"There are people in league circles who believe [Texans QB] Deshaun Watson will not play this season," ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Watson, of course, faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault. Houston police and the NFL are both looking into the matter. The Texans spent their 1st pick of the draft (67th overall) on Stanford QB Davis Mills, another sign that Watson's future with the team is up in the air. We'll continue to stay on top of this situation, but Watson is a high-risk pick in early fantasy drafts. His FFPC ADP has sunk to Round 11.
The Texans made Miami (FL) TE Brevin Jordan a Round 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. A top ranked TE out of high school, Jordan posted 32-287-4 as a true freshman at Miami before combining for 73-1,071-9 over his final 2 seasons. Jordan brings slot experience along with impressive post-catch ability. However, he’s undersized (6’3, 247) and unimpressive as a blocker. Despite the negatives, it’s still a shock that he came off the board as the TE9. Houston is a solid long-term landing spot given how desperate they are for playmakers. Beyond Jordan, the Texans current TE depth includes Jordan Akins, Pharoah Brown and Kahale Warring, among others.
The Texans traded up to take Michigan WR Nico Collins with the 89th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Bad Michigan passing games muted Collins’ numbers in 2018 (38-632-6) and 2019 (37-729-7). Then he opted out of the 2020 campaign. But Collins posted solid market shares, flashes dominant contested-catch ability on tape and is 1 of the biggest, most athletic WRs in this class. Collins measured 6’4, 215 pounds at his Pro Day and ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash with a big 37.5-inch vertical. He earned a 95th percentile Relative Athletic Score. Collins is a boom/bust prospect but has the upside to develop into a fantasy difference-maker. Houston’s QB situation is a concern, but there’s plenty of opportunity for immediate playing time here with Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb the only established WRs on the depth chart.
The Texans selected Stanford QB Davis Mills with the 67th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. A 2-year college starter, Mills posted a 65.8% completion rate, 8.0 yards per attempt and 18 TDs vs. 8 INTs. He was the #1 QB in the 2017 recruiting class (ahead of Tua Tagovailoa), so there's obviously ability here. But Mills is largely unproven. He's also suffered multiple left knee injuries, which teams were reportedly concerned about. Houston's QB situation, of course, is up in the air with Deshaun Watson's legal troubles. Mills joins Tyrod Taylor as QB depth for the Texans.
A complaint against Texans QB Deshaun Watson has officially been filed with the Houston Police Department. Prior to this, all the sexual assault claims against Watson were of the civil variety. It's unclear exactly what this means for Watson's standing with the league. The NFL can place him on the commissioner's exempt list and/or suspend Watson even without a guilty charge. Watson is obviously a risk/reward pick in current best-ball drafts.
The Texans signed WR Chris Conley to a 1-year deal. A plus athlete, Conley has yet to emerge as a consistent producer through 6 NFL seasons. His 47-775-5 line with the Jaguars in 2019 stands as his best. Conley will battle with Randall Cobb, Keke Coutee and Chad Hansen for targets behind Brandin Cooks in Houston.
The Texans signed RB Phillip Lindsay to a 1-year, $3.25 million deal. He joins incumbent starter David Johnson and Mark Ingram, who signed a 1-year, $2.5 million deal last week, in Houston's backfield. This looks like a 3-headed attack in what will be a bad offense if QB Deshaun Watson is traded away.
The Broncos have rescinded the restricted free-agent tender on RB Phillip Lindsay, leaving him free to sign elsewhere. Despite averaging 4.8 yards per carry the past 3 seasons, Lindsay never seemed wanted in Denver. A new home figures to be good news for his fantasy value -- although we'll see exactly where he ends up. The Broncos' RB depth chart now reads: Melvin Gordon, Royce Freeman, Mike Boone. We'll see if they add to the group, but Gordon's fantasy value gets a boost with Lindsay's departure.
A sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against Texans QB Deshaun Watson. The complaint alleges that Watson "went too far" during a massage. “I have not yet seen the complaint, but I know this: I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect," Watson posted to Twitter on Tuesday night. "The plaintiff’s lawyer claims that this isn’t about money, but before filing suit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I quickly rejected. Unlike him, this isn’t about money for me — it’s about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that.” We'll see where this goes. Watson, of course, continues to be the subject of trade rumors, with the Panthers reportedly hottest on his tail.
QB Tyrod Taylor has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Texans, according to NFL Network. The contract will pay him $6 million, with a top value of $12.5 million through incentives. Tom Pelissero calls it "similar" to what Cam Newton and Jameis Winston have gotten recently. That range in value says Taylor could wind up as anything from Houston's backup to the fill-in should Deshaun Watson get traded. We'll see where the situation goes from here.
