Absurdity Check: Should You Drop Sammy Watkins?

Sammy Watkins truthers went around pumping their fists, hooting, and hollering, after his week one performance this year. Watkins turned in three touchdowns and nearly 200 yards against the Jaguars. He kicked the door open and announced to fantasy football owners everywhere that he was ready to return on his potential. Now, we enter week twelve, and Sammy’s bye. It’s time to take a look back on what Watkins has done for us already this season and see if he’s worth holding onto going into the bye. This should answer the question, “should I drop Sammy Watkins?” Please be advised that this is not a referendum on the lizard people, just whether or not you should drop Sammy Watkins.

The Opportunity

Generally, there are two ways to look at the opportunity: targets, and air yards. Watkins is second on the Chiefs, with 68 targets. He has the lead over Tyreek Hill, but only because Watkins had an injury that cost him fewer games. Sammy has 7.6 targets per contest, which is nothing to sneeze at, but it ranks him just twenty-fifth in the league. Again, not great, nothing to sneeze at, either.

The other way to gauge opportunity is air yards. You may have heard of the average depth of target. That’s air yards per target, basically. This is where Sammy Watkins staying on your roster falls apart. On average, a Sammy Watkins target travels just 8.9 yards in the air. Unfortunately, that ranks 105th among all tight ends and wide receivers. That’s… not good. It’s below underwhelming tight ends, like Greg Olsen, Mike Gesicki, and Benjamin Watson. Your top-flight WRs are usually sitting around 11 to 13 yards on their average depth of target. That means that his target volume isn’t great, and neither is his depth of target. It’s all just an underwhelming player opportunity profile.

The Fantasy Football Rank

Finally, let’s get into the actual nitty-gritty of why you asked yourself if you should drop Sammy Watkins. How is Sammy Watkins doing in the game of fantasy football, lately? Well, not great. We all remember Sammy’s 198-yard, three-touchdown game in week one. How do you want me to tell you how starting hot has allowed him to coast through some truly garbage performances? Let’s start with his fantasy points total. He’s played in eight games this season, and his week one 42.3 half-PPR point performance accounts for 47.9% of all his fantasy points scored this season. It also marks the last time this year that he’s crossed the double-digit fantasy point threshold.

Let’s also check how Watkins performs against his peers. On the season, he’s WR31. That’s not bad; WR31 is even respectable. That’s a weekly starter in a league with three wide receivers. However, in the seven games that he’s played since week one, he’s the #66 wide receiver in the league. He’s steadily dropping down the ranks, as he has not posted a top-thirty WR week since week one. His zero touchdowns and four catches for the 43-yard average since week one is just not enough to keep him relevant. Oh, and his zero touchdowns since week one? That’s likely because he has just three red zone targets since the beginning of October. There’s not even a decent touchdown regression profile there.

The Conclusion

Ultimately, Sammy Watkins does not belong on your fantasy football roster, and you should drop Sammy Watkins. There’s nothing under the hood that indicates that he will suddenly have a big touchdown, reception, or yardage regression. Unfortunately for Sammy, those are what makeup fantasy points. His bye is looming, and his season-long overall rank is part a massive week one, and part not having had his bye yet. Hopefully, you caught the trend a month ago and moved him to an unsuspecting owner. Unfortunately, if you’re in a roster crunch and you’re asking yourself if you should drop Sammy Watkins, it’s time to cut bait. There’s nothing that shows that his trend of borderline uselessness will change.


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About Jeff Krisko

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