The Football Outsiders Almanac has ranked Keke Coutee as the third-best prospect (age 26 or younger) in football for the 2019 season. A fourth-round pick last year, this will be Coutee’s sophomore season, and he is expected to have a much heavier role than he had in 2018. It looks like the slot position is all his, and although he will surely be behind DeAndre Hopkins in the pecking order, he has the upside to see a balanced share of targets with Will Fuller V.
In such a small sample from last year—in which he played only six games and was targeted 41 times—Coutee logged 28 receptions for 287 yards and a touchdown, with a 68 percent catch rate. Houston failed to use him deep down the field, although he showed great separation in college. Expect better numbers thanks to a more suited-to-his-abilities usage this season, raising his ceiling (he already averaged 7.5 yards after catch, so imagine adding those to deep passes). The addition of Kenny Stills will have an impact on his targets down the road, but I don’t think it should be much of a concern for fantasy GMs.
Fantasy Impact: It looks like we don’t have a final decision on Coutee’s availability for Week 1’s game against New Orleans. Coutee was listed as questionable on Saturday and was limited in practice. The Saints were mediocre at best stopping WR last season. They allowed the most receiving yards (3,345) and 20 touchdowns (fifth-worst) through the air to receivers. With DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller getting the heavier coverage, Coutee could put up big numbers. Although that makes it a tough decision, the ankle injury is concerning enough as to make him play on a snap count and limit the chance of aggravating his problems, which is intelligent at this point in the season. Don’t risk it with Coutee this week.
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