After nicely over a yr, the Deshaun Watson authorized saga has lastly reached a conclusion … at the least because it pertains to his NFL standing. We all knew a suspension was coming, however we simply didn’t know the way prolonged. Today, it has been introduced that Watson is suspended for the primary six video games of the 2022 season. Let’s dive into the fantasy soccer affect this has on the Cleveland Browns’ offense.
Note: Although Watson settled with 23 of the 24 plaintiffs, this case is way from over. Him enjoying soccer has a major fantasy affect, however it’s trivial when in comparison with the precise allegations towards Watson. I hope everybody’s fact is heard and everybody concerned will get the justice they deserve. With that mentioned, let’s get to the fantasy implications.
Deshaun Watson suspension: Impact on Watson and Jacoby Brissett’s fantasy worth
This information actually breathes life into Watson’s fantasy worth. Knowing that fantasy managers may have him for as much as 10 or 11 weeks, together with the fantasy playoffs, is large. From 2018 to 2020, Watson was a top-five QB in all three seasons. Given he’s lacking six video games, he possible gained’t get that prime total, however on a week-to-week foundation, there’s no motive he can not produce these numbers.
Watson’s ADP will possible rise within the coming days. There was normal optimism he would mess around half the season, so it shouldn’t skyrocket. However, certainty will possible encourage fantasy managers to be bolder with regards to deciding on Watson.
It was at all times anticipated that in some unspecified time in the future, Jacoby Brissett could be taking snaps for the Browns this season. Brissett could be very a lot a replacement-level-at-best QB for fantasy managers. In his two seasons as a starter for the Colts in 2017 and 2019, Brissett completed because the QB20 and 23, respectively.
That stage of efficiency shouldn’t be dismissed in a Superflex league. Brissett is usually a stable matchup-based starter on a week-to-week foundation, however it doesn’t get way more thrilling than that. In 1QB leagues, Brissett is essentially an undraftable commodity. He might have worth throughout the season as a streamer, however it’s actually nothing greater than that.
Impact on Amari Cooper
The greatest affect of Watson’s absence shall be felt by Amari Cooper. The Browns’ new WR1 was poised for a bounce-back yr after a disappointing WR25 end in 2021. Cooper averaged simply 13.5 PPR fantasy factors per sport final season.
Brissett was final a beginning quarterback (not counting the 5 video games he crammed in for Tua Tagovailoa final yr) for the Colts, beginning two seasons for them. During that point, the Colts’ WR1 was T.Y. Hilton. Here are Hilton’s ppg averages from 2016-2019. Let me know in case you discover a sample.
- 2016: 17 ppg
- 2017: 11 ppg
- 2018: 17.1 ppg
- 2019: 12.5 ppg
Care to guess which two seasons Brissett began?
Unfortunately, Cooper’s ceiling for the primary six weeks is severely capped with Brissett. A receiver that beforehand had high-WR2 potential is now set for a break up season. Those first six weeks with Brissett, he might battle to even have WR3 worth. However, as soon as Watson returns, that worth instantly will increase to high-WR2 with WR1 potential in the suitable matchup.
Impact on David Njoku
After signing a four-year, $74 million extension this offseason, fantasy managers have been again in on David Njoku as a sleeper TE1 hopeful this season. Watson’s suspension places these goals on maintain as soon as once more.
Njoku’s career-best efficiency got here in 2018 when he averaged 9.6 ppg. Over the previous two seasons, he’s averaged 6.7 ppg and 4 ppg, respectively. Brissett isn’t going to be the architect of Njoku’s resurgence.
With that mentioned, Brissett did goal the tight finish place at a 29% clip in 2019. It was the fourth-highest fee within the league. This information on Watson will possible have a slight on Njoku’s ADP. It may barely elevate it as many have been probably anticipating an eight-game suspension or longer. However, it was changing into clear we might see Watson on the sphere in some unspecified time in the future in 2022, so his worth ought to be pretty settled.
What concerning the Browns’ different huge receivers?
Regardless of who performs quarterback, I’ve no real interest in Donovan Peoples-Jones. DPJ will do his regular factor the place he catches a deep landing once in a while. Outside of a few spike weeks, he shall be below eight fantasy factors.
Brissett isn’t able to supporting a number of fantasy-relevant receivers. Cooper will possible be the one Browns huge receiver returning worth within the first few weeks. However, when Watson returns, there may be a case to take a look at a number of the different choices as waiver wire additions.
Rookie David Bell is intriguing. He utterly bombed athletic testing, however his school manufacturing profile is unbelievable. There’s undoubtedly an opportunity he emerges right into a productive NFL receiver, however it’s unlikely to be early in his rookie season with Brissett as his quarterback. Bell’s off the redraft radar for now, however he might be a stable pickup after we are nearer to Watson’s return.
Impact on Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt
They say a rising tide lifts all boats. Although Watson’s mobility will probably take alternatives away from the working backs, the general offense could be higher. This would possible improve dashing effectivity and landing upside.
Without Watson, it’s establishment for Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The two will proceed sharing work, with Chubb as the first runner and Hunt because the receiving again. Fantasy managers can rely on Chubb to be a floor-based excessive RB1/low RB2, proper round 16 ppg.
Hunt averaged 13.8 ppg final season and 13.7 ppg in 2020. That might drop a bit as traditionally, Brissett doesn’t goal working backs as typically as Baker Mayfield did. Brissett threw to RBs 18.7% of the time in 2019. Mayfield focused the place 21.1% of the time final season. However, total, this backfield ought to look largely the identical.