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Where Should You Draft Deshaun Watson for 2022 Fantasy Football?

Before Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson's suspension was officially announced, his fantasy football ADP was QB19 and 158 overall (per Fantasy Pros), 11.09 per Fantasy Football Calculator, and not in the top-31, per NFFC.

So, now that we know he'll miss a chunk of the season, where do you target Watson in your redraft leagues?

Watson has been suspended for six games this season. He did not play a single snap last season. So, where can you rightfully feel comfortable taking him?

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Watson's 2022 Outlook

Watson will return to the field on October 23.  Here is his schedule:

Cleveland @ Baltimore, October 23

Cincinnati v Cleveland, October 31

Cleveland @ Miami, November 13

Cleveland @ Buffalo, November 20

Tampa Bay v Cleveland, November 27

Cleveland @ Houston, December 4

Cleveland @ Cincinnati, December 11

Baltimore v Cleveland, December 18

New Orleans v Cleveland, December 24

Cleveland @ Washington, January 1

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh, January 8

Out of the 11 regularly scheduled games, seven are away games. Six are outdoor games in late fall and winter. The only indoor game is against Houston.

How did the teams stack up against quarterbacks in 2021? Take a look below.

TEAM PASSING ATTEMPTS ALLOWED/G PASSING YARDS ALLOWED/G AVERAGE FANTASY POINTS ALLOWED/G
BALTIMORE 36.5 (26TH) 278.9 (32ND) 19.1
CINCINNATI 37.3 (30TH) 248.7 (26TH) 16.9
MIAMI 35.8 (23RD) 227.7 (16TH) 17.3
BUFFALO 32.2 (8TH) 176.7 (1ST) 11.2
TAMPA BAY 40.1 (32ND) 245.3 (24TH) 19.6
HOUSTON 32.1 (6TH) 242.2 (22ND) 17.5
NEW ORLEANS 34.8 (18TH) 224.8 (14TH) 17.4
PITTSBURGH 33.5 (12TH) 223.8 (13TH) 16.4

Baltimore’s defensive stats is an aberration due to the injuries they suffered last season. They should be much better this season and especially in the secondary.

None of the teams were particularly generous to the quarterbacks regarding fantasy points.

Watson’s last full season in 2020: 544 passing attempts, 4823 passing yards, 8.9 yards per attempt, 33 passing touchdowns, 61 deep balls, 91 red zone attempts

But again, that was 2020, Watson has not played since.

Per Fantasy Pros, Watson is going ahead of Mac Jones (QB20), Matt Ryan (QB21), and Jameis Winston (QB22).

Jones has the ninth-easiest schedule for a quarterback. Last season, he had a 67.6% completion percentage on 521 attempts.  Although the Patriots passed the ball on 54.27% of their plays (26th).

Ryan will be playing for a new team. The Colts passed the ball on 52.57% of their offensive plays. This offense runs through Jonathan Taylor.

Winston is returning from an ACL injury. He will be playing with a new head coach and (hopefully) a healed Michael Thomas.

Watson has the seventh-easiest schedule for a quarterback (per Fantasy Pros). The 11-game stretch on his return includes five games against division foes and a battle against the Buffalo Bills defense in Buffalo in November. Let’s not forget that Watson spent his first four seasons in Houston, a division that includes the Indianapolis Colts (indoors), Tennessee Titans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. His stats may be slightly inflated.

I’m more comfortable with the ceilings for Jones, Winston, and even Ryan.

Watson as QB19 in a 12-team redraft league means you are drafting Watson as your second quarterback. That’s still a high price to pay for a man who hasn’t played since 2020 and faces opponents who aren’t fantasy-generous to the quarterback position.



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