The Houston Texans are fresh off their first win of the season and now head back home for a matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Texans’ passing game appears to be bearing fruit through three weeks, that’s not to overlook the production in the backfield. Dameon Pierce has gotten off to a slow start compared to his rookie season, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate he’s fantasy irrelevant.
We break down whether Pierce is a lock to start in fantasy lineups for Week 4.
Fantasy Football analysis: Texans RB Dameon Pierce
Pierce has 40 carries for 100 yards on the ground this season, while last week marked his first touchdown score of 2023. The Texans’ second-year tailback has also caught seven of nine targets for 41 receiving yards, which amounts to a 6.7 PPR fantasy average. The season is young, but it does mark a dip from his 6.7 PPR average in 2022.
Start or sit in Week 4 PPR leagues?
Start, though he remains touchdown-dependent in PPR leagues. Pierce had a strong 14.9 PPR fantasy points last week, but that came off just three receptions for 28 yards. It was a rushing touchdown that put him over double-digits, which means he’ll ultimately need to find the end zone in order to be fantasy-relevant, given his prowess is not that of a pass-catcher. He’s still Houston’s RB1, nonetheless, so he remains a fixture in fantasy lineups.
In smaller leagues, Pierce profiles as a fringe RB2 given his limited receiving upside. In leagues of 12 to 14 teams, he possesses some RB1/RB2 value, given the limited alternative options to start.
Start or sit in Week 4 standard leagues?
Start, as his carry volume over three weeks has been strong. Pierce’s 40 rushing attempts this season are the most among Texans’ rushers, and it’s a clear step ahead of Devin Singletary’s 20 carries. His 2.5 yards per carry is a decline from last year’s 4.3 average, but there remains plenty of time for him to run the ball more efficiently. The Steelers are also giving up 22.4 fantasy points per game to running backs, which is fourth-most in the NFL.
Given the number of options in smaller fantasy leagues, Piere has subsequent RB1/RB2 value. In larger leagues of 12 to 14 teams, Pierce can be treated as a shoo-in RB1 given the fewer options at fantasy managers’ disposal.
Player(s) you would start ahead of Dameon Pierce
Jerome Ford is an option to consider as the Browns tailback heads into a plus matchup with the Ravens in Week 4. Baltimore is giving up a decent 13.6 fantasy points per game to running backs, which is inclusive of 84.3 yards per game on the ground. Ford also has more PPR upside compared to Pierce, as he’s averaging 14.9 fantasy points per game so far this season.