NFL Free Agency Fantasy Fallout: Projecting the Texans offense with Brandin Cooks and David Johnson

At least it never gets boring in Houston. On Thursday night the Texans dealt a second round pick to Los Angeles for Brandin Cooks, completing their offseason overhaul at the skill positions. They’ve now added Cooks, David Johnson and Randall Cobb. And, of course, they lost DeAndre Hopkins. Let’s start with Cooks’ value in his new home. 

Cooks isn’t DeAndre Hopkins, but from 2015-2018 he was easily one of the top-15 wide receivers in Fantasy. He finished between seventh and 13th every year in that stretch, averaging 1,149 yards and seven touchdowns per season. Cooks played in three different cities, but maintained his Fantasy excellent wherever he went. Then it all fell apart in 2019. 

Cooks battled injuries and inefficiency last year before ultimately falling to the back of the line for targets with the Rams. Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee were all far more involved. It’s hard to know how much of that was due to injury, but Cooks is still just 26 years old, so if he’s healthy, I will project him as the very good wide receiver he’s been for most of his career. Just remember Cooks’ concussion history and know that there may be an elevated injury risk.

How many targets he’ll get is a different question. When everyone is healthy the Texans have too many mouths to feed. I’m starting Cooks off with a 21% target share, which bumps Will Fuller down to 17%, and Kenny Stills and Randall Cobb fall further into Fantasy obscurity. The only caveat I’d add is that Bill O’Brien and Deshaun Watson have traditionally force-fed their No. 1. They just don’t have anyone with that profile on the roster.

The one positive out of all of this? I feel better about Watson. His cast of help is now about average when they’re all healthy and the Texans have enough depth to handle an injury. At the very least, I don’t believe they’re going to hold him back. He’s back in my top-five quarterbacks for 2020, in a virtual tie with Russell Wilson for fourth

Here are my new projection for the Texans as of April 9:

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