Shark Bites

Texans HC Bill O'Brien said Monday that QB Deshaun Watson (knee) is "on schedule" to participate in training camp. Reports on Watson's recovery from last November's torn ACL have been glowing all offseason. He'll be about 10 months removed from the injury when the 2018 campaign kicks off. We'll see whether his mobility is compromised, but it's worth noting that Watson has experience returning from this injury after tearing his ACL at Clemson back in 2014.

Texans HC Bill O'Brien plans to deploy a committee backfield with RBs Lamar Miller and D'Onta Foreman, according to ESPN's Sarah Barshop. Foreman first needs to prove healthy after tearing his Achilles in November. He averaged a decent 4.2 yards per carry before going down. And his last game was his best: a 65-yard, 2-TD effort on 10 carries. Miller, meanwhile, has mustered just 4.0 and 3.7 yards per carry in 2 seasons with the Texans. He should at least remain the team's primary pass-catching back and will be the better early-season fantasy bet. But Foreman could take over as the primary ball-carrier by midseason.

The Texans added Texas Tech WR Keke Coutee in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Coutee is 1 of the most electric receivers in this year’s class, with 4.4 speed and loads of wiggle. He averaged 15.2 yards per catch over his 3-year college career and enjoyed a breakout 93-1,429-10 2017 campaign. Coutee ranked 10th in yards per route run among all draft-eligible receivers last year, according to Pro Football Focus. The knocks against him? He’s coming from a pass-friendly, non-pro-style offense. And he goes just 5’10, 181 pounds with sub-5th percentile arm length, wingspan and hand size. Coutee’s big-play ability should translate to the pros if he’s deployed properly, though. He has a shot to slide in as the Texans’ #3 WR behind DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Houston is a building a strong WR corps for QB Deshaun Watson.

The Texans selected Central Florida TE Jordan Akins in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He's undersized at 6'3, 249 pounds and is a pure pass-catching TE. Akins spent 4 years trying to make it in minor league baseball before going back to the gridiron. He boosted his yardage each year at UCF, topping out with 515 yards and 4 TDs on 32 grabs this past year. He finds opportunity in Houston with only Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson to beat out. Akins is worth a late-round flier in dynasty rookie drafts.

Houston made its 1st pick of the 2018 NFL Draft by taking S Justin Reid in the 3rd round. Some draft analysts projected Reid as a potential 1st-rounder, but ESPN's Louis Riddick pointed out a propensity to give up big plays. We don't mind that as IDP owners, as long as he can put up numbers. Texans safeties haven't done much of that in a while, though, so don't get over-excited.

Texans HC Bill O'Brien told NFL Network's James Palmer that he's installing an "entirely different offense" that will cater to QB Deshaun Watson's strengths while reducing his risk of injury. Houston averaged a whopping 39 points over a 5-game span prior to Watson's torn ACL last year. But O'Brien is hoping to keep his squad a step ahead of opposing defenses making adjustments to Watson and Co. The new scheme will be complicated by the fact that Watson will be spending most of the offseason rehabbing that knee injury. We'll see how much he's able to do in training camp -- and if he's able to get on the field during the preseason. He won't be among the safer picks in 2018 fantasy drafts, but Watson's ceiling extends to the very top of the QB rankings.

Texans GM Brian Gaine said at the Combine Wednesday that he's "optimistic" that RB D'Onta Foreman will be ready for the start of the 2018 season. His rookie campaign ended last November with a torn Achilles -- an injury that can sometimes take a full year to return from. Teams are always optimistic about their injured players at this time of the year, so take this one with a grain of salt. But Foreman's rehab will be worth monitoring closely this summer. If healthy, he has a real shot to emerge as Houston's lead back. Foreman averaged 4.2 yards per carry last year vs. Lamar Miller's 3.7.

