How can Watkins earn enough targets to deliver fantasy starter production?
Andy Reid's offenses spread the ball around and according to NFL.com's Herbie Teope, only five wide receivers produced a 1,000-yard receiver effort in a single season between two teams since Reid became a head coach in 1999. Sammy Watkins hasn't been a fantasy starter but once during his four-year career. Patrick Mahomes is an inexperienced NFL quarterback, and Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce — two of those five 1,000-yard options — will command enough volume that fantasy owners are skeptical about Watkins earning a productive share.
Don't let past history fool you, Sammy Watkins is in store for career-year.
One of the prevalent themes of the Gut Check column since its inception has been to question conventional thought about players and fantasy strategy. This week's column will account for Watkins' film, his fit in the Chiefs' offense, and contextually examine past history and data. With an average draft position ranging between the sixth and eighth rounds, you'll finish this article with at least a healthy appreciation for the upside Watkins presents at his current value and why there's a healthy argument that Watkins' past doesn't explain his future.
The Watkins Resume
Let's begin with the data and how it compares to his portfolio of film. Watkins produced as a fantasy starter during his first 2 seasons in Buffalo but missed 10 games between 2015-2016. Watkins was healthy last year, but the Bills traded him to the Rams in mid-August and the team took a smart approach to incorporate Watkins quickly into the offense without making things too complicated for Watkins and Jared Goff.
Even a quick glance at the box score data provides worthwhile insights into Watkins' skill set:
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