Tag Archives: Deshaun Watson

2021 Preseason Fantasy Quarterback Rankings

NFL training camps are starting up and that makes this the perfect time for preseason fantasy football rankings. Specifically, let’s get into whos and wheres of it all, ranking the top 12 players in each position group. First up on the board, the most important position in all professional sports: quarterback.

The rankings are based on a couple of criteria. First, the player’s individual situation (i.e. supporting cast, system, etc.). The second is past performance; was the player trending up, down, or are they poised for a bounceback? And the last part is the strength of their respective schedule. It’s important but last due to being so far from the season we don’t know for sure who will be good or not.

Ranking the Top 12 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks for 2021

1. Kyler Murray

Last year, we touted Kyler Murray as an MVP candidate. Things didn’t work out in that regard but Murray did finish 2020 as the fantasy QB2, behind only Allen. Well, this season he’s poised to do even more damage in his third year under Kliff Kingsbury and with an improved receiving corps.

A.J. Green has struggled to stay healthy but when right he is a difference-maker. Even if he continues to be unreliable, Arizona drafted Rondale Moore out of Purdue to join DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk.

Don’t fret over the signing of James Conner. Neither he nor Chase Edmonds is workhorse material. Kenyan Drake had 239 carries (6th) and 10 touchdowns (10th) and Murray still was able to chip in 819 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Murray’s production has increased each of his first two seasons.

2. Patrick Mahomes

“What once was, will be again” is the perfect way to describe what’s likely coming from the Kansas City Chiefs and 2018 NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes. Last year, he missed a game and finished second in yards and fourth in touchdowns. We all know how the Super Bowl went for the Chiefs and they went out and did something about it this offseason, revamping their offensive line.

They did lose Sammy Watkins, but Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson are back. Both checked in ahead of Watkins in the pecking order last season. The retooled line could mean a heavier emphasis on the run. But with Andy Reid and Mahomes, it’s far more likely the latter returns to dominance. Especially with a schedule that is 10th-easiest, per FantasyPros.

3. Matthew Stafford

It’s possible no one is more excited for the upcoming season than new Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. After spending 12 years toiling away with the Detroit Lions, it’s like going from a Ford Pinto to a Ferrari. In four years under head coach Sean McVay, L.A. has never ranked lower than 11th in yards. And, prior to finishing 22nd last season, the same was true of their scoring. Detroit has been top-10 in scoring just twice and yards three times.

Going from Jared Goff to Stafford should help get them back on track and even take them to new heights. Goff, who was never viewed by most as a franchise quarterback by most due to the hand-holding done by his coach, still finished last season as a low QB2 (21st). Stafford finished 18th in a rudimentary offense in Detroit. He also has a top-10 fantasy schedule and three tremendous wideouts in Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and free-agent signee, DeSean Jackson.

4. Josh Allen

Last year’s QB1 doesn’t fall too far in our preseason rankings and even this dip shouldn’t be the result of regression from Josh Allen. Instead, teams will undoubtedly be more prepared for his passing ability and the Buffalo Bills should put greater emphasis on the ground attack in 2021. And, as has been the theme with our first two passers, he’s projected to have a soft schedule.

It’s not just happenstance that should see Allen right back near the top fantasy quarterbacks. Buffalo went out and added Emmanuel Sanders to last year’s receptions and receiving yards leader, Stefon Diggs, underrated slot man Cole Beasley, and last year’s rookie sensation Gabriel Davis. We could also see him run more to make up for any dip in his passing numbers.

5. Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott was QB4 through the first five weeks of the 2020 season. We all know what happened to him, but we may have forgotten that first part. Proclaiming himself healthy enough to play a game today, we should see the extended version of the preview from last year when the Cowboys led the league in total and passing yards with him under center.

Amari Cooper is coming off his third consecutive 100-yard season (his fourth in five years) and CeeDee Lamb should be even better in his sophomore campaign. Michael Gallup is in a contract year and could put up good numbers in search of big money. The x-factors could be tight ends Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz, the latter of which came on strong for Dallas. Their offensive line not holding up is the only thing that could hold them back.

6. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, the 2020 NFL MVP who led the league in completion percentage and touchdown passes, reportedly has no plans to return to Green Bay and play for the Packers in 2021. It’s new territory for everyone to have the reigning MVP trying to force his way off the team he won the award with. Not to mention, the Packers went to the NFC Championship Game after going 13-3 in the regular season.