Texans QB Deshaun Watson (knee) is on track to participate in OTAs, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. His rehab is ahead of schedule from what was a "clean" ACL tear, per Rapoport. Being available for most of the offseason is significant for a 2nd-year QB. Watson is obviously on pace to be ready for Week 1 of the 2018 campaign.

Texans DE J.J. Watt says things are going well as he works his way back from the broken leg that ended his season in Week 5. “It’s doing really, really well,” Watt said, per ESPN's Sarah Barshop. “[I’m] very excited about where it’s going. I’m on track for training camp. But my assumption is that it shouldn’t be any problem, but if it needs a couple extra weeks, whatever, we’ll take it. From my understanding and from everybody here’s understanding, the way it’s looking, everything’s going really well. There shouldn’t be any issues.” We'll keep an eye on him as training camp approaches. A healthy Watt remains a potentially dominant force both on the field and IDP fantasy football leagues.

Texans WR Will Fuller will undergo "minor" knee surgery, according to insider John McClain. He's expected to be "full go in a few weeks." Fuller was banged up throughout his 2nd NFL season, breaking his collarbone in August, fracturing his ribs in November and then hurting his knee in the season finale. It at least sounds like he'll be ready for the offseason program.

We have our 1st "ahead of schedule" report of the year, folks! Texans HC Bill O'Brien said Tuesday that QB Deshaun Watson is "ahead of schedule" in his rehab from October's torn ACL and could even participate a bit in OTAs. He'll be about 10.5 months removed from the injury when the 2018 season kicks off. It's obviously early, but we're tentatively expecting Watson to be ready come Week 1.

Texans WR Will Fuller suffered a knee injury in the 1st half of Sunday's finale against the Colts and will not return. He finishes with 28 catches for 423 yards and 7 TDs in 10 games. All 7 of Fuller's scores came from QB DeShaun Watson. He'll be a WR3 with upside in 2018 fantasy drafts as long as Watson is ready for Week 1.

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (calf) is out for Sunday’s game against the Colts. That leaves Will Fuller as the #1 WR in a plus matchup. But between his inconsistencies and having T.J. Yates under center, Fuller is just a risk/reward WR3.

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins is dealing with a calf injury and is not expected to play in Sunday's finale against the Colts, according to insider Aaron Wilson. It'll be the 1st missed game of his career. Hopkins leaves behind a whopping 11.6 targets, but they're not worth a whole lot coming from QB T.J. Yates. Houston's passing game is 1 to avoid in Week 17 fantasy lineups.

Texans DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is active for today’s game against the Jaguars. HC Bill O’Brien said during the week that he expected Clowney to play, but the star pass rusher missed all 3 days of practice. He’s risky as an IDP but worth playing in DL slots where eligible.

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (toe) is active for today’s game against the Jaguars. He missed practice on both Thursday and Friday, but we never heard much concern about his availability for this one. The matchup with Jacksonville’s top-ranked WR defense is a bigger concern than the toe. Hopkins sits on the WR1/WR2 borderline in the Week 15 Rankings.

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (toe) will play against the Jaguars, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. We never heard any concern about Hopkins' availability, despite the fact that he missed Thursday and Friday's practices. Even in a matchup with Jacksonville's top-ranked WR defense, Hopkins is a must-start in season-long fantasy leagues.

Texans DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Jaguars. He missed practice all week, but HC Bill O'Brien said Friday that he expects Clowney to play, according to the Houston Chronicle. We'll confirm his status Sunday morning.

Texans RB Alfred Blue (concussion) isn’t listed on the final injury report and will play against the Jaguars on Sunday. He’s not a fantasy option but figures to steal a handful of touches from RB Lamar Miller.

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (toe) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Jaguars after sitting out on both Thursday and Friday. HC Bill O’Brien said Friday afternoon that he expects Hopkins to play. We’ll find out for sure by noon ET on Sunday. Even at less than 100% and in a brutal matchup, Hopkins would be extremely tough to bench in season-long fantasy leagues.

 
 
 

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