The Houston Texans have been crushed when Andre Johnson has been injured in the past. However, things don’t look as dire this year as the team prepares to potentially play without their star wide receiver in Week 3.
Johnson sustained a concussion during the team’s Week 2 overtime win over the Tennessee Titans, confirmed by Drew Dougherty of HoustonTexans.com:
His status is still up in the air as he undergoes the league’s concussion protocol throughout the week.
In Johnson’s absence, backup Keshawn Martin stepped up along with rookie DeAndre Hopkins to help the Texans improve to 2-0. He made a crucial 32-yard reception late in the fourth quarter to help force overtime.
Coach Gary Kubiak labeled Martin as the team’s third receiver on the depth chart and gave him a shining endorsement moving forward following his performance, per the Houston Chronicle’s Brian T. Smith:
He’s important. What we’re doing right now, he’s obviously our three. If DeAndre comes out of the game, he plays Z. If Andre comes out of the game, he plays X. He’s handling two spots for us as a player. He makes a big play in the game. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him.
Being a team’s third receiver doesn’t really do much for fantasy owners, especially on a team that thrives off of running the football and has a top tight end like Owen Daniels commanding a large amount of targets.
But Martin does have some value, especially in the event Johnson misses any time this week due to his concussion. There’s also always the possibility that either Johnson or Hopkins will get hurt later on, too, as both have struggled with injuries in the past.
If you’re looking for a quick fix for your flex or WR3 spot, Martin may be worth a look. His true value, though, lays in leagues that award points for return yards. In addition to being a much-improved, second-year receiver, Martin is one of the most potent kick returners in the league to this point.
His 220 return yards are the second most and his 27.5 average yards per return is the fourth-best mark in the league after two games.
From a pick-up standpoint, he’s worth a look in deeper leagues—and those with return yards factored in—with Johnson ailing, but he isn’t a strong starter in any format for the time being. Unless Johnson is out in Week 3 or Hopkins goes down, you can do better in the short term than someone who is as low on the target totem pole as Martin.
There are just too many mouths to feed in Houston with Hopkins’ emergence to allow another receiver into the fantasy fold right now.
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