Darren Fells

Darren Fells

Tight End #87
Team: Houston Texans
Ht / Wt:6'7" / 281 lb.
College:Cal - Irvine
Born:April 22, 1986
Drafted:2013 / UDFA

Darren Fells: Coach explains usage

Houston interim head coach Romeo Crennel said Fells was not targeted in Sunday's loss to the Packers because of how the opponent was defending, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: Crennel said the wide receivers were able to get open and make plays, so it would appear the game dictated receiver usage. It was curious to see Fells, who has three touchdown receptions, without a catch or target in 78 snaps Week 7. The 6-foot-7 tight end usually presents a large target in the red zone, but the Texans had to settle for field goals on two trips inside the 20. The Texans are on a bye Week 8, and Crennel hopes tight Jordan Akins (ankle) will be ready to play Week 9 against the Jaguars, which will crimp Fells' playing time.

October 27, 2020 6:25 AM EST

Darren Fells: No targets in loss

Fells was not targeted in Sunday's 35-20 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: This was another game that got away early from the Texans, who were down by 21 points at halftime and never got fewer than two scores with Green Bay. That led to Houston's heavy usage for wide receivers and little need for its tight ends. The game snapped Fells' touchdown streak to two games. With Jordan Akins (ankle) working his way back from an ankle injury, Fells' playing time could take a hit Week 8 in Jacksonville.

October 26, 2020 4:26 AM EST

Darren Fells: Will top TE depth chart Week 7

Fells will elevate to the No. 1 spot on Houston's tight end depth chart with Jordan Akins (ankle) having been deemed inactive for Sunday's matchup against the Packers.

Analysis: With Akins sidelined for each of the past two weeks, Fells has racked up eight combined receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns against the Jaguars and Titans. The 34-year-old logged starts between Weeks 1 through 4 also while Akins was available, but he's become more of a go-to option of late, with nine targets over his past two appearances.

October 25, 2020 9:18 AM EST

Darren Fells: Strong effort in loss

Fells caught six of seven targets for 85 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 42-36 overtime loss to the Titans.

Analysis: Fells stepped up with fellow tight end Jordan Akins (concussion) sitting out for the second consecutive week. The 34-year-old tight end has displayed a nose for the end zone, with three touchdowns this season and 10 since the start of last season. Fells' second-quarter trip to the end zone in this one came from one yard out on fourth down. He'll look to stretch his touchdown streak to three games in Week 7 against the Packers.

October 18, 2020 2:40 PM EST

Darren Fells: Set atop depth chart again

Fells is set to operate as the No. 1 tight end with Jordan Akins (ankle/concussion) ruled out ahead of Sunday's game, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Fells participated in a season-high 86 percent of the team's snaps with Akins out against the Jaguars last week, but he still saw just two targets, matching his total from each of the previous two weeks. The fact the veteran tight end turned one of them into a 44-yard touchdown is promising, but Fells still remains a last-resort touchdown-dependent option for fantasy managers unless the Texans choose to start involving him more in the offense.

October 17, 2020 12:57 PM EST

Darren Fells: Hauls in 44-yard touchdown

Fells recorded two receptions on two targets for 57 yards and a touchdown in Week 5 against Jacksonville.

Analysis: Fells did the majority of his damage on a 44-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter. His only other catch came earlier in the contest on the Texans' second drive, which ended with a field goal. Fells was the top tight end option for the team in the absence of Jordan Akins (concussion), but Will Fuller, Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb combined to see targets on 25 of Deshaun Watson's 35 pass attempts. That leaves Fells as a touchdown-or-bust type option even if Akins remains out in Week 6 against the Titans.

October 11, 2020 6:22 PM EST

Darren Fells: Atop depth chart with Akins injured

With Jordan Akins (concussion) unable to practice Wednesday, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Fells becomes the lead tight end in preparations for Week 5 against the Jaguars.

Analysis: Akins is also dealing with an ankle injury as the Texans prepare for their home matchup against division rival Jacksonville. After Akins was removed from last week's loss to the Vikings, Fells stepped in as the lead tight end and caught two passes for 21 yards while playing a season-high 52 snaps (80 percent).

October 8, 2020 3:47 AM EST

Darren Fells: Benefits from Aikens injury

Fells caught two of two targets for 21 yards in Sunday's 31-23 loss to Minnesota.

Analysis: Fells played a season-high 52 snaps after Jordan Akins left the game due to a concussion. Akins. who had three targets in 19 snaps, had moved ahead of Fells on the depth chart, but it could be Fells lining up as the primary tight end Week 5 at home against Jacksonville.

October 5, 2020 6:25 PM EST

Darren Fells: Blanked in Week 3

Fells was targeted twice in Sunday's 28-21 loss to the Steelers in Week 3.

Analysis: Fells, who was held without a catch for the first time this season, started for the third straight game but has clearly dropped behind Jordan Akins as a tight end target. The one hope for Fells is that his 2019 started similarly before he went on to catch seven touchdowns. He's caught four of eight targets for 41 yards and one touchdown thus far.

September 28, 2020 5:40 AM EST

Darren Fells: Finds end zone in Week 2 loss

Fells caught two of four targets for 23 yards and a 10-yard touchdown catch in Sunday's 33-16 loss to the Ravens in Week 2.

Analysis: Fells, who tied for the lead among tight ends with seven touchdown receptions in 2019, snagged his first score of the season Sunday. He and Jordan Akins share the job, but Akins (nine targets) has drawn more attention from quarterback Deshaun Watson than Fells (six).

