Fantasy football — How Deshaun Watson’s absence will impact Hopkins, Fuller and Miller

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  • Mike ClayESPN Writer


    • Fantasy soccer, NFL badyst for
    • Member of Pro Football Writers of America
    • Founding director of Pro Football Focus Fantasy
    • 2013 FSTA award winner for many correct preseason rankings


That’s the phrase that instantly got here to thoughts when information broke that Texans QB Deshaun Watson is believed to have suffered a torn ACL throughout Thursday’s observe. The rookie quarterback is headed for an MRI, however the group’s signing of Matt McGloin all however confirms his unbelievable rookie season is over.

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Since making his first begin again in Week 2, Watson is fantasy’s top-scoring quarterback. The Clemson product was purple scorching as of late, having completed both first or second amongst quarterbacks in fantasy factors in 4 consecutive video games. In solely six-and-a-half video games of labor, Watson paced the NFL in pbading touchdowns (19) and likewise led all quarterbacks with 269 speeding yards.

The Texans are at the moment averaging an NFL-high three.three offensive touchdowns per sport, however the lack of Watson clearly means expectations for this group must be adjusted significantly.

Week 1 starter Tom Savage will probably be at quarterback for this weekend’s sport in opposition to the Colts. With Savage and Brock Osweiler beneath middle, the Texans ranked useless final within the NFL with 23 touchdowns (1.four per sport) through the 2016 common season.

Savage has tried solely 105 pbades and has but to throw a landing since getting into the league as a fourth-round decide in 2014. He’s accomplished 60 p.c of his makes an attempt, his common depth of throw is 9.three yards, and he is averaging 6.2 yards per try. That’s a major distinction from Watson, who accomplished 62 p.c of his pbades, posted an aDOT and averaged eight.three YPA.

Needless to say, Watson’s harm is extraordinarily unhealthy information for the fantasy prospects of each DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V. The two wideouts rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in fantasy factors amongst large receivers through the 4 weeks Fuller has been energetic this season. Hopkins had been having fun with a revival, sitting second amongst large receivers in fantasy factors after the group’s quarterback woes restricted him to a 27th-place end in 2016.

Having completed prime 10 in targets every of the previous two seasons and at the moment third within the league within the clbad, Hopkins is certain to nonetheless see a ton of quantity transferring ahead. He’s dealt with a large 35 p.c of the Texans’ targets this season and Savage has directed 34 p.c of his profession throws at Hopkins. Of course, the star receiver’s effectivity will take a dive. He caught 62 p.c of his targets and averaged eight.four yards per goal on throws from Watson, however his profession marks with Savage are 46 p.c and 5.7, respectively. Hopkins is now finest seen as back-end WR1.

Fuller, in the meantime, hit a season-high eight targets in Week eight however is averaging solely 5.5 targets per sport on the season. Averaging 21.5 yards per reception and having scored on seven of his 13 catches, Fuller was already a candidate for a visit again to earth within the close to future. The transfer to Savage is crushing for his worth, as Savage is considerably much less more likely to hit him on these mbadive scoring performs. Barring a lift in targets, Fuller ought to produce no higher than fringe top-30 numbers on the place.

Lamar Miller sits 13th at working again in fantasy factors and has scored solely 4 touchdowns whereas averaging a lowly three.6 yards per carry this season. This information absolutely knocks him down a number of pegs and into the RB2 combine. Considering that his effectivity points have carried over from 2016, do not be shocked if rookie D’Onta Foreman takes on a bigger position down the stretch.

Savage, in the meantime, will probably be an occasional streaming possibility in deeper leagues however would not have close to the upside of Watson. At tight finish, C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) is anticipated to return in Week 10, however he will not be a TE1 possibility with Savage beneath middle.

Hopkins, Fuller, Miller and even Ryan Griffin (in deeper leagues) are worthwhile begins in most codecs this week in opposition to the Colts’ struggling protection, however the lack of Watson is clearly unhealthy information for his or her prospects transferring ahead this season.

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