Starters: DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee
This may be my first prediction that doesn’t come true. Coutee is still working his way back from a training camp hamstring injury that has cost him a few weeks. He should be 100% healthy by the time the regular season rolls around but, he probably hasn’t done enough to garner the first snaps in the slot. That being said, it shouldn’t take too long for him to capture that role.
Hopkins will once again be challenging for the rights to being the best wide receiver in the game. With Watson under center, it’ll be very attainable. Fuller and Watson were an extremely electric combo last year, they’ll look to continue what started last year. Fuller has also bulked up which should help him stay on the field.
Reserves: Bruce Ellington, Sammie Coates Jr., Quan Bray
Ellington was good enough in a reserve role last year to land this spot this year. He’ll likely start the season splitting slot snaps with Coutee but, Coutee’s upside is higher. Coates is big, athletic and fast and he has always been more of an athlete playing receiver than a true receiver but, he has extreme playmaking ability off the bench.
Bray is my gamble pick for the last wide receiver spot. The Texans just scooped him up off of the waiver wire and he blends speed and size well and would be an interesting option off of the bench. Chris Thompson and Vyncint Smith are other options for this last spot. Thompson provides great depth on special teams and Smith has balled out this preseason.