How to treat Deshaun Watson as a fantasy football waiver target

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Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Deshaun Watson (left), Kevin Stefanski (right).

Deshaun Watson’s debut with the Browns is officially imminent, as the controversial quarterback is set to start Week 13 against his former team, the Texans. Needless to say, this is shaping up to be both a positive game and a “revenge” game for Watson.

That being said, the guy hasn’t played in a game that matters since the 2020 season. Expecting him to come and play like the three-time Pro Bowler we remember might be a bit too.

Action Network’s fantasy football experts break down what to expect from Watson below.

Koerner from the sea: Watson is eligible to return in Week 13, but there’s a chance he’ll need a game or two to shake off the rust. He looked pretty bad during pre-season and he was only able to return to training last week, so it’s hard to imagine him returning to the top five immediately.

However, if you desperately need a potential top-10 QB, especially for the playoffs, you should be aggressive in trying to acquire him.


Samantha Previte: Watson practiced with his new team last week and is expected to make his first NFL start since Week 17 of the 2020 season just after Thanksgiving on the road in Houston.

Replacement Jacoby Brissett has been helpful, but you can’t expect a $230 million player to step onto the bench once his suspension is over. Watson was QB5 in 2018, QB2 in 19 and QB6 in 20 – all with limited depth on the Texans.

I expect him to post at least the top 12 numbers with the Browns, who have Amari Cooper, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Harrison Bryant and Donovan Peoples-Jones at the top of their offensive depth chart. Watson is worth adding ahead of Week 13 — especially if you’re skinny at quarterback and in playoff contention.

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