There’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Houston Texans’ offense this training camp, starting with who will be taking snaps at quarterback this season. Bubbling underneath that is speculation of who will be the primary No. 2 wide receiver option behind Brandin Cooks, boiling down to a competition between rookie Keke Coutee and Nico Collins.
In his three years with the Texans, Coutee has shown what he can do in spurts as a deep threat target. Appearing in just eight games last season, he set career highs in receptions (33), yards (400), ypr (12.1), and touchdowns (3). While a steady hand, he’ll have to contend with the upside of Collins, who was a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft despite opting out of his final season at Michigan in 2020. He proved to be a big-play receiver for the Wolverine offense in the two years prior, combining for 75 receptions, 1,361 yards, and 13 touchdowns during that span.
Latest camp news
Week 2 preseason recap: Collins did not take part in Houston’s 20-14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys due to a muscle pull. Coutee caught both his targets for 29 yards in the victory. He has more experience than Collins at the moment and is likely to win this battle.
Week 1 preseason recap: Both receivers appeared in the Texans’ 26-7 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday with Coutee catching two of five targets for 21 yards. Collins’ lone catch of the night was a 21-yard gain that set Houston up in the red zone.
Dropback eight: Nico Collins' first catch in a Texans game. pic.twitter.com/TbIHAZmUih— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) August 15, 2021
8/11/21: Coutee burned DB Lonnie Johnson for a 40-yard downfield pass from Davis Mills.
8/6/21: Collins has reportedly been getting plenty of first-team reps with the Texans offense in the first few weeks of training camp. The Texans clearly view him as someone who can get on the field and make plays for them right away. Meanwhile, the veteran Coutee is embracing the competition.
Next preseason game: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This appears to be Coutee’s job to lose, especially if Collins’ injury keeps him out of another preseason game. The Texans appear to be headed for a lost season, so the rookie will eventually get some reps once the losses pile up. For now, Coutee should be considered the leader in this position battle.
Fantasy football verdict
Week 2 preseason: The Texans are dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now surrounding QB Deshaun Watson’s status. That’s going to have a direct impact on any Texans player in fantasy football. Both Collins and Coutee has positives, but the experienced receiver has the edge right now in the position battle. However, it’s unlikely fantasy owners have worse options than these two players weekly.