NFL Free Agency Fantasy Fallout: David Johnson and Randall Cobb not enough to replace DeAndre Hopkins

When the Houston Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins (and a pick) for David Johnson (and more picks) the first thing that became evident in their projections was how much room they had for new weapons. Their second big move was to add Randall Cobb to the receiving corps to help fill that void. I can’t say that’s the most exciting way they could have done it. 

More than 28% of the Texans targets over the past half decade have gone to Hopkins. Now in line to fill that void are Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, Cobb and Keke Coutee. Neither Fuller or Stills has ever shown the ability to earn significant targets, and Fuller’s injury history is long enough to convince even the most skeptical that injury-prone is a real thing. 

I did boost the target share for both Fuller and Stills. Fuller is now a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with 110 targets in my projections. But remember that’s a 16-game projection. He’s never played more than 14 games in an NFL season.  

Stills and Cobb are more deep flex options that will become No. 3s whenever Fuller misses time. They should be drafted for now, but not before the double-digit rounds.

As for David Johnson, in the running game I think it’s fair to project a similar workload as to what Carlos Hyde saw in 2019. I still think Johnson is a better runner than Hyde, but the gap between them isn’t as big as it once was. Hyde received 56% of the team’s rush attempts last year, but only 3% of their targets. That’s because of Duke Johnson. I don’t have a strong lean as to which Johnson will receive the most targets, so I’m splitting the baby for now. It is possible the Texans have both of them on the field to help make up for the loss of Hopkins.

This makes Johnson a low-end No. 2 running back. There’s a lot of upside and risk at that cost. 

Finally, this trade is a mess for Deshaun Watson. Here’s my new projection for him and the rest of the Texans as of March 17.

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