This week, we take a look at a wide receiver coming off an injury in one of the league’s most potent offenses. This week, should we start or sit Chris Hogan in Houston?
The preseason is over, and it’s time to start thinking about your 2018 fantasy football week one lineups. That means fantasy football owners get up on Sunday morning and proceed to rearrange their lineup six-or-seven times before begrudgingly hitting submit, and hoping for the best. Here at Football Absurdity would like to cut that process down to just impotently rejiggering your lineup four-or-five times. Each week, we will highlight multiple players at each position (ignoring Kicker and DST, as one should) and we ask the question: start or sit <player>? I wish I could take it easy on myself and say to start Antonio Brown and sit Amara Darboh every week, but life isn’t easy (and neither are fantasy football start or sit questions), so we take a look at players on the periphery.
It’s hard to remember Chris Hogan’s early 2017 season if you don’t really focus. There wasn’t a lot of certainty about who he was or what his role in the offense would be, but he just kept scoring touchdowns. He racked up five in his first five games last season, and things seemed to be mostly humming along. He hit a speed bump before rebounding for 9 catches and 131 yards the next two games before getting hurt.
Hogan performed well last season when he had targets to support production. In fact, in his two years with the Patriots, he has fourteen games with 5+ targets. In those games, he turned that production into a 63% catch rate en route to a 63 catch, 957 yards, 8 TD pace. His 13.09 PPR fantasy points (9.16 standard) in those games were good enough for WR22 in PPR and WR18 in standard scoring if he had played all sixteen games last year. If you want more encouragement in your decision to start or sit Chris Hogan: his weeks 1-8 last season had him as a top-twelve WR in both standard scoring and PPR. In short, he was #VeryGood before he was injured last season.
The Houston Texans defense opposing the Patriots will be with Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt, and while they provide an incredible pass rush, neither will cover Hogan. That task instead falls to a secondary that allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers last year. After their week seven bye last year, they allowed thirteen WR touchdowns and seven games of 90+ yards to individual wide receivers. In short: they let wide receivers run roughshod over them. While 2017 numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, the Texans return mostly the same defense that allowed these numbers to occur, so things shouldn’t be drastically different in Houston this season.
Chris Hogan’s average draft position was somewhere that made him a WR3 or a flex. I would confidently slot him into either of these roster slots this week. If you went RB-heavy and he’s your WR2, you really don’t have a choice. He’s called 7-Eleven for a reason: he’s always open. Being open for one of the best quarterbacks to ever lace ‘em up sounds like a good prospect, to me. The answer to, “should you start or sit Chris Hogan week one,” is: Start.
For more week 1 fantasy football start/sit advice, LOOK HERE: