Texans rookie WR Tank Dell made a massive splash in Week 2, hauling 7-of-10 targets for 72 yards and a score. Dell’s 19 PPR Fantasy Points ranked 17th among WRs– no doubt, a massive success in his first extended NFL Burn.
Yet, Dell’s day could have been bigger, Top-5 even, as he had another TD called back by a holding penalty. Regardless, fantasy managers must be salivating over Dell’s new role in Noah Brown‘s absence. Dell ran 82% of routes, behind only Robert Woods, while also leading the team with ten targets (24% share).
Fantasy footballers may also now be asking:
Can I Start Tank Dell in Week 3 Fantasy? What is Dell’s Fantasy Outlook?
First things first: double-check if Tank Dell has been picked up in your leagues. He’s still (somehow) only 25% rostered in Yahoo, which is criminally low. Pick him up immediately if Dell is out there in your league.
Now that you have him… should you start Tank Dell in Week 3?
My answer is an unequivocal: yes.
First, the overall Aerial Pie in Houston has been massive. CJ Stroud‘s 91 attempts through two weeks are third in the NFL, behind only Mac Jones (lol) and Matthew Stafford. The Texans blow and constantly find themselves trailing and chasing points. These scripts should be commonplace in 2023, leading to plenty of “fantasy meat” on this bone. Sure, it may not be the tastiest pie, but Stroud does work fourth in the league in yards, and is fresh off 384 yards and 2 TDs in his first real action with Dell.
Which may not be a coincidence. After the duo connected at the 2023 NFL Combine, Stroud begged the Texans to draft Dell. The team traded up with the Rams to do just that.
“He talked to me after the Combine,” Dell said. “‘I like how you run routes. I like how you play football.’ He said he had been watching me and stuff like that. I told him vice versa and I appreciated him. After he got drafted, I sent him congrats and I told him, ‘Tell them come get me.’”
This pre-established rapport helped Dell become a routine star of Texans Training Camp. His head coach DeMeco Ryans, raved Dell “was always open,” which certainly was the case in Dell’s first preseason game. Here, Dell posted five receptions for 65 yards and a TD, running all over the Patriots secondary. Following the game, Ryans again praised Dell: “It was good to see Tank make some plays…We’ve seen him make a lot of plays, so it was good to see it here in a game. He’s going to be an explosive playmaker for us.”
Never mind Dell’s dominant college track record at Houston. Over his final two seasons, Dell led all WRs in receptions (199) and yards (2,727), while also ranking 2nd in touchdowns (29). The last stat is all the more impressive considering Dell’s diminutive size (5’8″/165 lbs). He consistently separated at every layer of the field at the collegiate layer, getting off the line with his quicks, while leaving defenders in the dust with such sudden stop-start agility. He also ranked fifth in the FBS in yards after the catch.
The signs have been there. All Dell needed was the opportunity to prove he would remain as productive against the higher-level NFL competition.
With both those boxes checked, everything points to Dell performing as a quality WR3 or better in 2023, with huge spike week potential.
As 9.5 point underdogs to the Jaguars, the Texans project to once again play “catch up.” This should lead to another 40+ pass attempts from CJ Stroud. Jacksonville ranks middle-of-the-pack against WRs (16th in FPs allowed), but did allow 19.7 FPs to Michael Pittman and 14.5 to Skyy Moore. As Stroud’s go-to chain-mover out of the slot, I expect Dell to eat again in Week 3 and beyond.
Dell checks in at WR38 (+ 7 ECR) in my Fantasy Week 3 Rankings.
Tank Dell Week 3 Fantasy Projection: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 86 yards, 1 TD