Update August 31: It’s not surprising that Cobb is expected to be Houston’s primary slot option. He thrived there with the Cowboys at this position, and his arrival is a threat to Stills, who logged a significant number of snaps in the slot in 2019. Stills hasn’t shown signs of rust since he passed his physical, but it appears like he could see his impact decreased in 2020.
In this series we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project, correctly, which players will win training camp battles.
The Houston Texans made some drastic changes over the offseason. They traded star receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for David Johnson and draft capital. That means Deshaun Watson will have to find a new favorite receiver. There will be quite a few players in the running, but the top spot will likely go to either Will Fuller or Brandin Cooks. Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills will likely be competing for the WR3 spot though, and both have a shot at being relevant pieces in the offense.
Cobb appears to have an edge on Stills, as he was a top 50 fantasy receiver in standard and PPR leagues with the Dallas Cowboys last year while playing behind Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. He tallied 55 receptions for 828 yards and three scores in his first year with Cowboys.
Stills spent time with the Miami Dolphins before being traded to Houston and also tallied 55 receptions. He finished the year with 561 receiving yards and four scores and fell outside the top 50 in standard and PPR leagues. The new talent coming in could make it difficult for him to have the same impact in 2020, as Cobb has plenty of experience in the slot.
Stills is on an expiring contract while Cobb is entering 2020 on a three-year, $27 million deal. Houston saw a need for a slot specialist and found an opportunity to sign one. The arrival of Cobb and a receiving back like Johnson should diminish Stills’ value.