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Houston Texans

AFC South

According to Aaron Reiss of The Athletic, Texans WR Keke Coutee could be on the outside looking in as Houston solidifies it’s 53-man roster. (Source: The Athletic)

Fantasy Impact: The Texans only ran a total of two plays out of four and five-receiver sets last season. It’s unlikely they’ll begin doing so this season, and that leaves Coutee is the possible odd man out in Houston. Randall Cobb will operate in the slot, with Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller taking the outside positions. Kenny Stills should be utilized as well and moved throughout the formation. Coutee has shown flashes of talent in two seasons with the Texans, but he’s only been able to play in 15 total games due to various injuries. He’s very much on the bubble as the Texans look to sure up their roster during training camp.

Texans QB Deshaun Watson will continue working out with his receivers even after the virtual offseason program comes to an end in an effort to build chemistry. (Source: Houston Chronicle)

Fantasy Impact: Watson has some new weapons to work with this season after the addition of WRs Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks, and the subtraction of All-Pro WR DeAndre Hopkins. Thus far, Watson has been working out with Cobb, Cooks, Keke Coutee, and TE Kahale Warring in conjunction with the virtual offseason program. He’ll continue working on the side with his receivers ahead of a full-blown training camp. Heading into the 2020 season, Watson is currently ranked as QB6 in the ECR. He’ll be without his security blanket in Hopkins, but as long as he can build rapport with his new receivers, and continue to grow with guys like Will Fuller and Kenny Stills, Watson should be in perfect shape to finish as a top-5 scoring QB this season. At worst, he’s a mid-tier QB1 given his ability as a runner.

When asked about a possible contract extension this offseason, Texans DE J.J. Watt told reporters, “No, I don't think that's necessary.” (Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Watt went on to say, “I'm not going to sit here and demand anything. If I asked for an extension or money right now, I think that would be the wrong move.” Watt has two years left on his contract with no guaranteed money remaining, but wants to go out there and prove what he’s worth. Watt enters into his 10th season with the Texans, having missed 32 games in his last four seasons. He’ll look to enter the 2020 season fully healthy and hungry to prove himself as an elite defensive edge.

Regarding Texans WR Will Fuller’s rehab from double groin surgery in January, offensive coordinator Tim Kelly said, “All the conversations I've had with Will have been encouraging. He's been good in the meeting room, he's been great with his position coach, John Perry. So, we're encouraged by that.” (Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Fuller has been a full participant in the Texans virtual off-season program while also working out on his own on the side. With DeAndre Hopkins now in Arizona, Fuller has a legitimate chance to become a clear-cut WR1 for the Texans, even with the off-season additions of Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb. Coach Bill O’Brien chimed in on Fuller’s status, saying, "He is doing great. Since we've left, I've been in touch with him a couple of times. He's working out. He looks good. We're excited about Will. We're excited about the 2020 Will. We feel like he's really working." When healthy, the speedster fifth-year WR can be a game-changer. In 11 games last season, he caught 49 balls for 670 yards and three TDs. Fuller is currently ranked #35 in FantasyPros expert consensus rankings, making him a WR3 in most leagues. He’s got as much upside as any WR3 in the NFL if he can remain healthy this season.

Category: Injury Updates

Former Florida LB Jonathan Greenard, pick No. 90 of the 2020 NFL Draft has signed his four-year rookie contract with the Texans. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Greenard was used as an edge rusher in Florida and earned All-SEC honors in his senior year. He totaled 9.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss across 12 games. Greenard is an explosive passs rusher and is expected to be used as an outside linebacker in the Texans' 3-4 defensive scheme.

Category: Transactions

The Houston Texans will not pick up the fifth-year option on CB Gareon Conley’s rookie contract. (Source: Mark Berman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Conley was traded to the Texans during the 2019 season after spending 2.5 seasons with the Raiders. The former first-round pick out of Ohio State has underwhelmed in his three-year career, totaling 94 tackles and four interceptions. He’ll become a free agent after the upcoming season, and maybe that lights a fire within him to perform at a higher level.

Category: Transactions

Mike Garafolo is reporting that safety Tashaun Gipson will be released by the Texans. (Source: Mike Garafolo )

Fantasy Impact: Gipson played 14 games for the Texans last season but was placed on injured reserve late in the year due to a back injury. He lead the team with three interceptions while also combining for 51 tackles. There has been rumors that the other starting safety Justin Reid has been pushing for the team to sign his brother Eric Reid. Time will tell if there is any truth behind those rumors. As for Gipson, let’s see if any teams that missed out adding a safety during the draft will be interested in signing the veteran.

Category: Rumors

All-Pro LT Laremy Tunsil and the Houston Texans have agreed to terms on a three-year, $66M contract extension, with $50M guaranteed. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: After months of negotiations, Tunsil and the Texans have come to terms on a contract extension that will make him the highest paid OT in the NFL at $22M per year. Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson took that crown at $18M per year prior to Tunsil’s deal. The Texans have locked in their franchise LT for at least the next three years to protect their number one asset in QB Deshaun Watson.

Category: Transactions

Texans coach Bill O'Brien says he isn't worried about Brandin Cooks' concussion history. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: "Yes, he's had concussions, but he's only missed two games since 2015" O'Brien said. While true, we are talking about a wideout that could be one blow to the head away from possibly needing to retire. If Cooks can remain healthy, however, there is reason to think he can bounce back with Deshaun Watson as his quarterback. The 26-year-old scored just two touchdowns in 14 games with the Rams last year.

