Fantasy Football - Camp Battles 2015 - Houston QB

Camp Battles Brian Hoyer vs Ryan Mallett

Two former high-profile backups are in the running for Houston’s starting job. Which one has the best odds to succeed?

Poor Brian Hoyer. Opportunity eluded him until his fifth season when he joined the Browns, then escaped him due to injury and, later, the circus that is Johnny Manziel.

Poor Ryan Mallett. After languishing on New England’s roster – who can succeed behind a future first ballot Hall of Famer? – Mallett ventured south to replace Matt Schaub, only things didn’t go as planned.

Now Hoyer is pitted against Mallet for the starting job in Houston. Former Tom Brady backup against former Tom Brady backup. Michigan State recruit against Michigan recruit. In the words of Animal House’s flawed flab Kent Dorfman, “Oh, boy, is this great!”

Why Hoyer is your best bet: In his first eight starts with the Browns Hoyer posted a 6-2 record with 12 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. Then things fell apart, BUT it showed he was capable of being a starting quarterback (and with a suspect supporting cast). In 14 starts last season Hoyer logged three 300-yard games – respectable – and three more games with 275-299 yards. Posibly the biggest reason Hoyer is the best bet is NFL game experience; he’s attempted 630 passes as compared to just 79 for Mallet.

Why it’s Mallett: He’s big (6-foot-6, 245 pounds) and two-and-a-half years younger than Hoyer. Plus, Mallett has more experience working with Houston’s weapons. If all things are equal in camp, those factors could help separate the two. When the two met last November, Mallett got the better of Hoyer, completing 20 of 30 attempts (two touchdowns) in a 23-7 win over the Browns.

Don’t forget about: Tom Savage
The Texans’ 2014 fourth round pick didn’t see much action last year (10 of 19 in a December loss to Indianapolis) but it appears the Texans will exercise some patience. If neither Hoyer nor Mallett show encouraging results, the coaching staff may turn to Savage. He’s been labeled a project, but that doesn’t mean much on this depth chart.

Who fantasy owners should pull for: Hoyer
It’s a matter of who has shown he is capable and who has not. Mallett may have the frame of a franchise quarterback, but his time at Michigan and Arkansas offered mixed results and he’s done little so far in the NFL to show greatness is in his future. Hoyer can be that player, it’s moreso a matter of whether he can be a good fantasy quarterback on a consistent basis.

Follow Mike Beacom on Twitter @mikebeacom
By Mike Beacom