Preseason Week 3 Fantasy Football Game Recap: Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints

2RH4EHB New Orleans, USA. August 13, 2023: New Orleans Saints tight end .Jimmy Graham (80) runs a route during NFL pre-season game action between the New Orleans Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Jonathan Mailhes/CSM (Credit Image: © Jonathan Mailhes/Cal Sport Media) Credit: Cal Sport Media/Alamy Live News

Dalton Schultz doesn’t start for the Houston Texans: Schultz remains a passing-down tight end only — his fantasy value could be lower this year than it was when he was with the Dallas Cowboys.

Jimmy Graham scores a touchdown: Graham's odds of making the Saints 53-man roster seem high, which could be bad news for Juwan Johnson.

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PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2023. You can find more information on why it’s essential to pay attention to the preseason here.

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Dalton Schultz is unlikely to be a fantasy starter: The Texans aren’t using Schultz enough in specific situations, which will hurt his fantasy value.

  • Schultz hasn’t started the last two preseason games. Teagan Quitoriano has taken most first-down snaps.
  • Schultz has played 100% of the 11-personnel snaps with C.J. Stroud this preseason but only 38% of the snaps when there is another tight end or fullback on the field.
  • Typically, he’s been on the field for passing situations and off the field for run plays. 
  • He’s been on the field for 76% of passing plays with Stroud on the field this preseason, down from his 80% rate in Dallas last season. That doesn’t include the two games he missed and one when he was injured, but it does include games in which he was eased back into action.
  • The biggest concern is what the Texans have been doing when they are within 10 yards from scoring, as they’ve typically opted for two-tight end sets or a tight end with a fullback, so Schultz has played only 33% of snaps within 10 yards compared to his 86.1% in Dallas.
  • Most of his fantasy value came from his ability to score touchdowns, with  11 of his 17 career touchdowns coming from plays where Dallas was 10 yards or less from scoring.
  • This also doesn’t take into account that Brevin Jordan has missed the entire preseason with a hamstring injury, and he could also factor into the passing game.
  • Schultz is still the clear receiving tight end for Houston and should have a number of games with a decent amount of yards, but his playing time and lack of snaps in the red zone could severely limit his upside.

Jimmy Graham makes his case to make the roster: Graham was the most impressive skill player for New Orleans early on. He made several impressive plays, including a 3-yard touchdown catch.

  • Juwan Johnson, Foster Moreau and Taysom Hill are all locked into roster spots, but the Saints will likely keep four tight ends.
  • Jesse James was signed as a free agent but has dealt with injuries all training camp and hasn’t played in the preseason. That will make it pretty difficult for him to make the roster.
  • That leaves J.P. Holtz or Lucas Krull as the other options.
  • The Saints presumably want someone who can impact the running game, but none of the three have ever graded well as run-blockers.
  • While Graham is unlikely to have fantasy value on his own, he will be able to limit Johnson's fantasy value.
  • Johnson has never recorded more than 70 yards in a game. He has surpassed 50 yards only twice, and he's been held under 15 yards five times.
  • Having Foster Moreau was already going to complicate his playing time, but Graham could take away his touchdowns.
  • The main reason Johnson was in the conversation among sleeper tight ends was his seven touchdowns last season, but Graham could be used specifically near the red zone. This would limit Johson’s touchdowns this season.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • The Saints rested their starters and key backups, including quarterback Derek Carr, running backs Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams, wide receivers Chris Olave and Michael Thomas and tight ends Juwan Johnson, Foster Moreau and Taysom Hill.
  • Rashid Shaheed has missed all of the preseason with an injury, but he did dress and warm up with the team, which is generally a good sign for Week 1.
  • Texans wide receiver John Metchie III didn’t play. He wasn’t in uniform for warmups or the game but was seen catching passes pre-game. There was no clear reason why he sat the game out as of this writing. While Houston played at least some starters in each game, we haven’t seen all five of their top wide receivers play in the same game.
  • Fullback Andrew Beck missed practice this week for personal reasons, which is likely why Dalton Keene received so much playing time.
  • Texans running back Dameon Pierce played 100% of snaps over the first two drives for a second straight week, including a third-and-7. This is generally a positive sign, but he’s also not going to play 100% of snaps in the regular season.

 


Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

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