If you want a frustrating situation for fantasy football players, look no further than the current one with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Fortunately for the Texans and their fans, the team is winning games, but it hasn’t been great for fantasy players who have the young quarterback on their roster.
Watson has been playing through various injuries which have impacted his performance. It was so bad that he actually rode a bus to the team’s last game against the Jacksonville Jaguars instead of flying. It’s an incredible level of dedication from Watson, and you have to respect the 23-year-old battling through to make sure his team keeps winning games.
The Texans have now reeled off four-straight wins, but the quarterback has thrown for under 200 yards in each of the last two, along with just two total touchdowns and two interceptions. These injuries have led to many fantasy owners opting to start another quarterback over Watson last week, and the call on whether to roll him out in Week 8 on Thursday night is a tough one.
With that said, let’s look at whether to start or sit Watson in his matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
Key Stats and Deshaun Watson’s Fantasy Outlook
I’ll break down the matchup along with a few key numbers involving Watson and the Texans ahead of the Week 8 matchup. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Miami Dolphins vs. quarterbacks in 2018: 155/236 for 1,954 yards, 11 touchdowns, 11 interceptions (No. 9 fewest fantasy points per game)
- Dolphins allowing 268.6 passing yards per game (No. 10 most in NFL)
- Watson has completed 55 percent of passes in the past two games compared to 64.56 percent in the five games prior
- Watson’s passing yards per attempt fell below 8.52 for the first time since Week 1 – 7.08 in Week 6 and 5.79 in Week 7
This is a tough spot for Watson. The Dolphins have been solid against opposing quarterbacks and Watson is playing on a short week. When it comes to rib/lung injuries, these things don’t just go away overnight either so the Texans quarterback could have a tough go of it.
Should You Start or Sit Deshaun Watson?
If you have a solid backup quarterback in a good matchup, I’d lean that direction. We need to at least see that Watson is somewhat healthy or trending in that direction before confidently rolling him out. One key aspect of the former Clemson star’s game is his ability to run, but over the past two weeks, he’s had nine attempts for just 15 yards.
I’d recommend playing it safe this week and trying to find a replacement for Watson as your fantasy quarterback. There’s always the chance he’s feeling better and breaks out, but as the fantasy playoffs draw closer, it’s likely not worth the risk.