Debating DeShaun Watson's Value

DeShaun Watson has proven to one of, if not the best overall value through the first five weeks of the season. His salary has stayed very low until this week, however he now finds himself among the top six quartberbacks price wise, across the industry.  With a home matchup against the win-less Brows this week, will you be investing in Watson? Include opinions for both GPP and cash games. 

BJ VanderWoude: DeShaun Watson has proven to one of, if not the best overall value through the first five weeks of the season. His salary has stayed very low until this week, however, he now finds himself among the top six quarterbacks price wise, across the industry. With a home matchup against the win-less Brows this week, will you be investing in Watson? Include opinions for both GPP and cash games.

John Mamula: DeShaun Watson has single-handily transformed the Texans offense as he has accounted for 12 touchdowns over the past three weeks. In that time period, the Texans have averaged 41.3 points per game. As a 9.5 point home favorite against the Browns, this offense isn't slowing down anytime soon. The Browns are ranked as the 8th best rush defense allowing only 76.6 rushing yards per game. That changes against the pass as the Browns have allowed an NFL worst 112.4 passer rating to quarterbacks this season. Number one wide receivers Antonio Brown and T.Y. Hilton have torched this defense. Watson is in play for both cash games and GPP tournaments this week regardless of his DFS price.

James Brimacombe: It’s hard to not like DeShaun Watson this week against the Cleveland Browns. He has been one of the best stories so far in this NFL season and the fact that he has put together back to back 5 touchdown performances only makes it better. He almost has a built-in floor of 40 rushing yards (and 0.5 rushing touchdowns) over the past four games that he has started. Right there alone you are looking at 7 fantasy points before you even account for any of his passing production. This is the perfect type of quarterback you want to focus in on for cash games as his floor is already set with his rushing ability and the fact that he gets the Browns at home is only a bonus. The Browns have allowed an average of 244 passing yards, 2.2 passing touchdowns, and 0.4 rushing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. With bye weeks for four teams, and with TNF, SNF, MNF coming into effect it is not surprising that Watson is among the top 6 quarterbacks across the DFS industry. He belongs there at the top and is a strong cash play this week, and also is a fine GPP play especially in a stack with the likes of Will Fuller V to differentiate from those that will just go with Watson and Hopkins.

Dan Hindery: Watson is my favorite option in cash games this week and I will also be aggressive getting him into a high percentage of my GPP lineups. He has thrown the ball surprisingly well in recent weeks, has major rushing upside, and is in a dream matchup. Also, while Watson is the 6th most expensive quarterback on FanDuel, at $7,900 he is still priced closer to Blake Bortles ($7,000) and Josh McCown ($6,900) than he is to Aaron Rodgers ($9,000) and Tom Brady ($9,500).

Over the past three weeks, Watson has averaged 30.7 points per game on FanDuel. Over the same stretch, Cleveland has allowed 23.5 points per game to opposing passers. The three quarterbacks who contributed to that 23.5 average were Jacoby Brissett, Andy Dalton, and Josh McCown. Cleveland ranks 3rd in DVOA against the run and 31st in DVOA against the pass. The Browns take away the run and force teams to beat them through the air. Everyone they have faced has been up to the task and Watson should be as well.

Chris Feery: There will come a point in time this season when it will make sense to fade DeShaun Watson. That time is not this week when the lowly Browns come to town. The Browns are allowing an alarming amount of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and four of the five signal callers they have faced have tossed multiple touchdowns against them. The one that didn’t, Jacoby Brissett, was able to toss one while running in two more. If you like having quarterbacks with a high probability of producing touchdowns in your daily lineups, then Watson is a fine selection in Week 6. He makes perfect sense for both cash game and GPP purposes.

Justin Howe: Watson was (and still is) a shaky-looking prospect, lacking in mechanics and arm velocity, and it’s unlikely he’s simply this good (). Some degree of regression is coming, and he probably has a few bottom-out games on the way. But I doubt we’ll see a fall to Earth against the Browns’ burnable secondary, and I don’t see the need to try to out-dance the field and fade him when he’s still a good, affordable cash play. Watson can theoretically bottom out through the air but still bring home cash value on splash plays and rushing. Even if he’s pushed into a 175-yard, 3-turnover type of game, he carries as strong a chance as anyone to fold multiple touchdowns and 30-50 rushing yards into the stat line. Altogether, that makes for a floor we can believe in for as long as he’s around this salary.


In GPPs, it makes a little sense to fade him for contrarian purposes. If he posts a poor passing line and also fails to find the end zone on the ground, a contrarian DFSer can sneak past a good 20% of the field in some contests. But there’s simply not enough drawback here to have to consider a full-on fade. There are similar and cheaper (meaning, better) options on the board, but Watson works just fine as a staple of your GPP portfolio. These three surging weeks have shown us a realistic ceiling that’s just marvelous.

Jason Wood: I think Watson has regression coming, but I don't think it'll be this week against a Browns team that is lost at sea. With the Texans defense banged up, I suspect Watson will have the green light to work his magic in a high-scoring affair, and I'm not only comfortable using Watson in cash lineups, he's going to be my second highest own cash game quarterback behind Alex Smith. In GPPs, I don't like him as much because his ownership is going to be high.