Category: Injury Updates

David Johnson is a “three-down back who has had some very productive years,” said Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien. “The type of guy he is, I’m so excited to have him, Randall Cobb, and Brandin Cooks our locker room.” (Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: Johnson recently passed his physical, clearing the way for him to join the Texans. O’Brien believes he’s a three-down back, and will get plenty of touches in 2020. DJ had a down year in 2019, logging 94 carries for 345 yards to go along with 36 receptions for 370 yards and six total touchdowns (two rushing, four receiving) across 13 games. The 28-year-old will look to bounce back with his new team and is currently 24th among all running backs in the expert consensus rankings.

According to The Athletic, Texans WR Kenny Stills and his $7M contract could become the odd man out in Houston. (Source: Aaron Reiss on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The thought process behind Stills potentially being the receiver that gets cut or traded is as follows. The Texans brought in Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb this off-season and both have large veteran contracts. Stills also has a relatively large contract which carries a $7M cap hit in 2020. So the Texans are banking on Cooks and Cobb to fill two WR slots this season, and then add in Will Fuller, who will likely maintain his spot as a starting outside receiver. Additionally, WR Keke Coutee is still on his rookie deal, and plays mostly out of the slot. Since Stills is a guy who is mainly a vertical threat, to keep him over Coutee would be redundant and a much larger hit to the salary cap. Fuller and Cooks already provide Houston with the ability to stretch a defense and Cobb and Coutee operate out of the slot. Nothing is set in stone, but it’s very possible Stills is on the outside looking in when the new-look Texans finalize their roster for the upcoming season.

Category: Rumors

D.J. Reader is expected to sign a four-year, $53 million deal with the Bengals, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Reader will become the highest paid nose tackle in the NFL. He logged 52 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the Texans in 2019. Reader will bolster the Bengals run defense, and form quite the dynamic duo with Geno Atkins at defensive tackle.

Category: Transactions

Per John McClain, DeAndre Hopkins is being traded to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for David Johnson. (Source: John McClain on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The Cardinals are receiving Pro-Bowl WR Hopkins and a fourth round pick in exchange for David Johnson and a second round pick this year, as well as a fourth round pick next year. There was speculation that Hopkins was on the trade block, and now it has become official. He will join forces with Kyler Murray in Arizona this season and will easily be a top-5 fantasy WR in 2020. Will Fuller could possibly be the biggest beneficiary of this trade, as he will now look to become Deshaun Watson’s top target this year. Look for Fuller to be a highly-coveted fantasy asset this year.

Category: Transactions

The NFL has announced that it has "no plans to move the start of the league year." (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: There were reportedly meetings being held to discuss closing team facilities given the current pandemic. However, the NFL apparently has no plans on delaying the start of the new year. This would indicate that free agency will start as planned. It still remains to be seen if this will be the case and if there will be further impact, including to the 2020 NFL Draft.

Category: Rumors

Carlos Hyde has declined a contract offer by the Texans and will hit the free-agent market. (Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Hyde is coming off his first 1,000-yard rushing season, but he apparently wasn't willing to take what the Texans were offering for 2020. His value will ultimately be determined by where he signs this offseason, but it's hard to imagine him seeing anything other than a shared backfield role. He's currently the RB33 in our early expert consensus rankings.

Category: Rumors

Lamar Miller will test the free agent market. (Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Miller suffered a torn ACL that ended his 2019 campaign. He was reportedly not actively pursued by the Texans, who did offer fellow RB Carlos Hyde a contract, which Hyde declined. It's hard to see Miller coming into a role that has much value for fantasy purposes, especially given his ACL injury. At this point, he's the RB66 in our early consensus rankings.

The Houston Texans have signed kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn to a four-year contract extension. (Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Fairbairn was middle of the pack in terms of fantasy scoring as a kicker in 2019. He should have solid opportunity this season kicking for the Texans' offense led by quarterback Deshaun Watson. Fairbairn currently checks in as the K11 in our early consensus rankings.

Category: Transactions

The Texans have signed Darren Fells to a two-year, $7 million contract. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Fells will earn $4 million in 2020 and the deal will keep him in Houston for the next couple of years. The 34-year old tight end emerged as Deshaun Watson’s top red zone target and set career-highs in receptions (34), yards (341) and touchdowns (7) across 16 games in 2019. Fells is a borderline tight end two and is mainly option in deep-league formats.

Category: Transactions

The Texans D/ST gave up seven touchdowns on Sunday as the team lost to the Chiefs by a 51-31 score in their Divisional Round matchup.

Fantasy Impact: The Texans D/ST scored a special teams touchdown in the first quarter on a blocked punt to help give the team a good lead. But the defense could not stop the Chiefs offense giving up five touchdown passes to Patrick Mahomes along with two rushing TDs by Damien Williams.

Category: Game Recaps

Duke Johnson gained 11 yards on his lone rushing attempt while making five catches for 23 yards on eight targets as a receiver Sunday in Houston’s Divisional Round loss to Kansas City by a 51-31 score.

Fantasy Impact: Johnson was needed in the second half as the Texans turned to a pass-heavy offense as they fell behind the Chiefs in the second quarter. The veteran running back seems to have found a role on passing downs but may see more action in 2020 if Carlos Hyde does not return.

Category: Game Recaps