3 Texans Players Contenders Should Poach

Adam Taylor McKillop
David Johnson is one of three Houston Texans players that NFL contenders should poach with the team's potential sell-off.
David Johnson is one of three Houston Texans players that NFL contenders should poach with the team's potential sell-off. / Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Heading into the official start of the 2021 NFL season, there's one franchise that most experts see as the worst team in football. That's the Houston Texans. Amidst the legal troubles of Deshaun Watson and with a team fresh off a 4-12 finish in 2020, it's not going to be easily watchable football in Houston this season.

Recent reports suggested that the Texans are "willing to listen to offers for pretty much any of its veterans." Despite the lowly expectations, this Texans roster still possesses a few talented options and contending NFL teams may be in the market to poach some of these veterans.

Currently, the Texans own an over/under win total set at just 4 wins, in addition to last-place +25000 odds to win the Super Bowl on FanDuel Sportsbook. Check out three veteran Texans that NFL contenders should consider poaching ahead of the regular season.

1. David Johnson, Running Back

Houston's leading rusher from 2020 David Johnson already enters the season in a newly-crowded Texans backfield. With the addition of veteran Mark Ingram and Philip Lindsay, Johnson's role appears to be deteriorating quickly. However, he could be a cheap option for NFL contenders to go after via trade. Johnson's known for his abilities as a pass-catching running back. In fact, he's tallied 17 receiving touchdowns across six NFL seasons and caught 71.7% of his targets last year. The 29-year-old back also recorded 691 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground in just 12 games last season.

2. Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver

Entering his eighth NFL season, wide receiver Brandin Cooks is another potentially intriguing veteran contending teams could target. In his lone season with the Texans last year, Cooks led all Houston receivers with 119 targets, 81 receptions, 1,150 yards while adding six touchdowns. Will Fuller moved onto the Miami Dolphins this offseason which leaves Cooks as the No. 1 receiving option in 2021. But, at 27-years-old, he's another candidate to be traded. Teams already struggling with wide receiver injuries such as the Baltimore Ravens may consider seeing what sort of return is required for a player of Cooks' caliber.

3. Whitney Mercilus, EDGE

The third veteran on this list shifts over to the defense with edge rusher Whitney Mercilus. The long-time Texan enters in 10th year in Houston after finishing second on the team with 4.0 sacks last year. The 31-year-old is several years removed from a 12.0-sack campaign in 2015, but clearly still has ability to get after the passer. He'd be a depth option for most NFL contenders, but pass-rush is always important for NFL defenses. Potential contenders such as the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans finished in the bottom-10 in sacks last season and may still look for depth at the position.

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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.