Near the end of the 2022 NFL season, Christian Watson was the last player I expected to write a dynasty profile on. After seeing Watson dominate with an extremely high touchdown rate, I was sure he would never equate to anything. However, I’m all in after looking at Watson’s underlying numbers and profile.
Coming into the NFL, Watson showed he was an athletic freak. At 6’4 “, 208 lbs., Watson ran a 4.36 40-yard dash and was selected 34th overall in the NFL draft. Despite all of this, there were a few things to be concerned about with Watson.
For one, he stayed all four years at college, which is a red flag. Watson had a valid excuse as his season was cut short due to covid, causing him to stay another year.
On top of that, Watson dealt with injuries during training camp. He struggled to stay on the field early on in the season. When Watson finally got on the field, he dropped a wide-open deep ball from Aaron Rodgers.
All the doubt stopped after week 10 when Watson had a 28.7-point performance. From week ten on, Watson averaged 17.5 PPG and finished as the WR8 on a PPG basis.
A remarkable stat I found by Alex Caruso was that the only rookies with 2.25 or higher yards per route run were Odell Beckham Jr, Tyreek Hill, A. J. Brown, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Watson, and Chris Olave.
7 WRs have scored at least a 2.25 or higher yards per route run as a rookie— Alex Caruso (@AlexCaruso) August 2, 2023
They other 5 all finished as Top 7 WRs in Fantasy PPG in their second year
DRAFT OLAVE AND WATSON
Besides Olave, who is also entering his second year, everyone on this list finished as a top-seven wide receiver in year two. Watson also finished in the top five for yards after the catch. He was top four in air yards share after week 10.
The most mind-blowing stats I could find on Sophomore WRs:— Ryan Heath (@QBLRyan) August 1, 2023
1A. Christian Watson had a top-10 rookie season by YPRR since 2010 (min. 200 routes)
1B. His 6.8 yards after the catch per reception was top-5 last year.
1C. After Week 10, Watson ranked top-4 in air yards share pic.twitter.com/7AXaV2LQly
2023 Season Outlook
For 2023 Watson is already one of my most drafted players. I love his price as the WR21 on Underdog, as I believe he can easily surpass that. For one, I’m higher on Jordan Love than most. Love looked good in his limited game time, and many forget he was a first-round pick.
The Packers’ offense won’t be horrible, but there’s no questioning that Watson is the alpha wide receiver. Playing alongside an unproven Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed, Watson will be the key read for his young quarterback on almost every play.
The team still has Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, who will also help move the ball. Watson will still be the focal point of this offense.
Jordan Love with a 40+ yard pass to Christian Watson in stride. pic.twitter.com/4MdmZq0Y8G— Nick Penticoff (@NickPenticoff) July 31, 2023
Watson’s Dynasty Value
According to NerdsADP, Watson has an ADP of WR18. This is a fair price point for Watson, as it would be hard to move him above Davante Adams, Drake London, or D.K. Metcalf.
All these receivers have more upside and value than Watson in his career, but I love the players he’s ahead of him. Having Watson above Jerry Jeudy, D. J. Moore, and Quentin Johnston is something I can agree with.
For the most part, I would trade for Watson on a rebuilding team. He’s only 24. If I’m a contender and Watson is already my WR2 or WR3, I wouldn’t need to move him, as you count on his value to increase while he puts up points this season.
If your league mates still think Watson is touchdown-dependent, now is your chance to buy him before he has a massive 2023 season.
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