Shark Bites

Texans RB Duke Johnson won't play in his new team's 2nd preseason game, according to insider Aaron Wilson. Johnson is still dealing with the hamstring injury that had him sidelined at Browns camp. We haven't heard a target date for his return, but he needs the practice reps with his new offense.

Texans HC Bill O'Brien gave an update on WR Keke Coutee's ankle injury Saturday, and he didn't sound positive. Seemingly answering a question about whether Coutee or QB A.J. McCarron would be back soon, the coach said he didn't "expect either one of them to be back soon relative to what soon means," according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. O'Brien added: "Like tomorrow? No. A week from now? Probably not. We'll just keep playing it by ear." We'll see if Coutee's injury lingers beyond that rough timeline projection.

Texans WR Keke Coutee has been diagnosed with an ankle injury that "isn't regarded as serious," according to the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson. Exhale. This looked like a potentially serious injury when it happened, but it now sounds like Coutee has a shot to be ready for the start of the season. We'll look for further updates on his status. For now, we're not moving him down the WR rankings.

Texans WR Keke Coutee suffered an apparent right knee injury in Thursday night's preseason opener. He was in obvious pain and was carted back to the locker room. "It doesn't look good," longtime beat writer John McClain tweeted. We'll update Coutee's status as soon as we learn more.

The Browns have traded RB Duke Johnson to the Texans in exchange for a conditional 4th-round pick that can become a 3rd-rounder based on undisclosed conditions, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Johnson has been asking out of Cleveland all offseason, and the Texans cutting ties with RB D'Onta Foreman finally did the trick. In Houston, Johnson will slide right in as the #2 RB and dominate passing-down work. We'll see how apt the Texans are to use him on early downs. RB Lamar Miller has been good-not-great in that role over the past 3 seasons. Consider Johnson a RB3 with upside for now. We'll be keeping a close eye on his usage. Downgrade Miller to RB3 status now that he'll be losing passing-down snaps. The Johnson addition is another boon to QB Deshaun Watson's fantasy outlook. Meanwhile in Cleveland, RB Nick Chubb is now set up to play an every-down role. He'll still need to contend with RB Kareem Hunt over the 2nd half of the season, but Chubb's fantasy stock gets a nice boost here.

Update: The Browns will receive a 3rd-round pick if Johnson is active for 10+ games, according to The Athletic's Zac Jackson.

After watching the first few days of camp, the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson believes Texans WR Will Fuller has made a "full recovery" from last year's torn ACL. "He remains one of the most dangerous deep threats in the game," Wilson writes. Fuller has had trouble staying healthy through 3 NFL seasons, but he's averaged 54.5 yards and .65 TDs per game over the last 2. Only 13 WRs scored more PPR points than Fuller over his 7 outings from Week 2 to 8 last year. If he's truly back to pre-injury form, Fuller should return nice value at his current WR33 ADP.

Browns RB Duke Johnson missed Saturday's practice with a right hamstring injury. "We don't know the specifics," HC Freddie Kitchens told the Akron Beacon Journal. "We are going to see how it progresses. Duke is a quick healer, but we want to be cautious. We have to make sure the guy is healthy and that it is not something that lingers." RB Kareem Hunt has also sat out camp practices to this point with a groin injury.

Texans DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney doesn't plan to report until just before the start of the regular season, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Houston franchise-tagged Clowney in the offseason, and then the 2 sides failed to reach a longer-term deal before the deadline to do so with tagged players. He's not officially holding out, because Clowney isn't under contract until he signs the franchise tender. Clowney has overcome early-career durability issues to appear in all but 1 game over the past 2 seasons. But missing all of camp and the preseason adds some risk on that front. Clowney's value to the Texans D is greater than his IDP worth, though he's more valuable where he qualifies as a DL.

The Texans removed DE J.J. Watt from the PUP list in time for him to take part in the team's 1st training-camp practice Thursday. Watt had a "cleanup" knee procedure way back in January, NFL Network reported at the time. His quick activation confirms that we don't need to worry about anything.

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins has been activated from the PUP list. He was reportedly dealing with a minor ankle issue, but it's not a concern now. Hopkins has missed just 1 game through 6 NFL seasons.

Texans WR Will Fuller (knee) has avoided the PUP list to open training camp. He tore his ACL on October 25 and was sidelined this spring. We'll see how much he's able to do in camp, but the Houston Chronicle confirms that Fuller is on track to be ready for Week 1. He ranked 14th among WRs in PPR points during his 7 games from Week 2 to 8 last season. Fuller was a volatile producer over that span, finishing 3 weeks as a top-10 WR but 2 outside the top 60. Consider him a risk/reward WR3 in fantasy drafts.

