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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1
Deshaun Watson

QB HOU

College: Clemson | 5 years
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 215 lbs
Birth Date: 9/14/1995
2022 Bye Week: 9
Suspended - Suspended

Total Pts: 0
Avg Pts: 0.00
Rank: 150 QB

Free Agent

2022 RTSports Outlook

Watson was a healthy scratch every game last season for the Texans. He wanted a trade but the Texans couldn't make it happen, mainly because of his off the field issues. He was not charged for any of his crimes this offseason, though, and the Texans were able to trade him. Watson was dealt to the Browns to become their starter for the foreseeable future. Before last year, Watson had 30-plus touchdowns three straight seasons and 4,000-yard seasons two of three. Watson is a great athlete and top playmaker. Watson is a dual threat that can make big plays with his arm and legs. Watson has 400-plus rushing yards three straight seasons. He will force some throws at times, but generally does a good job of limiting turnovers.

FANTASY OUTLOOK: Watson is an elite fantasy quarterback but probably won't be top five with a move to Cleveland. He has fewer weapons to work with offensively and will play in a more run-friendly offense. Even with that said, he can be top 10. There might be a little rust for Watson after not playing an entire season, but expect him to get up to speed quickly.

FreeDraftGuide.com

RotoBaller's Outlook

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson enters 2022 as perhaps the most polarizing quarterback in fantasy. After missing all of 2021 with the Houston Texans due to allegations of sexual misconduct, Watson signed a five-year deal worth $230 million with Cleveland. The 26-year-old was suspended for six games by NFL's disciplinary officer, Judge Sue L. Robinson. The NFL appealed Watson's six-game suspension, and on August 18, the NFL and NFL Player's association agreed to an 11-game suspension for Watson. With the 11-game suspension official, the former first-round pick becomes a roster stash instead of a mid-range QB2. Watson's production is difficult to ignore if he is on the field. There may be a perception in fantasy circles that the emergence of young star quarterbacks over the past few years might squeeze Watson out of the elite tier, but that doesn't seem likely if he is active. Watson's 2020 numbers would have given him a QB4 finish in 2021, just ahead of Patrick Mahomes. Cleveland has run RPOs at one of the lowest rates in the league since head coach Kevin Stefanski arrived, while it was a staple of Watson's best fantasy seasons in Houston. With a Rotoballer quarterback ranking of 33, these risks are appropriately priced. He remains arguably the best combination of arm talent and rushing ability of anyone not named Josh Allen.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson enters 2022 as perhaps the most polarizing quarterback in fantasy. After missing all of 2021 with the Houston Texans due to allegations of sexual misconduct, Watson signed a five-year deal worth $230 million with Cleveland. The 26-year-old was suspended for six games by NFL's disciplinary officer, Judge Sue L. Robinson. The NFL appealed Watson's six-game suspension, and on August 18, the NFL and NFL Player's association agreed to an 11-game suspension for Watson. With the 11-game suspension official, the former first-round pick becomes a roster stash instead of a mid-range QB2. Watson's production is difficult to ignore if he is on the field. There may be a perception in fantasy circles that the emergence of young star quarterbacks over the past few years might squeeze Watson out of the elite tier, but that doesn't seem likely if he is active. Watson's 2020 numbers would have given him a QB4 finish in 2021, just ahead of Patrick Mahomes. Cleveland has run RPOs at one of the lowest rates in the league since head coach Kevin Stefanski arrived, while it was a staple of Watson's best fantasy seasons in Houston. With a Rotoballer quarterback ranking of 33, these risks are appropriately priced. He remains arguably the best combination of arm talent and rushing ability of anyone not named Josh Allen.

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Player Notes
Aug 18 2:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski announced that quarterback Deshaun Watson will not play in anymore preseason games after it was announced on Thursday that he will be suspended for 11 games in 2022 for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. Watson can practice with the team until Aug. 30, and then he'll return to the practice field in November while preparing to make his debut with the Browns in Week 13 against his former team, the Houston Texans. The 26-year-old's fantasy value as a QB2 stash takes even more of a hit from a six-game suspension to an 11-game suspension. Meanwhile, Jacoby Brissett will fill in as the starter to begin the season. In a run-first offense, Brissett will be more of a game manager and will be a low-end QB2 in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Aug 18 12:10pm ET

The NFL and Players Association reached an agreement in Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's case on Thursday, and he will be suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million. Watson will also undergo a treatment program and will be eligible to return against the Houston Texans, his former team. There had been talks between the league and Players Association this week on a settlement with designee Peter C. Harvey expected to hand down an even harsher penalty for Watson if the two sides didn't agree on a settlement. While Watson will be allowed to play in 2022, the longer suspension makes him even less attractive as a QB2 stash in fantasy leagues. Jacoby Brissett will be the team's starter under center until Watson returns, lowering the value of the rest of the team's offensive skill players.