The Texans have agreed to a 2-year deal with LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, worth "up to $8 million," according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Pierre-Louis figures to compete with Christian Kirksey for work next to Zach Cunningham in a Houston defense that recently sent Benardrick McKinney to Miami. Tyrell Adams showed us last year that there's upside to the role, so we'll see how the situation plays out.
The Broncos are giving restricted free-agent RB Phillip Lindsay the "low" tender, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. We're still waiting to find out the exact level Lindsay will be tendered at, but it now looks more likely that a team signs him to an offer sheet that Denver doesn't match. We'll see where this goes, but Melvin Gordon continues to appear locked in as the Broncos' lead back in 2021. Lindsay's departure would only boost his fantasy value, of course.
Update: NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that it's an original-round tender for Lindsay, a former undrafted free agent. That means the Broncos would receive no compensation if another teams signs Lindsay to an offer sheet that Denver doesn't match.
The Texans have agreed to a 1-year deal with RB Mark Ingram, worth "up to" $3 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Ingram will join a backfield that currently includes David Johnson, Buddy Howell, Dontrell Hilliard and Scottie Phillips. We'll see whether Houston adds anything else to the group. Perhaps more importantly, we're all still waiting to see who will QB the Texans this fall. Ingram's arrival makes it even easier to remain unexcited about Johnson in current best-ball drafting. Ingram rated below average in Football Outsiders rushing DVOA last season and drew a career-low 6.5 carries per game with the run-heavy Ravens, though. There's a chance he doesn't make any impact in 2021.
The Texans and RB David Johnson have agreed to a restructured 1-year contract. He'll make "up to" $6 million with $4.25 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a pay cut from the $8 million Johnson was originally scheduled to make this season -- but it should lock him in as Houston's lead back in 2021. Johnson averaged a career-best 4.7 yards per carry in his Texans debut last year, finishing with 691 rushing yards and 6 scores in 12 games. He added a 33-314-2 receiving line to finish 16th among RBs in PPR points per game.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Texans QB Deshaun Watson has "officially" requested a trade. "He actually did it weeks ago," Schefter asserts, adding that new HC David Culley "will not alter Watson's thinking." The QB's no-trade clause complicates the process, but Houston should find no shortage of suitors for the 25-year-old stud. We'll see where this goes ... and who succeeds Watson at the helm of the Texans offense.
According to multiple reports, the Texans will be hiring David Culley as their new HC. Culley has been coaching in the NFL since 1994, spending the past 2 seasons as the passing-game coordinator, WRs coach and assistant HC in Baltimore. Before that, he spent 2 years as Buffalo's QBs coach, 18 years working under Andy Reid -- 14 as WRs coach in Philly and then 4 more as WRs coach and assistant HC in K.C. -- 3 years as WRs coach in Pittsburgh and 2 years coaching WRs for Tampa Bay. Culley has yet to be a full-on OC at any stop and has coached across multiple regimes, so it might be tough to nail down his scheme. The most important fantasy issue, though, will be whether he can win over Houston QB Deshaun Watson. We'll be watching this situation over the next couple of months.
Update: Culley will retain OC Tim Kelly, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Kelly has spent the past 2 seasons in that role.
The Ravens released RB Mark Ingram. The move was a no-brainer, with Ingram due to make $5 million in 2021. The 31-year-old ranked near the bottom of the league in missed tackles forced and yards after contact per attempt this past season and was a healthy scratch for most of the games down the stretch. He figures to latch on elsewhere at least for training camp this summer but isn't a good bet for a 2021 fantasy impact. J.K. Dobbins is set to enter next season as Baltimore's lead back. We'll see if the Ravens bring back restricted free agent Gus Edwards and/or make any other additions to the backfield.
Texans QB Deshaun Watson injured his right arm in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game vs. the Bengals. His arm was hit and bent awkwardly just as he was attempting a throw. We'll update Watson's status when we know more. QB A.J. McCarron is Houston's backup.
Update: Watson was able to return for Houston's final possession.
Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay (hip) has been placed on IR. He had already been ruled out for tomorrow's game vs. the Chargers and will now also miss the finale against the Raiders. RB Melvin Gordon should dominate backfield touches in those game.
The Broncos have ruled RB Phillip Lindsay out for Sunday's game against the Chargers. He's dealing with hip and knee injuries. That leaves Melvin Gordon as the clear lead back in an upside matchup. Gordon looks like a solid-to-strong option for Week 16 fantasy lineups. RB Royce Freeman (hip) is also questionable for the game.
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