After entering the season as a popular pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and winning their first two games, the Houston Texans have lost 12 games in row, which led to the firing of head coach Gary Kubiak nearly two weeks ago, and the end of the season can’t come soon enough for all involved. Injuries have been partially to blame for Houston’s struggles, as many notable players have been sidelined and roster depth has been tested.
One spot where a young player is in line for an opportunity over the final weeks of the season is tight end, with rookie Ryan Griffin in line to start Sunday against the Denver Broncos with both Owen Daniels (leg) and Garrett Graham (hamstring) likely to be out. Griffin saw significant action in Week 15 against the Indianapolis Colts, and had a team-leading six receptions for 62 yards in the game.
Griffin is a solid plug-and-play fantasy option for Week 16 against the Broncos, who despite allowing a total of just four catches for 25 yards to the position in their last two games still enter the week allowing the ninth-most fantasy points (8.4 per game, ESPN scoring) to tight ends. Owners who face the prospect of being without Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron (concussion) can do a lot worse than adding Griffin, since the Texans should be throwing the ball plenty against Denver.
The Texans will have a new head coach next season, so Griffin has an opportunity to end the season strongly and put himself in the good graces of a new coaching regime. He belongs on the radar of all fantasy owners looking toward 2014 with how shallow the tight end position has become, since Daniels has not played all 16 games in a season since 2008 and Graham is slated to become a free agent this offseason, but dynasty league owners should be paying particular attention to how Griffin finishes the season.