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: 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

Darren Fells: Limited to begin Week 16

Fells was a limited participant in Tuesday's practice due to a hand injury.

Analysis: Fells presumably sustained the injury in this past weekend's 24-21 win over the Titans, but it didn't stop him from playing 83 percent of the offensive snaps and contributing one catch for a two-yard gain on two targets. Expect Fells to ultimately gain clearance for the Texans' matchup Saturday with the Buccaneers.

December 17, 2019 1:51 PM EST

Darren Fells: Two targets in Week 15 win

Fells caught one of two targets for two yards in Sunday's 24-21 loss to the Titans in Week 15.

Analysis: Fells, who has a career-high seven touchdowns in 2019, did not score for the second straight week. It was also the second straight game without a red-zone target. He remains Houston's leader among tight ends in terms of playing time but has fallen behind Jordan Akins in terms of targets. The Texans are on the road Week 15 against Tampa Bay, whose defense has surrendered the fourth-most yards per game (62.3) and are tied for fourth with seven touchdowns allowed to tight ends.

December 16, 2019 6:16 AM EST

Darren Fells: Four targets in loss

Fells caught two of four targets for two yards in Sunday's 38-24 loss to the Broncos in Week 14.

Analysis: Fells had fewer targets and playing time than backup Jordan Akins, who, despite having fewer touchdowns this season, is considered the better receiving threat. When Houston fell behind 14-0 after one quarter and 31-3 at halftime, Fells' playing time took a hit.

December 9, 2019 7:01 AM EST

Darren Fells: Scores in win

Fells caught two of three targets for 23 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 28-22 win over New England.

Analysis: Fells, who is tied for the league lead among tight ends with seven touchdowns, recorded his first TD in three games. He remains the top dog among the team's tight ends even with the return of Jordan Thomas. Fells' 42 snaps were more than Jordan Akins (31) and Thomas (14).

December 2, 2019 5:46 AM EST

Darren Fells: Another red zone target in win

Fells caught one of two targets for 24 yards in Thursday's 20-17 win over the Colts in Week 12.

Analysis: Fells had one long catch to set up the Texans' first field goal and added his team-leading 10th red zone target, one of only two plays Houston ran inside Indianapolis' 20-yard-line. The 33-year-old Fells has scored six touchdowns, all from the red zone, and is tied for the lead among tight ends in TDs.

November 22, 2019 5:00 AM EST

Darren Fells: Three targets in loss

Fells caught one of three targets for 18 yards in Sunday's 41-7 loss to Baltimore.

Analysis: Fells, a surprising leader among tight ends with six touchdown catches, saw his two-game touchdown streak end. The Ravens steamrolled the Texans, who had one receiver with more than 27 receiving yards.

November 17, 2019 8:22 PM EST

Darren Fells: Heavy usage in win

Fells caught six of seven targets for 69 yards in Sunday's 31-24 win over Kansas City in Week 6.

Analysis: The catches, targets and receiving yards were season highs for Fells. The Texans leaned heavily on its ground game and used a lot of two-tight end sets, so Fells also enjoyed a season-high snap count in the win. While he didn't record a touchdown pass, Fells has been used as a red zone target -- he had one target Sunday -- and is tied with Will Fuller for the team-lead at three scores.

October 14, 2019 5:02 AM EST

Darren Fells: Scores pair of red-zone TDs

Fells caught both of his targets for 20 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 53-32 win over the Falcons in Week 5.

Analysis: Fells' two touchdown grabs gives him three scores for the season, tying him with Will Fuller for team high. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has involved Houston's tight ends more in 2019 than he did last year. Fells and Jordan Akins have has many red zone targets (seven) as the team's more heralded wideouts.

October 6, 2019 6:25 PM EST

Darren Fells: Catches lone target

Fells caught is only target for 12 yards in Sunday's 16-10 loss to the Panthers in Week 4.

Analysis: A week after being targeted six times, Fells dropped a more normal amount of targets Week 4. This was the second time in four games he's received a lone target. While he's the starter, Fells is second behind Jordan Akins in terms of attention from quarterback Deshaun Watson.

September 30, 2019 5:20 AM EST

Darren Fells: Scores first TD

Fells caught five of six targets for 49 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-20 win over the Chargers in Week 3.

Analysis: Fells led Houston's tight ends in playing time and targets for a second straight game but took a backseat to Jordan Akins, who caught two touchdowns in the win. Houston's tight ends took on an expanded role in the gameplan for the Chargers, receiving 11 targets Week 3 after being targeted a combined seven times over the first two games. Maybe not so coincidentally, involving the tight ends led to quarterback Deshaun Watson throwing for a season-high 351 yards, the fifth-highest total of his three-year career.

September 23, 2019 4:25 AM EST

Darren Fells: Leads TEs in snaps

Fells caught one of three targets for nine yards in Sunday's 13-12 win over the Jaguars.

Analysis: Fells, who made his second straight start at tight end, was the position group's leader in snaps with 44, five more than Jordan Akins. When the Texans' offense tilts more toward the running game, as it did Sunday, Fells will be on the field more than Akins. Through two weeks, Fells has one catch on four targets.

September 16, 2019 4:19 AM EST

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