Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, Deshaun Waston is probably a household name. As the QB for Clemson, he’s been to the past two BCS National Championship games, both against Alabama and their stingy defense. Watson lost the 2016 matchup against the Tide, and came back to avenge the loss in 2017.
After one season of Brock Osweiler at the helm, the Houston Texans decided to go another direction. Last week, the Texans traded up to the 12th pick to draft Watson and end their revolving door at quarterback. Of all the places Watson could have ended up, Houston has to be one of the better landing spots for him. From a fantasy perspective, it’s also a great landing spot for folks who want to draft Watson this season as well.
Lets take a look at what Watson did in his last two seasons at Clemson:
|Year||Pass Yards||Pass TDs||INT||Rush Yards||Rush TDs|
Watson has faced what some people have dubbed the “33rd Best Defense in the NFL” also known as Alabama’s defense, in each of the last two National Championship games. He has not disappointed. In his 2017 win, he threw for 420 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also added a touchdown and 43 yards rushing. In the 2016 loss, he threw for 405 yards with 4 touchdowns and had 73 yards rushing.
Watson has proved time and time again he’s a big game quarterback. He now goes to a team with a fearsome defense led by JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, and a bevy of offensive weapons to use as he sees fit. The Texans made a lot of moves to improve their offensive depth in 2016, and Watson should be the one who benefits from those moves.
Last season they added Lamar Miller via free agency, which led to his 2nd 1000 yard rushing season. Via the draft, they also added wide recievers Will Fuller and Braxton Miller. Both Fuller and Miller had flashes of excellence last season and will continue to mature. Adding those players to an already strong core of WR DeAndre Hopkins and TE CJ Fiedorowicz should give Watson plenty of tools to work with.
Of all the rookie QBs drafted, Watson has the most fantasy upside, both by his ability (both rushing and passing) and the strength of the team he was drafted by. The Texans defense is one of the strongest in the league when healthy. As mentioned above, he has plenty of weapons on offense. His upside going into the NFL season is going to be sky-high.
Not to be forgotten is the fact that Watson is also in arguably one of the weakest divisions in football. He’ll get to face the Colts, Titans, and Jaguars twice each season. None of his AFC South opponents have defenses that should concern anyone.
Last but not least, let’s not forget his new coach, Bill O’Brien. O’Brien is a Belichick-disciple from the New England staff (2007-2011) in additon to his experience coaching up Christian Hackenberg in his time as head coach at Penn State. O’Brien knows how to bring along a QB, and has even had moments where he’s made guys like Tom Savage and Brian Hoyer look fantasy relevant. He should have plenty of time to mold Watson into a great QB, and he’s never had a guy with the Championship-DNA and foot-speed Watson brings to the table.
I’m not saying he’s going to have a season like Dak Prescott did for the Cowboys, but the comparisons will be made all season, and arguably Watson comes in much more polished. Come draft day, take a hint from the Houston Texans and don’t be afraid to reach for Deshaun Watson.