From RotoBaller

Aug 18 12:03pm ET

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson was suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million by the NFL, according to a source Thursday, Aug. 18. His first game back will be Week 13 against the Houston Texans.

Fantasy Spin: Even though Watson avoided the full-year suspension, fantasy managers should avoid using a draft pick on him given the length of the suspension. He has QB1 upside when he does return, but it's a risky bet burning a bench spot for that long.

From TheHuddle

Aug 18 11:58am ET

The NFL and NFLPA have reached an agreement on an 11-game suspension for Browns QB Deshaun Watson. The settlement also includes a fine of $5 million.

Aug 17 12:23pm ET

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson and the NFL are close to reaching a settlement before Peter C. Harvey rules on the league's appeal of his six-game ban and a resolution could come Wednesday, Aug. 17, or Thursday Aug. 18, according to sources.

From TheHuddle

Aug 17 12:13pm ET

Dynasty | Browns quarterback is Deshaun Watson actively engaged in settlement negotiations with the NFL Dynasty Analysis: The league was looking for a suspension of at least a year and Watson was given six games most recently. Now the embattled quarterback is said to be offering up millions in the form of a fine as well as a greater number of games. While actual settlement could still be a ways out, it would seem that something in the 10-12 game range will be the ultimate result. Dynasty coaches should expect to be without Watson for a majority of 2022. He's found as DLF's QB12.

From Dynasty League Fantasy

Aug 17 1:00am ET

The NFL and NFL Players Association have been involved in active settlement negotiations over the past few days in the disciplinary matter for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly. It's unknown if a compromise will be reached before NFL designee Peter C. Harvey issues a ruling on the league's appeal of Watson's six-game suspension levied by NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson. Sources have expressed optimism that a deal will get worked out, likely because a potentially significant discipline is expected to be handed down by Harvey. "Harvey could drop the hammer on Watson," a source said. "That's why a settlement is a better outcome, even if it's more than six games and includes a multi-million dollar fine." Watson will be facing at least a six-game suspension and likely more, dropping his fantasy value significantly entering the 2022 season. Stay tuned for more.

From RotoBaller

Aug 16 11:53pm ET

The NFL and NFLPA are negotiating a settlement for Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson and there is optimism a deal can be reached before designee Peter C. Harvey rules on the league's appeal of Watson's six-game suspension, according to sources on Tuesday, Aug. 16. The details of the negotiations were not revealed.

Fantasy Spin: One way or the other, Watson is looking at more than six games, and a full year ban is still very much on the table. Whether or not a settlement is enough to avoid such a suspension remains to be seen.

From TheHuddle

Aug 15 11:30pm ET

An MRI exam confirmed that Cleveland Browns center Dawson Deaton (knee) suffered a torn ACL in training camp practice on Monday, according to sources. It's a tough break for the Browns at an important position after starter Nick Harris (knee) went down the other day with a likely season-ending injury. Ethan Pocic, Brock Hoffman and Hjalte Froholdt are the remaining players at the position for Cleveland, with Pocic likely to be the starter heading into the 2022 regular season. Deaton, a rookie out of Texas Tech, will miss all of this year. It's more bad news for a Browns offense that continues to wait on a potential season-long suspension for quarterback Deshaun Watson.

From RotoBaller

Aug 15 2:40pm ET

Cleveland Browns starting center Nick Harris (knee) will likely need season-ending surgery on his right knee for an injury that he suffered in Friday's preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. Harris was replaced in Friday's game by Ethan Pocic, who signed a one-year, $1.187 million deal in March. Brock Hoffman, an undrafted rookie from Virginia Tech, is the only other center on the team's training camp roster. It remains to be seen if the Browns will look to re-sign JC Tretter, their starter the last five seasons, after they released him in a cost-cutting move in March. Pocic was a second-round pick in 2017 by the Seattle Seahawks, and he started 40 of his 57 games played in Seattle. It's bad news for the Browns offense, especially with quarterback Deshaun Watson's potential season-long suspension looming.

From RotoBaller

Aug 12 10:23pm ET

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson completed one of his five passes for seven yards in a 24-13 preseason win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Friday, Aug. 12.

Fantasy Spin: Watson's first action for the Browns was forgettable, but there aren't really questions about how he will perform on the field. The same cannot be said for his availability, and it remains to be seen if Watson will suit up at all this season.

From TheHuddle

Aug 12 8:40pm ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson completed one of five passes for seven yards in Friday's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Watson was playing without most of Cleveland's starters on offense, including Amari Cooper and Nick Chubb during the contest. He lasted three drives before giving way to Josh Dobbs at quarterback. Watson predictably looked rusty after having not played in a game since the end of the 2020 season, although Anthony Schwartz also dropped two passes from Watson, which didn't help matters. The veteran quarterback is still awaiting the results of the NFL's appeal of the six-game suspension recommended by Sue Robinson a few weeks back, meaning Friday's preseason action could be his last time on the field for a while.

