NFL Week 13 Fantasy Football Recap: Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns

Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back Dameon Pierce (31) runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Dameon Pierce: 18 carries, 73 yards, 3 receptions, 22 receiving yards

Nico Collins: 3 receptions, 35 yards, 1 touchdown

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Monitor David Bell’s health: Bell suffered a hand injury early in the first quarter and didn’t return to the game.

  • The third-round rookie started the season as a rotational player but became the clear No. 3 receiver in Cleveland by Week 6.
  • Demetric Felton took over the slot receiver role for the rest of the game, but that led to only two targets.
  • The game script allowed the Browns to use more two-tight end sets than usual, which meant they didn’t need to have a receiver in the slot as often.
  • Amari Cooper has been by far the Browns' most successful slot receiver this season even though he sees a fraction of his snaps in the slot, with 2.64 yards per route run.
  • Bell has 0.72 yards per route run from the slot this year, and Felton has 0.21.
  • If the injury is serious, Cooper ideally will see more snaps than usual from the slot.

The Browns without David Njoku: Njoku didn’t practice all week with a knee injury and was inactive.

  • Njoku had also missed Weeks 8 and 10 with an ankle injury.
  • Harrison Bryant was the clear leader for the Browns in offensive snaps, playing 103 of a possible 138 in those games, including 45 routes on 71 pass plays.
  • The Browns changed their plan in this game, making Pharaoh Brown the primary tight end on first and second downs with Bryant coming in on third down.
  • Both played significantly in two tight-end sets.
  • Brown was playing in a revenge game, as he was playing for Houston earlier this year. The fact that he was familiar with the Texans’ defenders could have contributed to his increased role.
  • Neither was much of a factor in the passing game, with both players catching their only targets.
  • Bryant should no longer be considered an option to start in games where Njoku is out due to this split in snaps.

Add Nico Collins: Collins was the clear top target for Houston, seeing 11 targets on 28 routes.

  • He caught just three of those passes for 35 yards, but he did score a touchdown in garbage time.
  • His target share alone is enough for him to be on fantasy rosters.
  • Brandin Cooks missed the game against the Browns with a calf injury.
  • The Texans are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, and Cooks has been disgruntled with the team. There is a chance Collins remains the Texans’ top wide receiver over the rest of the season.
  • Three of their next four opponents are in the top 10 in allowing fantasy points to wide receivers.

Texans try out different players: A few players either made their Texans debuts or saw more playing time than they had in recent weeks.

  • Former Cardinal Eno Benjamin was active and played four snaps with Rex Burkhead inactive after suffering a concussion.
  • Former Packer Amari Rodgers made his Texans debut as the No. 4 wide receiver. He ran 10 routes but didn’t see a target.
  • Brevin Jordan was the Texans' third tight end, taking the place of O.J. Howard. Jordan had been a healthy scratch in recent weeks, but Howard was the healthy scratch this week.
  • None of this will likely make an impact in fantasy leagues this season, but the Texans have one of the best Week 17 matchups against the Jaguars. It’s possible one of those players could be relevant by then.

Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.


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