Start or Sit Sammy Watkins
This week, should we start or sit Sammy Watkins’ kinda/sorta homecoming as he returns to Los Angeles to play the Chargers?
The preseason is over, and it’s time to start thinking about your 2018 fantasy football week one lineup. That means fantasy football owners get up on Sunday morning and proceed to rearrange their lineup six-or-seven times before begrudgingly hitting submit, and hoping for the best. Here at Football Absurdity would like to cut that process down to just impotently rejiggering your lineup four-or-five times. Each week, we will highlight multiple players at each position (ignoring Kicker and DST, as one should) and we ask the question: start or sit <player>? I wish I could take it easy on myself and say to start Antonio Brown and sit Amara Darboh every week, but life isn’t easy (and neither are fantasy football start or sit questions), so we take a look at players on the periphery. This week, should we start or sit Sammy Watkins’ kinda/sorta homecoming as he returns to Los Angeles to play the Chargers?
Sammy Watkins on the Kansas City Chiefs is one of those things that sounds pretty cool in theory, but in practice, it will not go well for him. At best, he is the fourth option on offense (Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, and Travis Kelce haven’t gone anywhere), and these are guys who played and practiced with Pat Mahomes all rookie year. It will likely take Watkins time to build a rapport with Mahomes that will make him a viable fantasy football starter. Even if he does get that rapport, is there enough in this offense to support him?
To start or sit Sammy Watkins is an unusual evaluation because he steps into a role that should dominate targets, but he’s surrounded by the league’s best deep threat, a target monster RB, and a target monster tight end. Throughout Andy Reid’s head coaching career, the #2 wideout does not perform anywhere up to snuff. The best finish for the second wideout on an Andy Reid offense was WR21… in 2010. While it’s possible the Chiefs have enough talent to support a finish like that for Watkins, I am going to wait & see how targets shake out. His 2010 WR21 gobbled up 17.11% of the targets, and the TE1 accounted for 14%. Since Travis Kelce became a monster, he’s had 50% more than that, averaging 22% of the targets for Kansas City. The WR2 in the same time span averaged just 12% of the targets. The target volume trends do not skew well for Watkins.
Unfortunately for Watkins, he takes on the Los Angeles Chargers and one of the best defenses against opposing WRs. They allowed just one wideout over 100 yards last season and held opposing WRs to just thirteen touchdowns all season. They were even better down the stretch, allowing just three WR scores after their week nine bye. Oh… and Derwin James fell to them in the draft.
Sammy Watkins will have an uphill battle for targets in Kansas City, and it’s a situation I want to see shake out before I trust him in my fantasy lineups. You could go gung-ho if you believed in the talent and situation but against a stout pass defense like the Chargers… I’ll wait & see and be okay if I’m wrong in week one. So, the answer to the question, “should you start or sit Sammy Watkins,” is: Sit.
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