BJ VanderWoude: DeShaun Watson's meteoric rise to stardom has made him the most expensive quarterback across the industry for week 9. He has a juicy matchup against a porous Colts defense this week, but is he a smart PP$ option? If not, who stands out as a better option among the remaining quaterbacks?
Justin Bonnema: Watson’s $9,600 price on FanDuel makes him the most expensive quarterback of the year and the second most expensive player among all positions (Kareem Hunt and Le'Veon Bell were both $9,700 in Week 7). That alone should give you concern even with his 30-point ceiling. The thing to keep in mind is that the Texans should have no trouble running or passing against the Colts, so we could see a more balanced approach this week. We should also consider quality of opponent. The Colts are in the bottom quarter of the league in nearly every offensive metric. They pushed the Bengals last week, showing signs of life by logging the third most yards and third most points of their season, but I’m not counting on them having success in Houston. I’d rather save some money and go with Drew Brees or Dak Prescott, both of whom have great matchups. And if you believe that the Colts offense will perform, take a flier on Jacoby Brissett (GPPs), who just logged one the best performances of his career and gets a Texans’ defense that is allowing the third most points per game to quarterbacks (worth noting that they ranked 14th before getting smoked by Russell Wilson last week).
Phil Alexander: Usually, when I'm narrowing down the player pool at quarterback, I start with the home favorites who have the highest implied team totals. Watson meets those criteria this week, and he's obviously playing out of his mind for fantasy purposes, but I'm leery of using him too much.
With the exception of Week 4 against the Titans when Watson kept his foot on the gas well after the game was out of reach, his big games have come by necessity rather than by design. This is taking nothing away from his stellar performances, but does he exceed 35 fantasy points against the Chiefs and Seahawks if those teams don't force him to either catch up or keep pace? And can we trust Jacoby Brissett to shred Houston the same way Tom Brady, Alex Smith, and Russell Wilson did?
This game is set up a lot more like Houston's 33-17 Week 6 win against Cleveland, in which Watson scored a modest (for him) 24.3 fantasy points. There's nothing wrong with that type of output, but it's far from QB1 worthy. Last week proved you always need some exposure to Watson in GPPs. Just don't go overboard based on the matchup. Like Justin, I'd much rather save the money and come down to Prescott.
Jason Wood: I think Watson's projected ownership has to factor into the equation. He's going to be HIGHLY owned this week. It's human nature. Generally, I'm in favor of fading a guy who is not only the most expensive but projects as the highest owned at his position. This week, it's going to be risky to fade him completely in cash games. In GPPs, he's an obvious fade. I'll be trying hard to avoid using him in nearly all instances, but again, please know that you're not playing the odds in cash games if you fade him completely.
On FanDuel, I'll take Russell Wilson ($8,500), Alex Smith ($7,600), Carson Wentz ($8,000), Drew Brees ($8,300) and Dak Prescott ($8,200) over Watson. They are all cheaper and have plus matchups and, frankly, better pedigrees. On DraftKings, the list is even longer. Give me Wilson ($7,300), Wentz ($6,100), Smith ($6,500), Cam Newton ($6,300), Brees ($7,000), Prescott ($6,700), Jared Goff ($5,500) and Tyrod Taylor ($5,900) over Watson.
Devin Knotts: The matchup is a perfect one going up against this Colts defense, but the problem is from a lineup construction standpoint, it is really difficult to create a lineup that you feel great about heading into this week with Watson. The other quarterback that I like is going back to Russell Wilson this week. We have seen in years past where Wilson gets off to a slow start and then goes on these monster runs where he puts a majority of his fantasy points all in a few weeks. His price has not increased nearly as much as Watson and outside of Josh Norman, this Redskins pass defense is not great.
James Brimacombe: DeShaun Watson’s rookie season has been incredible so far as he has averaged three touchdowns per game with a pair of five touchdown games. He is one of the safest cash game plays this week with the touchdown upside and his built-in rushing floor (269 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns). All the DFS sites priced him right this week with his high salary and that will give players a tough call to play him or not. For me in cash games if I can make it work, I say play him, but in GPP’s I will likely fade him and go with the Houston running game with Lamar Miller at some lower ownership. I personally will be looking at Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott this week. Both quarterbacks will have a lacking running game and are playing in games at home and with higher Vegas totals. Both of these guys will be popular as well but the potential and cost savings from Watson makes it worth it.
Chris Feery: I’ll also be taking a pass on Deshaun Watson for GPP purposes. That’s a risk due to his explosive upside potential, but it’s one worth taking due to his prohibitive salary and potentially astronomical ownership percentages. If he happens to put up a dud, you gain a leg up on the field if the signal caller you pivot to happens to go off. Jason nailed the top pivots, and I’m highest on Drew Brees and Dak Prescott from those selections. This is also a good week to consider some contrarian flavor at quarterback for your lineups, and Justin already mentioned the name I keep coming back to. Jacoby Brissett has performed well for a Colts team that’s on the road to nowhere, and he gets to face off with a secondary that has been exposed a number of times this season. If you like the Texans to get up big in this game as I do, then you can easily justify taking a flier n Brissett as the Colts attempt to catch-up.
Justin Howe: Watson’s is one of those situations in which Xs-and-Os analysis takes a backseat to a very simple branch of game theory. We know what Watson’s ceiling is, we know what the Colts’ defensive floor is, and we know the real likelihood of another 35-point eruption. The only issues up for analysis here are whether his ownership will help you (it might) and whether it prohibits you from balancing your lineup (it does). Those factors make him an easy GPP pass; your benefit potential is notably stronger by fading his hefty ownership than by grouping in. Especially when we consider how bare-bones your roster will be. Besides, Phil eloquently puts a ding in that ceiling by pointing out that game expectation just doesn’t favor that kind of explosive game. There’s nothing wrong with following the crowd in a 50/50, and you don’t want to be caught without him on the wrong week in a head-to-head, but his GPP benefit is minimal.
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