A relatively unknown player is now one of the leading receivers for the Houston Texans? It happens more often than you think. While Texans fans would prefer to have their stud quarterback DeShaun Watson taking snaps under center, they at least have a backup who, finally, has a trusted security blanket. Although DeAndre Hopkins is still the number one wideout for the Texans, the absence of Will Fuller V has allowed one tenacious pass-catcher to strut his stuff. From fantasy irrelevant to fantasy sleeper, wideout Bruce Ellington has quickly emerged as an intriguing flex play down the stretch of the season.
Team: Houston Texans
Position: Wide Receiver
Percent Owned By Fantasy Teams: (Yahoo Fantasy): 6%
Fantasy Points Total Thru Week 11 (Half PPR): Projected: 46.17 Actual: 55.60
With 15 targets in his last two games, Ellington has quickly emerged as a go-to target for uninspiring quarterback Tom Savage. Averaging less than 10 yards per reception only once this season, Ellington is the ideal intermediate receiving threat that can catch 50-50 balls with ease (contested catch rate of 57.1%, 14th amongst receivers). For an inaccurate quarterback (52.8 CMP%) who is tentative when it comes to throwing the deep ball (5.86 yards per pass attempt), having a confident and physical pass-catcher such as Ellington can usually cover up some of the aforementioned deficiencies.
Aside from Ellington’s intriguing abilities, it’s also his increased snap shares that have made him particularly viable as a fantasy play. Since week 6, Ellington’s snap shares have increased from 75 to 100 in week 11, a sign that Ellington’s effectiveness is being noticed and rewarded with increased playing time. While having heightened athletic abilities are great, they’re only truly relevant if said player receivers the requisite opportunities to make tremendous plays on the field.
Even if Will Fuller were to return to the starting lineup this week against the Baltimore Ravens, Ellington has clearly developed a strong rapport with Tom Savage. Considering how poorly Savage has performed as a starting quarterback throughout his career, having a trusted receiving option can allow a below-average passer to flourish where they usually fail. Throughout the rest of the season, I expect Ellington to garner at least six targets per game and he should be a solid flex play in PPR leagues on a consistent basis.