Texans DE J.J. Watt is opening training camp on the active/PUP list. He had a knee "cleaned up" in January and is likely just getting a little extra rest to rebound from that. We've seen no indication the star DE has a worrisome issue, and he's coming off his 1st 16-game season in 3 years (with 16 sacks). Expect Watt to be fine for IDP fantasy football drafts.

The Texans have placed WR DeAndre Hopkins on the active/PUP list to begin training camp. Hopkins is coming off a shoulder injury that included tearing ligaments from the bone. He avoided offseason surgery, though, and has indicated he expects to be feeling better this season than he did last. Hopkins played through a foot issue as well for most of 2018. We'll watch him through camp but aren't currently worried for his regular-season status.

Pro Football Talk tweeted that Tampa Bay is "a team to watch as a potential Duke Johnson destination." We're guessing the tweet is based on whispers the site has heard around the league. The fit certainly makes sense considering the Bucs are sporting 1 of the league's worst RB groups in Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber and Andre Ellington. Johnson would immediately become the team's best pass-catching back and could easily emerge as the lead ball-carrier. He's worth a later-round pick in fantasy drafts right now in hopes he finds a new home before Week 1. In Cleveland, though, he'll struggle for even RB3 value in PPR leagues behind Nick Chubb.

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins revealed that he played through serious pain in 2018. "Last year was tough, not just physically but mentally," Hopkins said Saturday, via the Houston Chronicle. "It's the most banged up I've ever been playing football. I was dealing with serious injuries a lot of people would have sat down for. But we had a good team that depended on me, and I never gave a thought to not playing unless the doctors told me I couldn’t." Hopkins also shared that he tore ligaments in his shoulder “completely off the bone.” Wow. The 27-year-old set career highs with 115 catches and 1,572 yards last season. He’s fully expected to be ready for training camp.

The Texans have already dumped TE Ryan Griffin, who led the position in targets for them last season. Second-year man Jordan Thomas has spent OTAs taking the starter reps, and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle says he's "building a case as the top candidate to be a starter." Thomas edged fellow rookie Jordan Akins in playing time last year, despite arriving 2 rounds later in the draft. We're highly intrigued by the long-term outlook for 2019 third-round TE Kahale Warring, but Thomas looks like the best bet for 2019 production. That said, this isn't a high-upside situation, given the TE crowd, the talent at WR and the history of Bill O'Brien TEs. Consider Thomas a late option in best-ball drafts and FFPC formats.

The MMQB's Albert Breer hears that Texans TE Kahale Warring impressed in last weekend's rookie minicamp. The 3rd-rounder didn't even play football until his senior year of high school, so he's obviously a project. "But the raw ability could help him carve out a role as a matchup guy in Year 1," Breer writes. Warring might find targets tough to come by, though, in a passing game featuring DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Keke Coutee. We're not spending a pick on Warring in early redrafts, but he's a fine target late in dynasty rookie drafts.

The Texans selected San Diego State TE Kahale Warring in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Warring didn’t play a lick of football until his senior year of high school in 2014. He totaled just 20 catches across his first 3 college seasons before leading a run-heavy Aztecs team with 31 catches last year. The 6'5, 252-pounder registered a strong 79th percentile SPARQ score at the Combine and is also 1 of the best blocking TEs in this class. Warring will find opportunity in Houston, where the depth chart consists of Ryan Griffin, Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins.

Texans WR Will Fuller is on track to be ready for the 2019 opener after last October's torn ACL. "Everything has gone well, no setbacks," GM Brian Gaine said. "Everything trending in right direction. Looking good." Fuller will be over 10 months removed from the injury when the season kicks off. He'd ideally be able to get some work in during training camp and the preseason, but we'll monitor his progress as we move toward the summer. Fuller has appeared in just 17 games over the past 2 seasons but averaged 54.5 yards and .65 TDs per outing.

The Texans are placing the franchise tag on DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney. The 26-year-old posted 9 and 9.5 sacks the past 2 seasons. He carries much more IDP value in fantasy football leagues that give him DL eligibility -- and Clowney probably should in most places. Pro Football Focus counted his most snaps, by far, at the "right end outside" position -- the spot opposite the "LEO" pass-rusher spot that has gained prominence as former Seattle defensive coaches have spread around the league. Where he's merely a LB, Clowney figures to remain more of an IDP spot starter.

 
 
 

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