DeShaun Watson: Fantasy Sit or Start vs. Bengals

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Watson makes his first career start against Cincinnati.

It’s a primetime debut for DeShaun Watson.

The former Clemson quarterback entered in the third quarter of the Texans opener, and quickly led the team to their only touchdown of the afternoon. On Tuesday, it was announced that Watson would start Thursday against the Bengals.

Watson’s final line on Sunday: 12/23 passing, 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also added two scrambles for 16 yards, something that could definitely boost his fantasy value moving forward.

Watson stepped into a bad situation, but it’ll be a fresh start on Thursday.

While he did take the team down the field on the first possession, it was somewhat of a flawed drive. The box score will tell you it was a 14-play, 75 yard drive, but it was twice saved by penalties. First, a roughing the passer call extended the drive on third and 20, and Watson threw an interception in the end zone that was called back for another Jacksonville penalty.

The Texans next four drives after that series:

Fumble
Punt
Interception
Turnover on Downs

So Watson wasn’t world-changing, but he looked better than Savage. He also made sure to feed DeAndre Hopkins, who led the NFL in targets last week (16).

The Ravens ran the ball 40 times last week on the Bengals. If Watson only has to throw 17 passes like Joe Flacco did last week, he won’t put up crazy numbers but at least the Texans will win.

The Bengals have been mediocre against quarterbacks recently, and were average in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks (15.9 ppg) last season. The Bengals were sixth in interceptions however, so look for Marvin Lewis to force Watson into mistakes on Thursday night.

Watson has the potential to be a fantasy starter, especially if he continues to use his mobility. At this point, he’s a low-end DFS play and a bench player in redraft leagues.

Projection: 14-26 passing, 169 yards, 1 touchdown 2 interceptions

Recommendation: Bench

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