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Houston Texans Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

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Texans WR John Metchie ran routes at close to full speed in Tuesday's minicamp practice. The rookie seems to be making good progress in his recovery from December's torn ACL. It's still unclear if he'll be ready for Week 1. But, once healthy, Metchie has an opportunity to carve out a significant role in Houston's passing game.

According to league insider Aaron Wilson, Texans WR John Metchie “wasn’t encumbered by a knee brace” in rookie OTAs. The rookie, ~5.5 months removed from an ACL tear, was considered a “limited” participant. “I talked about us initially just taking everybody through a certain amount of tests to see exactly where they are,” HC Lovie Smith said. “We’re in the process of seeing exactly when John would be ready to go. Eventually, he will be ready to go. There’s a lot that he can do before that. He’s not 100% yet, but in time he will be.” Metchie’s a redraft long-shot, although he’s worth monitoring as he gets further removed from the injury.

The Texans added Florida RB Dameon Pierce in the 4th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Pierce was stuck in committee backfields at Florida, never topping 106 carries in a season. But he flashes on tape an impressive blend of power and make-you-miss ability on tape. Pierce led all 173 RBs with 100+ carries last year in Pro Football Focus rushing grade and finished 5th in Elusive Rating. He also tallied 36 catches over his final 2 college seasons. Pierce was 1 of our favorite sleepers in this year’s RB class and lands in a wide-open Texans backfield alongside Marlon Mack, Rex Burkhead, Royce Freeman and Dare Ogunbowale. He could make a 2022 fantasy impact and is a target in dynasty rookie drafts.

The Texans added Alabama WR John Metchie with the 44th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Metchie is rehabbing a December ACL tear that prevented him from working out in the pre-draft process. We’ll see if that threatens his availability for the start of his rookie season. Metchie is coming off a big 96-1,142-8 line, leading ‘Bama in catches and finishing 2nd to Jameson Williams in yards and TDs. He ran about a third of his routes from the slot and was much more effective there, averaging 3.59 yards per route vs. just 1.83 from the outside. At 5’11, 187 pounds, Metchie looks like a slot receiver as a pro. He’s not an explosive athlete but is an effective route runner with reliable hands. Consider him a high-floor prospect with a relatively low ceiling. Once healthy, he should quickly carve out a significant role in Houston alongside Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins.

The Texans selected DB Jalen Pitre in the 2nd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Pitre opened his Baylor career as a LB and continued to make his greatest contributions near the line of scrimmage. He racked up a ridiculous 29.5 tackles for loss (including 6 sacks) over the past 2 seasons while playing safety and slot corner, adding 4 INTs and 9 passes defensed. At just 5’11 and with near-average speed for the position, Pitre projects as primarily a box safety in the pros. Going to Houston in Round 2 should give him a good shot at starting right away.

The Texans took CB Derek Stingley with the 3rd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Stingley arguably enjoyed his best season as a freshman, when he snared 6 INTs and defensed 15 passes for the national-champion Tigers. Stingley seemed the regress the past 2 years. That span included losing 10 games to a torn ligament in his left foot last season. Stingley should be an immediate starter in Houston but doesn't project as a high-level IDP contributor.

Texans HC Lovie Smith says he's a fan of QB Davis Mills. "If you look at all of my comments about Davis, I am a believer in him and what he's going to do," Smith said Monday, according to NFL.com. "If you just go back and look at the plays that he made, throwing the ball downfield last year, so many good things that he did, and that's as a rookie." Smith also sounds confident in Mills leading the 2022 offense. "The improvement that you see from year one to year two is normally a big improvement, and that's what we're gonna get from him." Words don't necessarily mean commitment, of course. And we'll see whether Houston adds a QB at any stage of the upcoming NFL Draft. But combine Smith's comments with what had to be considered an impressive debut for a 3rd-round pick in a bad offense, and we're betting Mills leads Houston's offense for at least the coming season. He's available very late in early fantasy football drafts and not highly rated in dynasty right now.

