Patrick Daugherty

The Morning After

print article archives RSS

Deshaun Watson's Ascension

Monday, October 30, 2017


On the seventh start, Deshaun Watson became matchup proof.


Watson rampaged to his 15-touchdown, QB1 overall start on the back of a soft schedule, ripping the Patriots, Titans, Chiefs and Browns. That is not something that should be held against him. Do you know how many good quarterbacks fail to take advantage of golden matchups every Sunday? It’s easier said than done, especially for a rookie who began the season on the bench.  


Sunday, Watson was to be tested. Road tripping to Seattle, he was tasked with solving a Seahawks defense allowing the fourth fewest quarterback fantasy points. Pete Carroll’s unit entered Week 8 permitting just 191 passing yards per game, and 5.6 yards per attempt. Enemy passers were completing only 55.6 percent of their throws, and had managed all of five touchdowns in seven games. Daunting stuff.


Not for Watson. He set about dismantling Earl Thomas and company from the opening whistle. Two and a half minutes and five plays. That’s how long it took Watson to find Will Fuller for a 59-yard touchdown. When the dust finally settled, he had 402 yards and four scores. In Seattle. As a rookie quarterback. Making his seventh start.


Watson was not perfect. He tossed three interceptions, one of which was housed for a touchdown. He also had lots of help. DeAndre Hopkins put the team on his back as much as Watson did. And the Texans, you know, lost the game. But this is a special player, perhaps a once-in-a-generation type talent. People scoffed when Watson’s college coach Dabo Swinney compared him to Michael Jordan. At least for one half of one season, it’s been apt. Watson has a 72-10 type matchup for Week 9 in the Colts, a “defense” allowing 290 yards per game and 8.9 yards per attempt. The QB1 overall on the season will be in excellent position to keep the train rolling.      


Five Week 8 Storylines


Jordan Reed did what Jordan Reed does. In Week 7, Reed finally looked healthy, ripping down eight passes for 64 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. It was not to be. Untouched on a route he was not targeted on, Reed pulled up lame. It was not the shoulder, chest, ribs or toe injuries that bothered him earlier this season, but a new issue. Hamstring. That is, new for 2017. Reed has a long history of hamstring ailments, though none since 2015. It did not appear to be an overly debilitating strain. Labeled questionable, Reed tried to get warm on the sideline. He was then downgraded to doubtful before finally being declared out. Even if Reed does get cleared, fantasy owners will be best served looking elsewhere for Week 9. Reed has had a poor 2017 as he’s tried to play hurt. Vernon Davis is a plug-and-play option for fantasy owners left in a lurch (again).        


Matthew Stafford throws for 423 yards … and zero touchdowns. This was the platonic ideal of a Matthew Stafford start, with the sound and fury of 483 yards of Lions offense resulting in just 15 points, all 15 of which came on field goals. How this was possible isn’t exactly clear. Stafford avoided turnovers, and completed 60 percent of his passes. He averaged a robust 9.4 yards per attempt. As has been a theme throughout his time under center, Stafford’s offense simply couldn’t make the necessary plays in the red zone. Astonishingly, this was Stafford’s second career start with 400 yards and zero scores. He’ll try to get off the schneid in Week 9 against the Packers, a defense he ripped for 732 yards and five touchdowns in two 2016 starts, reaching 347 yards both times. Naturally, both games were Lions losses.    


JuJu Smith-Schuster explodes for 193 yards, waves goodbye to Martavis Bryant. Someone who did find the end zone in Lions/Steelers? Smith-Schuster, whose 97-yard score was the longest passing touchdown in Steelers history. With the Steelers facing a third-and-nine from their own three, Smith-Schuster put Quandre Diggs on skates, caught a perfectly-lofted ball from Ben Roethlisberger, split the safeties and was off to the races. The youngest player in the NFL is now up to 22nd in yardage (424), and is the first person in league history to score four touchdowns before his 21st birthday. He has also ended the Bryant debate, emphatically blowing by his disgruntled teammate on the depth chart. Ready to soak up targets behind Antonio Brown, Smith-Schuster will be an upside WR3 when the Steelers come off bye against the Colts in Week 10.  


Jameis Winston has his worst start of the season. Coming off his best game of the year, Winston promptly had his worst. Maybe it was the wind, maybe it was his recently-aggravated shoulder injury. Whatever it was, Winston was flat bad in a must-win divisional contest with the Panthers. Winston was nowhere close to accurate, and was as mistake-filled as a typical DeShone Kizer outing. He made numerous inexcusable decisions, the worst of which was his lost fumble on a college-style attempted heave as he was getting sacked. That wasn’t the wind. That wasn’t his shoulder. It was a gaffe no NFLer should make. Winston can’t be trusted as a QB1 for Week 9 against the Saints.    


Chris Hogan injures his shoulder. Hogan suffered the injury on his final catch of the Patriots’ win over the Chargers. He was spotted afterward with his right arm in a sling. Hogan has suffered a number of nicks and bruises this season, but has yet to miss time. This being the Patriots, we are unlikely to get a meaningful update any time soon, especially since Week 9 is the Pats’ bye. That bye, of course, could be the key to Hogan not missing any time. Fantasy owners can tentatively expect to have their touchdown-scoring WR2 available for Week 10.


Don't forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB or @RotoPat on Twitter.



continue story »
12
Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Patrick Daugherty



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Silva: Week 11 Matchups

    Silva: Week 11 Matchups
  •  
    Dose: Brown Lights Up Titans

    Dose: Brown Lights Up Titans
  •  
    Dose: Bills to Start Peterman

    Dose: Bills to Start Peterman
  •  
    Matchups: Burkhead vs. Raiders

    Matchups: Burkhead vs. Raiders
  •  
    Waivers: Davis

    Waivers: Davis' Time to Shine
  •  
    Dose: Cam Rolls on MNF

    Dose: Cam Rolls on MNF
  •  
    Dose: Beathard Carries 49ers

    Dose: Beathard Carries 49ers
  •  
    Dose: Wilson Leads Seahawks

    Dose: Wilson Leads Seahawks