By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Transaction: The Kansas City Chiefs sign WR Sammy Watkins to a 3-year deal
2018 Fantasy Outlook: Since Watkins was drafted fourth overall in 2014, everyone has been waiting for him to become the next great wide receiver in the NFL. His new three-year deal with the Chiefs shows that the Chiefs believe he can be exactly that in Kansas City.
Watkins is my least favorite WR in fantasy. All that talent and only one 1,000 yard receiving season on his resume (2015) and he’s never once had 10 TDs in a season. From 2015 – 2017 he finished as WR28, WR94, and WR38. He’s maddeningly frustrating to own, which is why I don’t. Ever.
During his first and only campaign with the Rams last year, he accounted for 8 TDs, but on most occasions was Jared Goff’s fourth option in the Rams high-powered offense behind Todd Gurley, Robert Woods, and rookie Cooper Kupp. Legitimate number one wide receivers don’t play in 15 out of 16 games and only receive 70 targets. They just don’t. The Chiefs are paying him to more than double that target share, but in terms of surrounding talent competing for the ball, Watkins simply traded one high-powered offense for another. Instead of contending for touches with Gurley, Woods, and Kupp, he’ll be competing with Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce.
The saving grace to Watkins’ presence in Kansas City is that Andy Reid showed the world what he could do when he has a true number one wide receiver at his disposal. In 2004, the year Reid took the Eagles to the Super Bowl, he had Terrell Owens catching passes from Donovan McNabb. Owens had 77 catches on 127 targets for 1,200 yards and 14 TDs. In 14 games. If he plays all 16, Owens likely hits 16 TDs and close to 1,400 yards. If Watkins can approach 1,200 yards and double digit TDs with 70 or so catches, the Chiefs will be happy.
Watkins is a WR3/FLEX for me because there is upside in his talent and the pass-happy offense he joined. But I’m not going to be disappointed if I don’t draft him. All that means is he’s someone else’s headache during the fantasy season.