Will Fuller Fantasy 2016
Houston had long been linked to Notre Dame WR Will Fuller in the weeks leading up to the draft. Fuller ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, which was fastest among the wide receivers. Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien has coveted a deep-threat to stretch the field and take some pressure off of Pro bowl WR DeAndre Hopkins. While Fuller can certainly blaze down the field, there are questions about his overall skillset. Fuller (6-0 186) has good size, but doesn’t have great explosiveness. He also isn’t the cleanest route runner and could have issues in press coverage. And despite an excellent showing in the combine’s gauntlet drill, the biggest knock on Fuller has been his questionable hands.
In the finals days leading to the draft, local “keyed-in” experts indicated that Houston was in fact, not on Fuller, but would rather draft pass rush, secondary or even another wideout like Laquon Treadwell or Josh Doctson. A report after the draft said Houston coveted West Virginia safety Karl Joseph, but he was selected earlier than anticipated at No. 14 by the Oakland Raiders.
Obviously the Texans brass was indeed high on Fuller, as the team- which is not known for trading up or making bold moves- traded a 2017 sixth round selection to swap picks with Washington at No. 21. The Texans and Redskins had similar team needs, so clearly Houston wanted the right to choose Will Fuller over Docton or Treadwell, who would go back-to-back at 22 and 23 to Washington and Minnesota respectively.
Ain't no more double teams baby!
— Deandre Hopkins (@Nukdabomb) April 30, 2016
Cecil Shorts III is better suited as as slot receiver, and second-year wideout Jaelen Strong barely played as a rookie and could be facing a suspension due to an offseason arrest.
That leaves Fuller as the favorite to start for Houston as a field-stretching, downfield threat. In theory, Fuller’s speed with take pressure off of Hopkins and also set up successful matchups for new starting running back Lamar Miller.
As long as Fuller can run an NFL route tree and improve as a pass-catcher, he should be considered the favorite to be the Texans’ WR2 and his big-play ability make him an intriguing high-ceiling option to consider late in redraft leagues.