How To Treat Christian Watson as Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Target
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Watson.
Parsing out which Packers receiver (who isn’t Allen Lazard) to roster has been a fantasy nightmare this season. Nonetheless, an intriguing option has emerged in rookie wideout Christian Watson.
The North Dakota State product scored thrice and eclipsed 100 receiving yards in Green Bay’s upset of Dallas on Sunday.
A great game, but now what? Do fantasy managers actually need this guy, or was this just a flash in the pan? Action Network’s fantasy football experts discuss below.
Sean Koerner: When he’s been on the field, Watson has been very good and has seen a target on 25% of his routes run. However, injuries have derailed his rookie season up until now.
With Romeo Doubs out of the lineup, Watson stepped up in Week 10 with a breakout 4/107/3 performance and ran a route on 91% of Aaron Rodgers’ dropbacks. Watson should be a fixture in Packers lineup going forward and seems to have gained the trust of Rodgers, especially in the red zone, which is huge.
I don’t think Doubs’ potential return will have too much of an impact. We have to remember that Watson was a potential first-round prospect. His measurables are off the charts and he could be in the midst of a breakout.
I consider him a WR3 with WR2 upside for the rest of the season. It’s a shame he had such a big performance in his first full game, because he will probably cost quite a bit of FAAB to obtain.
Chris Raybon: Watson leads the Packers in targets per route (25.0%) and yards per route (2.22). His 4/107/3 line on eight targets in Week 10 came on a season-high 91% route participation rate. If he continues seeing that kind of playing time, he would be a WR2.
It’s unclear if he would take over Romeo Doubs’ entire role and continue to see that kind of usage once Doubs (ankle) is healthy, but his talent is worth betting on. With the caveat that we have a smaller sample for Watson (88 routes) than Doubs (253 routes), Watson has clearly outplayed Doubs, who is averaging a 19.0% target rate and 1.24 yards per route. After Watson’s breakout performance, it’s hard to envision him falling out of the top three going forward, which gives him WR4 value as a floor.
If you do manage to acquire Watson or already have him on your roster, I would also consider flipping him for a starting RB. While his future looks promising, there’s a very high chance that we just witnessed his best game of the year.
Samantha Previte: Watson, the WR2 in half PPR in Week 10, shined in the Packers’ thrilling 31-28 overtime victory over the Cowboys. He posted team-highs in every receiving category and reeled in 4-of-8 targets for 107 yards and three touchdowns. (Allen Lazard caught 3-of-4 for 45 yards and Sammy Watkins caught 3-of-3 for 47 yards.)
This was by far the rookie’s best game to date in what was, on paper, a very difficult matchup against a top-ranked Cowboys pass defense.
I am wary of going all-in quite yet, though I do expect him to see a nice uptick of targets with Doubs and Randall Cobb out.
The Packers face the Titans in Week 11, whose defense has allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year. Watson could be in the streaming conversation for Tyreek Hill, Christian Kirk, Jaylen Waddle, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Mike Evans or Chris Godwin managers.
Mike Triplett: The 34th pick in this year’s NFL Draft is the most enticing target on the waiver wire this week. Not because I trust him to lock down a consistent role in Green Bay, but simply because the upside is so high and the opportunity is clearly there.
The Packers have been desperate to find reliable WR options all season long, so Watson should get every chance to build off of his breakout performance — especially while Doubs is sidelined. The two things that were holding Watson back were injuries and dropped passes, but neither issue is insurmountable. And if Watson had to regain Aaron Rodgers’ trust, they were forced to quicken that process in the win over Dallas.