September 20, 2020 7:39 PM EST

Darren Fells: Two targets in Week 1 loss

Fells caught two of two targets for 19 yards in Thursday's 34-20 loss to the Chiefs in Week 1.

Analysis: Neither of Fells' targets came in the red zone, and he played fewer snaps (25) than Jordan Akins (48), who also had two targets. Fells was a favored red-zone target in 2019 when he scored seven touchdowns. The Texans reshaped their receiving corps in the offseason, so the tight ends may not have as big a role in 2020.

September 11, 2020 4:26 AM EST

Darren Fells: Re-signs with Houston

Fells is signing a two-year, $7 million contract to stay with the Texans, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: Fells signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract last offseason and went on to set career highs in every major receiving category: 34 catches for 341 yards and seven touchdowns on 48 targets. He's mostly been known for run blocking throughout his pro career, but he does have 17 TDs among his 102 catches, and his 12 red-zone targets last season were second most among Houston pass catchers. With Fells entering his age-34 season and likely to take on a good number of snaps again, the 2020 fantasy prospects for Jordan Akins (hamstring), Jordan Thomas and Kahale Warring don't look great. Expect the Texans to use some form of rotation at tight end, likely involving two or three players on a regular basis.

March 10, 2020 6:42 AM EST

Darren Fells: Scores in playoff loss

Fells caught three of seven targets for 22 yards and four-yard touchdown reception in Sunday's 51-31 loss to the Chiefs.

Analysis: Fells, who ranked third among tight ends with seven touchdowns during the regular season, snapped a five-game streak without a score. The 33-year-old Fells began the season as an afterthought as a receiver, competing with three tight ends that the Texans had drafted over the last two drafts, but he emerged as a go-to target in the red zone for quarterback Deshaun Watson. He had career highs in targets (48), catches (34), yards (341) and touchdowns (seven) as he enters free agency.

January 12, 2020 8:01 PM EST

Darren Fells: Suits up versus Kansas City

Fells (hip) is listed as active for Sunday's divisional-round playoff game against the Chiefs.

Analysis: Meanwhile, fellow tight end Jordan Akins (hamstring) won't play Sunday, which should lead to Fells garnering ample playing time against the Chiefs. In last weekend's wild-card win over the Bills, Fells logged a 96 percent share of his team's offensive snaps, en route to hauling in four of five targets for 37 yards.

January 12, 2020 10:45 AM EST

Darren Fells: On track to play

Fells (hip), who is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, James Palmer of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The Texans list three skill-position players as questionable -- Fells, Will Fuller (groin) and Kenny Stills (knee) -- but the trio is trending toward suiting up for the divisional-round showdown in Kansas City. Assuming he gains clearance to play and experiences no in-game complications with the hip, Fells should dominate the playing time at tight end. No. 2 tight end Jordan Akins (hamstring) has been ruled out for a second straight game, and his absence in the wild-card win over Buffalo allowed Fells to play 96 percent of the offensive snaps, his highest share of the season.

January 12, 2020 6:22 AM EST

Darren Fells: Added to injury report

Fells (hip) is listed as questionable for Sunday's playoff game against the Chiefs after being limited at practice Friday.

Analysis: Fells was added to the Texans' injury report Friday, which implies an in-practice setback. Meanwhile, Jordan Akins (hamstring) -- who was inactive for last weekend's wild-card win over the Bills -- a game in which Fells logged a 96 percent snap share, is also listed as questionable for the contest. As a result, the status of both tight ends is worth monitoring in advance of Sunday's 3:05 ET kickoff.

January 10, 2020 1:40 PM EST

Darren Fells: Has four catches in playoff win

Fells caught four of five targets for 37 yards in Saturday's 22-19 overtime win over the Bills in their AFC wild-card round playoff game.

Analysis: Fells filled his usual role as the Texans' lead tight end and had his most catches, targets and yards since Week 8. Three of his receptions came on third down to move the sticks, and he had catches on two separate scoring drives. He might have been remembered in a different light had his third-down drop on Houston's first overtime possession led to a Bills' score. Fells played 66 of 69 snaps (96 percent) while the only other active tight end, Jordan Thomas, played just eight.

January 5, 2020 7:53 AM EST

Darren Fells: Three grabs in Week 16 win

Fells caught all three targets for 27 yards in Saturday's 23-20 win over Tampa Bay in Week 16.

Analysis: Fells, who is second among tight ends with seven touchdowns, went a third straight week without a score. The three catches, his most since Week 8 against Oakland, gives him 34, three more than fellow tight end Jordan Akins.

December 22, 2019 4:51 AM EST

Darren Fells: Escapes injury designation

Fells (hand) won't carry an injury designation into Saturday's game against the Buccaneers.

Analysis: After being limited in practices Tuesday and Wednesday, Fells received the green light for the Week 16 matchup by putting in a full workout Thursday. Fells should thus be in the clear to lead Houston's tight-end group in snaps Saturday like he typically does most weeks, though he's actually drawn fewer targets in the passing game of late than backup Jordan Akins.

December 19, 2019 2:27 PM EST

Darren Fells: Another limited practice

Fells (hand) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice.

Analysis: Fells has now logged back-to-back limited practice sessions while nursing a hand injury presumably sustained Week 15. He remains on track for Saturday's matchup against the Buccaneers, barring any setbacks. Fells has fallen behind Jordan Akins in terms of targets in recent weeks, but he remains Houston's top tight end in terms of offensive snaps.

December 18, 2019 2:31 PM EST

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