The Houston Texans made a surprising move as they widdled down the squad during 53-man roster cuts, opting to part ways with veteran running back Marlon Mack, according to Adam Schefter. There was some expectation that Mack would be in play for a starting role or the RB2 job, but that was all put to bed following the Texans’ decision. Now, it appears that rookie running back Dameon Pierce will be in full control of the Texans RB1 gig heading into the regular season, which could have big implications for fantasy football managers. 

Mack latched on with the Texans this offseason after ending his tenure with the Indianapolis Colts. Injuries have slowed him down in recent years, but he’s only a few seasons removed from a 1,000 rushing-yard campaign. In 2019, Mack carried the ball 247 times for 1,091 yards, serving as the Colts’ RB1. He scored eight touchdowns that year before injuries limited him to just one game in 2020.

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With the Texans surprisingly moving on from Mack, their running backs room will consist of Pierce, Rex Burkhead, and Royce Freeman. The expectation going forward is that Pierce will be the lead running back in Houston, which should be music to fantasy football players’ ears.

The Texans drafted Pierce in the fourth round, 107th overall, in the 2022 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. During his senior season with the Gators, Pierce rushed just 100 times for 574 yards but racked up an impressive 13 touchdowns despite his limited workload. The Texans were clearly impressed with what they saw from the 22-year-old, enough to hand him the keys to the backfield after moving on from Mack.