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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2020 Half PPR Draft Rankings
David Johnson Note
David Johnson photo 41. David Johnson RB - (vs . TEN)
The Texans gave their running backs 397 touches last year, and that was with DeAndre Hopkins on the roster. That's a lot of work. The only running back they've added was David Johnson. While Johnson looked horrendous down the stretch, it's possible he just tried to work his way back from injury way too soon. It appears Bill O'Brien isn't convinced that Johnson is done with his NFL career, like some. It's possible that he's not as electric as he once was, but guys, the Texans gave Carlos Hyde 255 touches last year. Opportunity is key in fantasy football, and Johnson appears to be in line for a lot of it in 2020, making him a low-end RB2 with upside for more should he actually be healthy.
3 weeks ago
Deshaun Watson Note
Deshaun Watson photo 59. Deshaun Watson QB - (vs . TEN)
After finishing as the No. 4 quarterback in back-to-back seasons, many are starting to slide Watson down draft boards due to the loss of DeAndre Hopkins. We've never seen Watson without Hopkins, which certainly does raise some questions, but it also could provide an outlet for even more rushing yards for him. Watson maneuvers the pocket extremely well and buys himself time to find open receivers. Now without his safety blanket in Hopkins, we could see his rushing ceiling go up. Did you know he rushed for at least 32 yards in 9-of-15 games last year but never topped 47 rushing yards? That's odd, to say the least. The Texans defense will be as bad as it's ever been with Watson under center, which should mean even more dropbacks. The reason I'm still okay drafting Watson as a top-six quarterback: He's only thrown 26 touchdown passes in each of the last two years and has still been a top-12 type quarterback in 63.2 percent of his career games, which is the second-highest rate since 2000, behind only Patrick Mahomes. For context, there were just seven quarterbacks who topped 50 percent last year alone. Watson may not have the passing ceiling without Hopkins, but I'm expecting his rushing totals to make up for some of that, leaving him in the top-six quarterbacks.
4 weeks ago
Will Fuller V Note
Will Fuller V photo 76. Will Fuller V WR - (vs . TEN)
Even with DeAndre Hopkins on the field, Fuller has totaled 116 targets in 18 games over the last two years (6.4 per game), which is more than enough to do damage, especially when you've averaged 14.3 yards per reception over your career. Fuller's volume will be there when he's in the lineup, as Hopkins' 150-plus targets have to go somewhere, and Fuller is the only one returning to the starting lineup who has any familiarity with Deshaun Watson. You must understand the nature of his game before drafting him though. He's finished with fewer than 8.0 PPR points in 20-of-42 career games. He's also finished with more than 20.0 PPR points in nine games. He's been the definition of a boom-or-bust receiver, and one who's been hurt a lot (missed 22 games over four years). Still, with Hopkins gone, Fuller should see a bump in targets and become a bit more stable. If he's healthy, you should have zero issue plugging him in as your WR3 with top-10 upside. You're getting a discount due to his health concerns.
4 weeks ago
Brandin Cooks Note
Brandin Cooks photo 94. Brandin Cooks WR - (vs . TEN)
There have been just nine wide receivers who've finished as a top-24 receiver in at least four of the last five years. Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Jarvis Landry, Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown, Davante Adams, Amari Cooper, and... Cooks. He's done that with three different quarterbacks, and it's hard to say Deshaun Watson is a downgrade. The lack of offseason might prove to be a lot for the chemistry between the two, but knowing Cooks has transitioned well in the past, it shouldn't take too long. Concussions, on the other hand, are a big worrisome point. He only missed two games due to concussions in 2019, but they're starting to add up. It also affected his performance (clearly) in a big way, as he never topped 46 yards in the six games following the injury. There's going to be one of Will Fuller or Cooks who shines as a top-30 receiver with top-20 upside, yet neither are being drafted there. Knowing Cooks has been in this situation before, he gets a vote of confidence. If you land him as your WR4, you should be psyched. If Fuller misses any time, he'd be a must-play WR2 nearly every week.
4 weeks ago
Duke Johnson Jr. Note
Duke Johnson Jr. photo 133. Duke Johnson Jr. RB - (vs . TEN)
Despite continually being one of the most efficient running backs in football, it seems there's no head coach who wants to give Johnson his shot at a bigger role. This will be his sixth season in the NFL and he's never topped 104 carries in a season despite the fact that he's averaged 4.5 yards per carry (4.91 over the last four years) over his career. Now having to deal with David Johnson, whose best attribute is catching passes out of the backfield, it's unlikely Duke has any value with David healthy. However, it needs to be stated that David has played just 22 full games over the last three years and will be 29 years old at the end of the season. Should he miss time, Duke might get the opportunity that we've been waiting for.
