TE Rob Housler, Free agent
HT: 6-5, WT: 248, Born: 3-17-1988, College: Florida Atlantic, Drafted: Round 3
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Housler is an impressive athlete with plenty of potential as a pass-receiver, but the Cardinals will no longer wait passively for him to fulfill it. They drafted Troy Niklas and brought in John Carlson as a free agent, either (or both) of whom could surpass Housler on the depth chart. The fact that none of the tight ends on the roster have a lock on a significant role in the passing game means that none of them have appreciable value in redraft leagues. Housler is not draftable except in the very deepest of fantasy leagues, but his upside potential makes him worth keeping an eye on as a possible waiver-wire claim if he gets consistent targets early in the season.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 6 - Housler did not have a noteworthy game by any stretch, but this was certainly his most active game since returning from injury. †Targeted 5 times, and only amassing 32 yards, Housler wasn't an integral part of the game plan, but with Andre Roberts' disappearance from the offense, he might soon find himself as Palmers's 3rd option, behind Fitzgerald and Floyd. Many predicted Housler to have a breakout season, and that appears unlikely, but more activity in the offense should provide a better safety-net for Palmer, and a more open outside for Fitzgerald and Floyd to work. †
Week 7 - Housler finally made his first real impact in the passing game this season, unfortunately much of it came with the outcome already secured. †Housler led the team in receptions, hauling in all seven of his targets, as well as drawing a few pass interference penalties. But with much of his success coming late in the game its fair to question how much Housler was finally playing up to his ability or just benefitting from the soft, preventative defense Seattle had begun to play. †Housler has the ability to make a major impact in this offense, but he must become more consistent.
Week 10 - After scoring his first career touchdown, Rob Housler celebrated by taking the figurative monkey off his back. What followed from that point forward were the type of impressive, athletic plays the Cardinals have been waiting three years for. In addition to his touchdown on a perfectly scripted tight end screen, Housler caught three other passes, with his 26-yard reception being the longest play of the Cardinals day. Housler is a free agent after this season, and yesterdayís game could prove to be an important crossroad of his young career. Up until yesterday it seemed far-fetched the Cardinals would bring Housler back next season, but with a second half closer in line with Sundayís performance, he may finally prove to be the answer at a position the Cardinals have long since had questions about.
Week 11 - Coming off his best game as a pro, Housler followed that up with his second best career effort leading to a lot of optimism going forward. Housler finished the day as the second leading receiver behind Floyd. Due to early season injury, Housler was never really able to develop much chemistry with Palmer, but the two finally appear on the same page now. Near misses on both a deep post as well as a touchdown opportunity would have really pushed Houslerís impressive outing over the top, but even as it stands itís a great sign for the tight end. If he can continue to make plays like he has the past two weeks, the Cards passing game should begin to flourish, opening up more opportunities outside the numbers for Fitzgerald and Floyd.
Week 12 - Housler's emergence has been slightly overlooked, with recent praise often focused on Palmer or this team's incredible defense, but his contribution to the offense has been as big as anyones. †His statistics aren't those of a Jimmy Graham, although he still had a very respectable day, but Housler is quietly taking advantage of a defense focused on stopping the wide receivers, and continually moving the chains in the process. †He appears to have a better understanding of the offense, which coverages teams are running and where to sit in zones, and has become the reliable target in the middle of the field this team sorely needed. †As with almost any non-Graham/Gronk TE, his fantasy value is largely tied to touchdowns, and Houlser still only has his one career score, but the lightbulb appears to have finally turned on, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Week 14 - Houslerís day was much more inline with his second half of the season surge than his first half failures. Houslerís 31 yard gain early highlighted his massive receiving potential, and had Palmer been able to connect on the deep seam route, Housler likely would have had a monster afternoon and scored his second touchdown of the season. Unlike last week, Housler was drop-free, an important stat for the sometimes untrustworthy TE.
Week 16 - In a game of awful offensive performances, Housler might actually top the list. While Palmerís was more apparent with the 4 interceptions, Houslerís terrible play early had him benched for the majority of the first half. After failing to get his head turned around on an early out-route, and then slipping before knocking a pass into the air for Palmerís first int of the day, Housler rode the bench for much of the rest of the half. He did appear to play his usual minutes in the second half, but failed to register a catch or even another target all day.
Week 17 - Housler started off the game awfully, dropping an easy touchdown pass and missing several blocks in the run game, but much like the rest of the Cardinals offense, came on incredibly strong in the second half. When it was all said and done Housler ended the day with 78 yards, including 30-yard grab he made a nice, acrobatic catch on. Housler remains a disappointment, often too inconsistent in the passing game to overcome his abysmal blocking, so it wouldnít be a surprise to see the Cardinals attempt to upgrade at the TE position in the off season, but Housler still flashes enough potential that itíd be surprising if he wasnít at least on the roster come 2014.