When the Cleveland Browns traded Duke Johnson to the Houston Texans on Wednesday, it had obvious implications for both backfields. But with Johnson doing almost as much work catching passes out of the backfield as he does running, it's not just the Texans' running backs that are going to be impacted.
Keke Coutee, who suffered an ankle injury that is not expected to be a major one in the Texans' 2019 preseason opener, could find his role changing significantly with the addition of Johnson.
Injuries limited Coutee to only six games in his 2018 rookie campaign, so getting banged up already (major or not) is a concern. But even if we ignore that issue, the way he was used in his rookie season leaves him with the potential to lose a significant chunk of volume to Duke Johnson.
Coutee was targeted a very promising 41 times (6.8 per game) as a rookie. His average depth of target was only 5.1 yards though -- the second lowest for any NFL wideout with at least 40 targets on the year. He was regularly targeted behind the line of scrimmage.
On the other side of things, Johnson's 3.6-yard average depth of target was the second highest among 40-plus target running backs. He's far more versatile than just a check-down option out of the backfield.
The Texans' didn't pay a king's ransom for Johnson by any stretch, but a pick that could be as high as a third-rounder is a pretty significant investment for a running back, and that's a good indicator that they plan to get him involved in the offense.
Coutee may develop his game and start to see more downfield usage, but with DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller already working to stretch the field, he's not likely to see a ton of volume there, either.
He was reliant on volume to produce his solid fantasy numbers as a rookie. Johnson is a serious threat to eat into those targets, and that points to Coutee being a potential fantasy football bust in 2019, especially if he misses any time due to injury.
Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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.