The Texans have agreed to a 2-year extension with WR Brandin Cooks. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Houston will pay Cooks just less than $20 million per season through 2024. Clearly, this means he's not going anywhere in trade (at least this offseason). Cooks finished 21st among PPR wideouts last season and is going much lower than that in early 2022 fantasy football drafts.

The Texans signed RB Marlon Mack to a 1-year deal. Mack tallied 1,999 yards and 17 TDs on 4.5 yards per carry across his 2nd and 3rd NFL seasons. But he tore his Achilles in the 2020 opener and totaled just 28 carries for 101 yards behind Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines in Indianapolis last year. If somewhere close to 100%, though, Mack might just be the best in a Houston backfield currently sporting only Rex Burkhead, Royce Freeman and Dare Ogunbowale. We'll see if the Texans add more in the draft. Mack just turned 26 last month.

The Texans have agreed to a 1-year, $4 million deal to keep TE Pharaoh Brown on the roster. Brown quietly led all Houston TEs with 34 targets last season. We'd still bet on Brevin Jordan 1st among Texans receiving TEs for 2022, but it could be a crowded position group once again. Houston previously re-signed TE Anthony Auclair, but he has served primarily as a blocker.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that LB Christian Kirksey is signing a 2-year deal to remain with the Texans. Kirksey was a full-time player for the 12 starts he made in Houston last year (among 13 appearances). It was his healthiest season since 2017, disrupted primarily by a 3-week absence for a thumb fracture. This contract points to Kirksey retaining a starting job under new HC Lovie Smith, who spent last season as the DC. We'll see who else lines up with Kirksey. Kamu Grugier-Hill -- the corps' other 2021 playing-time leader -- and Neville Hewitt are set to hit free agency next week.

Lovie Smith has been named Texans HC. He has 11 seasons of NFL HC experience -- 9 with the Bears, 2 with the Bucs -- compiling an 89-87 record. Smith left the NFL from 2016 to 2020 to coach Illinois, where he went 17-39. He returned to the pros this past year to serve as Texans DC. Houston is expected to promote passing-game coordinator Pep Hamilton to OC, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

The Texans fired HC David Culley and OC Tim Kelly. These guys were set up to fail with an expansion-level roster and might have actually overachieved by winning 4 games this season. GM Nick Caserio is expected to tap into the Patriots pipeline for his next HC.

Texans WR Brandin Cooks suffered a knee injury in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game vs. the Titans and is officially questionable to return. We'll pass along an update when we get one.

Texans S Justin Reid came away from Sunday's loss to the 49ers with "slight" ankle and knee injuries, according to Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 in Houston. DE Jonathan Greenard also left the game with a shoulder injury. We'll see about the status for each player this week.

Texans WR Brandin Cooks has been activated from the COVID list. He'll return for Sunday's game vs. the 49ers. Cooks posted 8-101 and 7-102-2 lines in his last 2 outings before missing Week 16.

Texans WR Brandin Cooks was not activated from the COVID list and will miss Sunday's game vs. the Chargers, ESPN's Field Yates reports. Cooks' absence leaves WR Nico Collins as the best bet for targets in Houston -- but he's only in play in DFS tournaments.

The Texans on Wednesday placed WR Brandin Cooks and K Ka'imi Fairbairn on the COVID list. HC David Culley has said that LB Eric Wilson -- who also landed on the COVID list Wednesday -- is the team's only unvaccinated player. So Cooks and Fairbairn have a chance to return for Sunday's game against the Chargers. You should plan as though you won't have either guy available, though.

The Texans have placed DE Jonathan Greenard on the COVID list following a positive test. We'll see whether he has a shot to return for Sunday's game against the Chargers.

11:39am EST 12/19/21

Texans RB Rex Burkhead (hip, quad) is active for today’s game vs. the Jaguars. It’s a slight surprise after HC David Culley said early in the week that Burkhead would miss this one. He figures to continue splitting backfield duties with RB David Johnson. RB Royce Freeman might also stay involved.

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