PHOENIX -- The Texans backfield will have a different look this season with Devin Singletary added as a free agent. He'll be the No. 2 running back in Houston behind Dameon Pierce, and Fantasy managers want to know how these two will work in tandem.
With that in mind, I asked new Texans coach DeMeco Ryans about the Pierce-Singletary pairing at the NFL owners meetings this week.
"We're excited to have both of those guys," Ryans said. "Dameon has shown a lot from his rookie season. He's shown that he's a really good player. To be able to add Devin there with him to have that 1-2 punch to balance each other out, I think it will be a great addition for us. I'm excited for what Devin can bring. He's hungry to show that he can do more. I'm excited to add him to Houston."
Pierce is expected to remain the lead running back, and he's the one Fantasy managers should target on Draft Day. He played well as a rookie in 2022 with 220 carries for 939 yards and four touchdowns, along with 30 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown on 39 targets.
He ended the season on injured reserve with a bad ankle after playing in 13 games, but he's expected to be fine for offseason work. For the season, Pierce averaged 11.8 PPR points per game, but he had at least 13 PPR points in six outings.
Ryans is very excited to see Pierce play in person.
"He showed some toughness," Ryans said. "He showed some competitive fight in him. I love the way that he runs, love his style. It's a style that I really want to continue to feed him. That style of running, it excites the entire team. He runs with an attitude that I really like. I want to continue to see him build his game off of that. I'm excited to see his growth from Year 1 to Year 2. I think it will be really good."
Pierce is worth drafting as early as Round 4 in the majority of leagues. He should get the majority of touches for the Texans, but Singletary should provide plenty of competition. Singletary is a much better backup than anyone Houston had last season.
Singletary spent the first four seasons of his career in Buffalo, and he averaged 4.7 yards per carry. In 2022 with the Bills, Singletary had 177 carries for 819 yards and five touchdowns, along with 38 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown on 52 targets. He averaged 11.0 PPR points per game.
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I'll probably look for Singletary as early as Round 8 in the majority of leagues. Hopefully, he'll get enough work to be a potential flex option, and he's a lottery ticket in case Pierce misses any time due to an injury.
While Pierce dominated the workload for Houston last season -- he played at least 60 percent of the snaps in nine of 13 games -- we'll see how Ryans and new offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik use both runners. I still expect Pierce to get about 60 percent of the workload, and he should lead the Texans in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
We'll see what happens in the passing game, and Singletary could have an advantage there. It could come down to who the Texans draft at quarterback, and Houston has the No. 2 overall selection in the NFL Draft.
This Texans offense could be a nice surprise, and I like the addition of guard Shaq Mason to the offensive line. Slowik comes to Houston from San Francisco along with Ryans, and we know the 49ers run game has been dominant for years.
I like that Ryans is still confident in Pierce, and we'll see if he can hold off Singletary as the lead running back. Pierce should remain a starting Fantasy option in the majority of leagues, even with the upgraded competition.
And Singletary remains a good investment at the right price for Fantasy managers. We'll see if he can carve out a productive role in tandem with Pierce, and this could be one of the best backfields in the NFL in 2023.