4 weeks ago
Randall Cobb Note
Randall Cobb photo 197. Randall Cobb WR - (vs . TEN)
Remember how many people were fading Cobb last year, saying he'd passed his prime and wanted nothing to do with him now that he was separated from Aaron Rodgers? He went on to post his most yardage since 2015. Granted, it took him 83 targets to get there, but he showed that he was capable. Deshaun Watson hasn't been a quarterback to target his slot receivers a whole lot, but he's never had a possession-style on like Cobb, and he's never played without DeAndre Hopkins. Will things change? It's certainly within the realm of possibilities. The issue is that Keke Coutee and Kenny Stills are also solid slot receivers who can fill that role, if needed. My issue with Cobb is... what's the upside? Cole Beasley-type numbers from last year? He even finished as the No. 34 wide receiver, but was any fantasy owner excited to put him in their lineup? Maybe during bye weeks but that's about it. He's just a WR5-type option to me, and one who lacks upside.
4 weeks ago
Ka'imi Fairbairn Note
Ka'imi Fairbairn photo 212. Ka'imi Fairbairn K - (vs . TEN)
Fairbairn's accuracy fell significantly last year, from 88.1% on field-goal attempts and 95% on extra-point attempts in 2018, to 80% and 89%, respectively, last year. To make matters worse, Fairbairn's field-goal attempts dropped from 42 down to 25 last year. It's the perils of drafting any fantasy kicker, but on a decent offense and kicking mostly indoors, Fairbairn is worth drafting in a 12-team league, albeit it as one of the last kickers.
3 weeks ago
Kenny Stills Note
Kenny Stills photo 250. Kenny Stills WR - (vs . TEN)
Stills wasn't heavily involved last year after a preseason trade to the Texans, and he missed three games do to injuries. But he did rank seventh in the league in yards per target and had the fourth highest catch rate (72.7%) among wide receivers. Although DeAndre Hopkins is gone, the Texans added Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb, so it's unlikely that Stills will suddenly have an important role on the team. Given that he's never had more than 63 catches or 931 yards receiving, it's unlikely that he'll be worth rostering this season.
16 weeks ago
Houston Texans Note
Houston Texans photo 254. Houston Texans DST - (vs . TEN)
Darren Fells Note
Darren Fells photo 301. Darren Fells TE - (vs . TEN)
Jordan Akins Note
Jordan Akins photo 324. Jordan Akins TE - (vs . TEN)
Not many realize the Texans tight ends saw a very respectable 19.1 percent target share in 2019, and that was with DeAndre Hopkins on the roster. Knowing the defense is likely taking another step back, we could see increased pass attempts, and a higher target total available. The issue is that Fells and Akins shared the role, though not many realize it was Akins who led them with 55 targets, 36 receptions, and 418 yards. The only thing Fells beat him in was touchdowns, as his seven trumped Akins' two. Based on what we saw out of Akins last year, we should expect the third-year player to take a step forward in 2020, and with a little touchdown luck, he might be an underrated fantasy option. You don't need to draft him in standard 1TE leagues, but you can consider him a streamer in good matchups if my projections hold true.
4 weeks ago
Keke Coutee Note
Keke Coutee photo 361. Keke Coutee WR - (vs . TEN)
Kahale Warring Note
Kahale Warring photo 414. Kahale Warring TE - (vs . TEN)
Buddy Howell Note
Buddy Howell photo 458. Buddy Howell RB - (vs . TEN)
Isaiah Coulter Note
Isaiah Coulter photo 493. Isaiah Coulter WR - (vs . TEN)
Cullen Gillaspia Note
Cullen Gillaspia photo 551. Cullen Gillaspia FB - (vs . TEN)
Scottie Phillips Note
Scottie Phillips photo 560. Scottie Phillips RB - (vs . TEN)
AJ McCarron Note
AJ McCarron photo 567. AJ McCarron QB - (vs . TEN)
C.J. Prosise Note
C.J. Prosise photo 582. C.J. Prosise RB - (vs . TEN)
DeAndre Carter Note
DeAndre Carter photo 630. DeAndre Carter WR - (vs . TEN)