Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills made his much-awaited return to the playing field in Week 7. However, just when the team thought they’d finally have their trio of big-play receivers all at their disposal at once, injury quickly and savagely struck them once again. This time it was wideout Will Fuller, who sustained a hamstring injury in the team’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
With Fuller ruled out for Week 8’s matchup vs. the Oakland Raiders, the Texans will have to rely heavily upon Stills to stretch the field and serve as a dependable target for Deshaun Watson.
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Kenny Stills’ Fantasy Outlook vs. Oakland Raiders
When Will Fuller left last week’s contest with a hamstring injury, the Texans offense did not even miss a beat. That’s because Fuller’s replacement thankfully provides much of the same attributes to the team that Fuller does.
Kenny Stills stretched the field for the Houston offense last Sunday to the tune of an impressive four receptions and 105 receiving yards vs. Indianapolis. That’s a per reception average of 26.2 yards. While that average is certainly eye-popping, it’s actually not too far from Stills’ usual production. The former Miami Dolphins receiver has averaged 19+ yards per reception in three of his previous four games this season.
Theoretically, Stills’ production should only increase with Fuller sidelined this week. Since the first week of the season, Fuller had averaged an impressive nine targets per game in contests that he started and completed. Over that time span, Fuller, the team’s second option in the receiving game, averaged 17.3 fantasy points. If all goes according to plan, Stills will essentially slide right into Fuller’s spot in the team’s lineup, allowing Houston’s offensive gameplan to proceed as usual and at the same volume.
Week 8’s matchup with the Oakland Raiders couldn’t be any more welcoming to Stills and his fantasy owners. The Raiders have allowed the fourth-most points to opposing receivers this season. Even better news for the speedster is Oakland’s struggles at preventing the big play.
The Raiders secondary has been torched on passing plays of 20+ yards this season, allowing a league-high 32 plays of such distance. Their issues on the backend don’t end there. The defense allows the second-highest average per reception and the third-most plays of 40+ yards in 2019.
Should You Start or Sit Kenny Stills in Week 8?
All signs point towards a highly productive evening for Stills on Sunday, both on the field and on your fantasy roster. He has a plus-matchup vs. a struggling Oakland secondary. He’s also impressed this season, despite limited usage. Plus, his targets are likely to increase tenfold without Fuller in the lineup.
That being said, a player of Stills’ skillset always presents a boom-or-bust scenario for fantasy owners. Stills is rock-solid WR3/Flex starter vs. the Raiders. His big-play potential matched with Oakland’s inability to defend the big play gives him possible WR2-upside.