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To the untrained eye, it didn’t look too bad when it happened. Will Fuller landed awkwardly and stayed down grabbing his knee on a deep pass attempt in the fourth quarter Thursday night, but was able to leave the field under his own power and walk to the medical tent on the sideline. Unfortunately, the injury was worse than expected, much worse:
The injury comes at a devastating time for Fuller, who was finally looking healthy after hamstring injuries had slowed him down early in the season. He was enjoying his much-anticipated breakout season, averaging 71.9 yards per game after his massive five-catch, 124-yard performance — with a touchdown! — Thursday against the Dolphins. Now, barring some unexpected good news in the MRI, his season will come to a close after just seven games, the second consecutive abbreviated season for the third-year pro.
This is obviously bad news for Fuller, the Texans, and Fantasy players who were hoping Fuller’s connection with Deshaun Watson could carry them in the second half of the season, but there is a silver lining for the latter two parties: The Texans have a ready-made replacement for Fuller ready to go.
Rookie Keke Coutee has battled injury issues of his own, and was unable to play Thursday after aggravating a lingering hamstring injury in the previous outing. But he’s shown plenty of upside in limited action, combining for 17 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown in his first two career games in Weeks 4 and 5 — when Fuller was limited by a hamstring injury.
Coutee isn’t an exact replacement for Fuller, of course — the latter dominates down the field with 4.32 speed, while the former has more impressive agility testing and has proven more adept in the short field in his short time in the NFL. Of course, Coutee also ran a 4.43 40-yard-dash at the combine and hit for plenty of big plays in college, so he’s got that in his tool box, even if he may not be the near-automatic bet Fuller is to hit on a big play every game.
Still, this is a great spot for any secondary receiver to be in, with Deshaun Watson proving well recovered him his own ACL tear a year ago and DeAndre Hopkins garnering the bulk of the attention from opposing defenses. In the seven games either has played, Coutee or Fuller has come down with 10-plus Fantasy points in non-PPR scoring in six of them. There are points to be had here.
Fuller’s season is seemingly over, and that’s a real bummer. But the Fantasy season must move on, and Coutee is out there freely available in 64 percent of CBS Fantasy leagues, making him arguably the most obvious waiver wire target in the league as we look ahead very early to Week 9. He’ll need to get over this hamstring issue, but with extra time off before the Texans’ Week 9 matchup with the Broncos, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him out there.
And it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Coutee on plenty of Fantasy playoff rosters at the end of the season.
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 8?Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 5 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.