Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Will Fuller
- Will Fuller has been one of the NFL's best wide receivers when healthy, but he's been plagued by injuries.
- Ian Hartitz analyzes Fuller's importance to the Houston Texans offense and whether he's the most valuable No. 2 wide receiver in fantasy football.
We’re in the thick of the NFL offseason and it’s officially time to start fantasy football prep. I’ll be answering the biggest questions heading into the 2019 season; this is part of that series.
The Texans have captured the AFC South crown in three of the past four seasons. Their future is bright with Deshaun Watson throwing the ball to DeAndre Hopkins while J.J. Watt holds things down on defense.
Here’s the thing, though: Will Fuller has helped take the Texans from good to great over the past two seasons. His game-breaking speed is one of the most valuable commodities in football and he’s helped to elevate the performance of virtually all of his teammates.
Fuller is a great football player in both real life and in fantasy football, but injuries have caused him to miss 17 games since entering the league in 2016. Let’s breakdown just how freaky the Texans’ No. 2 receiver is as an athlete and attempt to get a grip on his fantasy football expectations for 2019.
Will Fuller Has One of the NFL’s Most Unique Skill Sets
The most-important thing to know about Fuller is that his presence shifts how defenses are forced to defend the Texans.
There simply aren’t many defensive backs on this planet capable of staying in front of Fuller without safety help over the top.
This speed was on full display at the 2016 combine, when Fuller clocked a 4.32-second 40-yard dash — tied for the 10th-fastest mark from a wide receiver since 2006. His average of 14.6 yards per catch is tied with Tyreek Hill for the 16th-best mark in the NFL since 2016 (minimum 100 receptions).
Of course, Fuller’s 6-foot, 186-pound frame is more reminiscent of a track star than a gridiron hero. The reduced physicality in today’s NFL should theoretically help undersized receivers (like Fuller and Brandin Cooks) stay on the field more, but there will probably always be a bit of an injury concern here.