The Houston Texans have made some extremely questionable moves this offseason. Trading DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson, almost straight up, is the big one. This certainly has a negative effect on Deshaun Watson in 2020. His receiving core now features an injury prone Will Fuller, and Kenny Stills. I don’t like the sound of this one bit. Watson’s movement over the next few months in terms of ADP and auction value will be something to watch. Houston might also catch so much heat that they bolster that receiving core a bit. Watson’s mobility is still going to keep him up among the top eight or nine fantasy quarterbacks, but there is no doubt about his stock dropping.
|PASS YDS||PASS TD||INT||RUSH YDS||RUSH TD||FANTASY POINTS||FPPG|
Deshaun Watson finished the year as QB4, and that is with him not playing the final game of the season. Overall he averaged the third most points per game, and the seven rushing touchdowns certainly helped out. Watson didn’t throw a ton, and his passing yards ranked 13th. He did throw 26 passing touchdown, but overall his numbers weren’t great in comparison to where you drafted him at. With Hopkins gone, my concern for his numbers bouncing back in a few departments is now solidified. I expected some positive regression, and now not so much. 2019 numbers might be a norm for him, which is still find, but other quarterbacks should be jumping ahead if that is the case.
|PASS YDS||PASS TD||INT||RUSH YDS||RUSH TD||FANTASY POINTS||FPPG|
The passing touchdown projection numbers trickled down with the departure of DeAndre Hopkins. The concern of Fuller also plays a part in this because he has struggled with Fuller off the field. Now with Hopkins off and if Fuller every misses time, we are looking at one of the poorer receiving cores in the game. His rushing numbers still keep him afloat and that will be likely what you are banking on for Watson this season. If those numbers don’t come, Watson could end having a very below average fantasy year.
Scrambles per dropback 2019 (PFF)
Gardner Minshew 9%
Lamar Jackson 8.8%
Josh Allen 8.4%
Deshaun Watson 8.1%
Marcus Mariota 7.9%
Russ Wilson 7.4%
Jared Goff 1.8%
Joe Flacco 1.7%
Andy Dalton 1.6%
Case Keenum 1.1%
Philip Rivers 0.9%
Eli Manning 0.7%
Tom Brady 0.5%
Drew Brees 0%
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) March 18, 2020
ADP & Auction Value
ADP: 6th Round
Auction Price: $25
The ADP and Auction value should adjust to Hopkins leaving, and if that is the case you can make more of a case for him. If he sticks around this range, you shouldn’t end up with a lot of shares. Losing an elite WR1 and your WR2 struggling to stay healthy in his career is not going to be helpful. It is extremely tough to make a case for Watson right now. Auctions you might be able to get a better value for him, I still believe in redraft his ADP won’t drop too far.
The floor shouldn’t take a big hit, but for his ADP and auction value, I can find that floor later on in drafts. Because of a tougher strength of schedule, we are going to have to hope Houston finds themselves trailing where the attempts go up. His passing production did drop off a tad last season, and that was with Hopkins. Watson averaged 20.8 fantasy points per game last season, and I think we see that ticked down in the 17-18 fantasy points per game range.
My concern lingers into Deshaun Watson’s ceiling. The only way he can make it up is if the lack of receiving options now force him to run more. This is where he could have more of a weekly ceiling because of this. If Will Fuller can stay healthy, I will feel better about Watson on a weekly basis. However, I do not feel good about Fuller staying healthy because he has yet to do so. Watson is a special player, and he will likely still be a decent fantasy quarterback because of his dual-threat ability, but taking him as one of the earlier quarterbacks off the board, I can’t see myself doing that.
Houston Texans Offense
Houston was more on the run heavy side as far as offensive play calls go. They averaged 23.9 points per game, and I have concerns that they will hit that number again. The positive might be that their defense still isn’t good, which will keep the pressure on Watson to perform. Overall this team was closer to a league average offense compared to an elite offense, and they took a step back this offseason. The Texans averaged 33.9 pass attempts per game, which ranked 19th in the league. Watson was consistently under pressure again, and he was sacked 9.1% of the time. The Texans were an average offense when it came to pace, ranking 15th in the league. They were more on the front foot in the first halves of game, and slowed down in the second. That should change this year and be more well rounded.
Strength Of Schedule
If Deshaun Watson can get past the lack of options, the strength of schedule isn’t a plus. Indianapolis always tends to play Houston tough despite having an average defense over the past few years. Houston made it easier for opposing defenses because they do not have to put a focus on DeAndre Hopkins. This continues to be my big problem with how the Texans offense is going to perform this season. Jacksonville is going to be a weaker secondary that they should be able to beat, and Tennessee ranked 21st against the pass. Indianapolis ranked 19th. It isn’t the worst division to play in, but if the offensive line play isn’t better, the opposing front sevens will have an easy time to get to him.
Outside of the division, the Texans are playing a first place schedule. This mean facing the Chiefs, Patriots, and Ravens. All three defenses ranked inside the top six against the pass last season. Houston also plays Pittsburgh on the road, and they also ranked inside the top six. Green Bay, Minnesota, and Chicago are also three matchups that do not present a ton of upside. To conclude Watson, there isn’t a lot to like about his fantasy potential now at his ADP. This sums up the overall concern for him and overall this Houston offense.
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