanding, considering he only saw a combined 14 targets in those two contests.
While Brown was operating plenty out of the slot, another encouraging sign for his rest-of-season outlook with Dell potentially out of the lineup was his average depth of target (aDOT) of 10.1, which suggests Brown wasn’t simply running underneath routes in this explosive vertical passing attack.
One of the hesitations to believing in Brown’s breakout weeks was the uncertainty surrounding his role with Dell, Nico Collins, and Woods all available. Again, if Dell misses any time in the coming weeks, Brown is almost guaranteed to be on the field for all 11 personnel formations — three WRs are on the field — which could help raise his fantasy floor significantly.
During Brown’s fantastic stretch from Weeks 8 to 10, he was on the field for a minimum of 72% of Houston’s offensive snaps when either Woods or Collins were unavailable due to injury. This could be a preview of things to come if Dell misses a significant amount of time.
Should You Add Robert Woods in Week 14?
While Brown feels like the priority waiver wire add because of his higher fantasy ceiling, I would caution anybody who simply wants to overlook the savvy veteran wideout. Woods did catch five of his eight targets for 44 yards against the Arizona Cardinals just a couple of weeks ago, which proves he could still be a useful PPR contributor when called upon.
If the WR room stabilizes with Collins, Brown, and Woods moving forward, he would likely enter top-45 consideration at the WR position while Dell is out of the lineup.
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