After blowing up against the Cleveland Browns in week two, many fantasy football nuts are curious and asking, “Is Ben Watson starting tight end material?”
Count me in as a non-believer in Ben Watson going into week two of the 2017 season. After not even receiving a single target in week one, I began to question just how much the 36-year old tight end would be used. And then the Ravens played the Cleveland Browns.
Laugh all you want, the Browns actually have two very good linebackers in Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey. I went into week two fully expecting the Ravens to pound the ball behind their suffocating defense. To my defense, I was correct in this assumption. The Ravens ran the ball 29 times with their running backs compared to 34 passing attempts by Joe Flacco.
What I did not expect was for Ben Watson to turn in the performance that he did.
Ben Watson wound up grabbing eight passes for 91 yards. For us PPR guys, that’s a pretty darn good day for any tight end. Even in standard leagues, 9.1 points is still a solid day.
So now people are asking quite a few questions about Watson’s day.
What is Ben Watson’s worth in fantasy football?
The first question we have to ask is whether or not Ben Watson is worth a pick-up in fantasy football. With how weak the tight end position is in fantasy football, the answer to that is a firm yes. Just based off of this week alone, Watson should be someone everyone needs to put in a waiver for.
Now comes the more important question: Is Ben Watson a starting tight end in fantasy football? My answer, as a recent doubter of Watson, is yes. But be cautious. How many times have we seen guys have massive weeks only to disappoint the next week or throughout the season? Tell me this: Can any of you honestly tell me who Kevin Ogletree or Jonas Gray are without looking them up?
With that in mind, everyone knows who Watson is… so he has that going for him at least.
So, what’s the verdict on Watson’s fantasy value?
Here’s my thought process on Watson. Watson led the team in targets with nine versus the Browns. This happened after running back, and check down option, Danny Woodhead gets injured in week one. Not only this, but Flacco’s favorite target from 2016, a tight end named Dennis Pitta, was lost for 2017.
Now Flacco needs a safety valve on short to intermediate routes and across the middle. So, then Watson just so happens to lead the team in targets? Something tells me that’s not a coincidence.
Even better for Watson’s upside is that the tight end group is depleted. Maxx Williams is now dealing with another injury (was seen with a walking boot during last week’s game). Wide receivers Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman have been complete non-factors. And while Buck Allen is certainly a capable receiver, perhaps the most capable of the running back group, he isn’t the sure-handed safety net that Watson is.
So, with all of this in mind, I am definitely buying into Watson. One does need to be cautious about whether or not he can repeat this performance. If he has another strong week against the Jaguars, who host one of the league’s best defenses, he should be considered a safe start week-in and week-out.
If Watson is available in your league, snag him while you can. He might just be a fantasy goldmine.