From RotoBaller

Aug 10 6:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is scheduled to start the team's preseason opener on Friday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars, along with most of the rest of the starters, as long as he isn't suspended indefinitely by then. The NFL has appealed Watson's six-game suspended, which was handed down by Sue L. Robinson, and they are pushing for a season-long suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. The 26-year-old wouldn't be allowed to practice during training camp or play in preseason games if he's given a year-long ban. Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by 30 massage therapists during appointments in 2019 and 2020, when he was with the Houston Texans. At the very least, Watson will be suspended for six games in 2022, making him more of a low-end QB2 target in fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Aug 10 5:03pm ET

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson is scheduled to be the starting quarterback for the first preseason game.

Fantasy Spin: Watson's situation is still uncertain since the NFL has appealed his six-game suspension. Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see how long he will sit out. He is a starting fantasy option when in uniform but is a risky option at this time.

From TheHuddle

Aug 10 1:53pm ET

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson could find out his fate this week and the suspension ruling could bar him from the preseason opener if it comes before then, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

From TheHuddle

Aug 9 7:10pm ET

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Tuesday that the league is seeking a tougher penalty for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson because his actions were "egregious" and "predatory behavior." The league formally appealed Watson's six-game suspension last week, which was given by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson earlier this month. The NFL is seeking a suspension of at least a year for Watson. It's unknown when former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey will make a ruling on the appeal. Watson was accused of sexual assault and other inappropriate conduct during massage sessions in civil lawsuits filed by 25 women. There's a chance this ends up playing out in federal court, but Watson will miss at least the first six games of the 2022 season, making him an extremely risky fantasy QB this year.

From RotoBaller

Aug 9 2:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has a plan for quarterback Deshaun Watson and the rest of the team's QBs for the team's preseason opener on Friday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he hasn't told them yet and won't tell the media. It's unclear if Watson will play. NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson handed down a six-game suspension for Watson, but the NFL has appealed and is seeking a full-season suspension, which could result in the case moving to federal court. It's anyone's guess as to how much he'll play in the preseason, but it doesn't really mean much in the grand scheme of things for fantasy. With at least a six-game ban for Watson in 2022, he's a low-end QB2, at best in upcoming fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Aug 4 1:13pm ET

Dynasty | The NFL is appealing the decision to suspend Deshaun Watson for only six games. Dynasty Analysis: It's not uncommon for players to appeal their suspensions, but this time it's the other way around. The NFL is claiming Watson's behavior merits a much longer suspension while the disciplinary officer is claiming there simply isn't enough evidence to merit a longer loss of games. The NFLPA is also stating they'll sue the NFL if they appeal the suspension. In short, this saga isn't over and it's a total mess. At this point, expect to see Watson in week seven, though things could certainly change. Regardless, it does seem as if Watson was granted a lighter sentence than most expected.

From Dynasty League Fantasy

Aug 3 5:23pm ET

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson's six-game suspension has been appealed by the NFL, and the league will be looking for an indefinite suspension that would last at least one year, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Watson's availability for the start of the season is uncertain at this time because of the appeal. Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see when he will be able to play. He is a No. 1 fantasy quarterback when he plays but is a risky option.

From TheHuddle

Aug 3 5:20pm ET

The NFL is appealing for an indefinite suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson that would be a minimum of one year, according to sources. The NFL's appeal will also include a monetary fine, which is even more significant given the structure of Watson's contract. Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson gave Watson a six-game suspension on Monday after the investigation into 20-plus accusations of sexual misconduct from Watson. There's now a possibility that the NFL Players Association could file a federal lawsuit, depending on how commissioner Roger Goodell or an appointed designee handles the appeal, which would allow Watson to continue playing until it's heard in federal court.

From RotoBaller

Player Transactions
  • 01-Aug-2022: CLE Deshaun Watson - Suspended - 6 games (NFL Personal Conduct Policy)
  • 20-Mar-2022: CLE Deshaun Watson - Traded - w/ pick for multiple draft picks
  • 20-Mar-2022: CLE Deshaun Watson - Signed - Five-year contract (through 2026)
  • 05-Sep-2020: HOU Deshaun Watson - Re-signed - Four-year extension (through 2025)
  • 27-Apr-2020: HOU - Exercised Option - Fifth-year option on rookie contract
  • 05-Feb-2018: HOU - Off IR - torn ACL
  • 03-Nov-2017: HOU - On IR - torn ACL
  • 12-May-2017: HOU - Signed, Draft Choice - Four-year contract (fifth-year option)
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