Darren Fells will compete for playing time and targets in the Texans offense this summer. Known more for his blocking skills than his receiving traits, he's unlikely to evolve into a capable Fantasy starter. Leave him off rosters until his situation changes.
Fells is signing a one-year contract with the Texans, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Fells was released by the Browns on March 10 after catching 11 passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games during the 2018 campaign. He only has 68 receptions in 70 NFL appearances, but 10 of them have gone for a score and he also has a strong reputation for blocking. Fells has a nice opportunity to compete for playing time ahead of his age-33 season, as the Texans figure to have an open competition at tight end with Ryan Griffin, Jordan Thomas, Jordan Akins and Jerell Adams all in the mix for snaps.
The Browns released Fells on Sunday, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports. Per Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns dangled Fells on the trade market but were unable to find a suitable partner. Fells doesn't bring much to the table as a pass catcher, failing to reach 200 receiving yards in four of five pro campaigns. That said, his ability as a blocker has allowed him to maintain a consistent workload the past four seasons -- between 32 and 61 percent of the offensive snaps in a given year -- so the 32-year-old should garner plenty of interest on the open market. Fellow blocking specialist Nick Boyle received a three-year, $18 million contract from the Ravens last week.
Fells ended his 2018 campaign with 11 catches (12 targets) for 117 yards and three touchdowns. Used as mainly a blocking tight end, Fells wasn't utilized much on offense during his first year in Cleveland, as he spent the bulk of his time backing up starter David Njoku. Fells signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Browns last offseason, which will become fully guaranteed if he's on the roster on the third day of the 2019 league year.
Fells secured one of two targets for 49 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 45-42 loss to the Raiders. Fells spent most of his 39 snaps (48 percent) run-blocking, but the veteran was able to make a huge splash when Baker Mayfield found him in the middle of the field for a 49-yard touchdown in the second quarter of Sunday's game. David Njoku is still the tight end to own in fantasy leagues, though Fells could steal a few red zone targets as the season progresses.
Fells brought in two of his targets for 15 yards in Sunday's loss to the Saints. David Njoku continues to see the majority of targets at tight end, as Fells now has three receptions on three targets for 27 yards this season. Primarily a run blocker, the veteran isn't likely to play a major fantasy role anytime soon.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New Orleans Saints||14||6.22|
|3||09/22||@Los Angeles Chargers||10||5.67|
|6||10/13||@Kansas City Chiefs||31||9.56|
|13||12/02||New England Patriots||18||7.37|
|16||12/22||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||7.88|
|3 Year Avg||19||14||149||2||8||10.64||26|