Old Faces, New Places: Sammy Watkins

Old Faces, New Places: Sammy Watkins

Player Analysis

Old Faces, New Places: Sammy Watkins

(Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports)

Back in March, shortly after free agency opened, David Dorey discussed the Patrick Mahomes-Sammy Watkins pairing of the Kansas City Chiefs.

In today’s update, the focus will be any moves since and how they will affect the offensive outlook for Watkins. Mahomes will have a solo update of his own at a later date.

Since March 20:

  • KC didn’t have a first-round pick (Mahomes trade) and focused its attention on defense, with five of the six choices going to that side of the ball. The lone offensive selection was a guard in the sixth round, adding Kahlil McKenzie for depth.
  • Chris Conley is working his way back from an Achilles’ tendon tear and figures to be slowed early in the year. Head coach Andy Reid praised Conley’s “phenomenal” recovery speed. The 25-year-old is known for his on-field wheels, blazing a 4.35-second 40 at his combine in 2016. It isn’t out of the question one of the younger receivers in Demarcus Robinson or Jehu Chesson hustles to win Conley’s lineup spot. Regardless, this should have little impact on Watkins.
  • Mahomes has looked the part thus far in the offseason practices, according to his coach. “We’re loading him up, and he’s handling it. He’s spent a lot of time away from here working on it, and you can see that in the results when he comes out here,” Reid told USA TODAY Sports. “Long way to go, but we love his attitude.”

Fantasy football takeaway

As one can tell, the past few months haven’t changed much of anything for Watkins’ fantasy outlook. He remains a better play in standard scoring and will disappear at times. This is a given, due to his big-play nature. Downfield weapons in his mold make their money with splash plays, leaving fantasy gamers looking for more consistency elsewhere. It’s awfully sweet when we receive a 4-150-2 stat line from a guy, but his negative impact to a lineup is often felt through plenty of 3-50-0 slashes, too. The point being, just know what you are getting in Watkins.

Being a low-volume target, he has to make the most of his catches and explode for massive chunks of yardage. The most meaningful way he contributes is by turning in an efficient scoring ratio, finding the end zone once every 7.7 grabs spanning his career. Last year, the figure was an insane 4.9 catches. Being touchdown-dependent limits versatility and hinders deployment utility based on the matchups. Elite pass-catchers can have a daunting statistical outlook but still reel in seven or eight balls for 100 yards without a score and prove useful.

Watkins’ current ADP of 5:10 is indicative of such a role. He’s hot and cold but offers more boom than bust, when healthy. Owners in PPR formats will need to make up points elsewhere via reception hogs. Treat him as a WR3 in PPR and a low-end No. 2 in standard setups.

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