That loss in the playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl winner Tampa Bay Buccaneers likely highlighted just how much was afforded to Tom Brady and highlighted how “little” the Packers have done for Rodgers who was QB3 in 2020 and has but one Super Bowl appearance/victory whereas Brady has seven wins in 10 appearances. The bottom line is if he reports as we eventually expect, don’t expect him to take it easy on opponents this season.

7. Russell Wilson

#LetRussCook is so 2020, the 2021 Seattle Seahawks plan to…let…Russ…Cook? Wait, what? That’s right, it seems after looking off Russell Wilson‘s overtures for more input, Pete Carroll and John Schneider (in that order) set about making it up to their seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback by beefing up his blocking, as he’d been requesting.

Wilson has been ranked outside the top-10 in fantasy quarterbacks just twice in his career and both times he was 11th. He was QB1 in ‘17, QB9 in ‘18, QB4 in ‘19, and QB6 last season. The dude is consistent. With the upgrade to his protection and D.K. Metcalf another year in and Gerald Everett stepping in at tight end, Wilson could be in for a monster campaign.

8. Tom Brady

All Tom Brady did in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was throw for his most yards since 2015, the second-most yards of his career, oh, and win his seventh Super Bowl (number two for Tampa). He finished the season as QB8, his highest finish since 2017 when he was QB3. There isn’t much left to say.

Oh, the Bucs are practically returning their whole Super Bowl roster and Brady said that he wasn’t even fully comfortable with the playbook until “midway through” last season. The rest of the league should be on notice. In fact, we might have him ranked too low on this list. He could finish much, much higher.

9. Ryan Tannehill

It might surprise some to learn that Ryan Tannehill was a top-10 fantasy quarterback (QB7) last season. That’s probably because it was just his second time in the top-10; the last was in 2014 when he was QB8. Also, he has this guy named Derrick Henry who’s pretty good at running the football. So no one would blame you for not noticing Tannehill’s career-high 35 touchdown passes.

The Tennessee Titans want to ensure they get similar production from their quarterback. After losing Corey Davis to the Jets in free agency, they made one of the offseason’s biggest splashes in trading a second-round pick to the Falcons for Julio Jones. He should be able to replace Davis’ production and then some opposite A.J. Brown.

10. Lamar Jackson

2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson was also QB1 in fantasy that season. Last year, however, he regressed some and finished as QB10 as his production was down across the board as the Ravens, like many other teams, navigated COVID. His security blanket, tight end Mark Andrews, missed two games in protocol and Marquise Brown didn’t cut it as a number one receiver.

Enter free agent signee Sammy Watkins and 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman. Together they should give Jackson his best trio of receivers since he’s been a pro. Baltimore probably still lacks a true number one option at the wide receiver position, but at least they are trying to give Jackson more weapons. He does have one of the toughest schedules for quarterbacks, though.

11. Justin Herbert

In many ways, Justin Herbert should be poised to take a major leap forward this coming season. He finished last season in this same spot after getting the surprise nod in Week 1 and never looking back. He led all rookies in passing yards and touchdowns and finished sixth and 10th, respectively, in the NFL.

One thing could stand in Herbert’s way. Tight end Hunter Henry will be catching passes in New England this season after signing there as a free agent. The Chargers will try to replace his production (60 catches, 613 yards, and four touchdown grabs with journeyman Jared Cook but he’s never been the most consistent. Guess he’ll have to make do with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams (and running back Austin Ekeler).

12. Deshaun Watson

2020’s passing yards leader, Deshaun Watson threw a career-best 33 touchdowns, on a career-high 70.2 percent completion, with a career-low seven interceptions. He could put up better numbers for the Houston Texans this season, even if the Houston Texans record won’t have much to show for it. Will Fuller is gone but Brandin Cooks had over 1100 yards last season and Chris Conly arrives as a bigger body that can handle some of the verticality Fuller brought to the offense.

Watson is currently facing 22 civil suits stemming from alleged sexual misconduct. The outcome of that outweighs all of this. On the field, the Texans signed a trio of backs to join David Johnson in the backfield and upgraded the offensive line so they could look to run more this season. There are also rumors he could soon be on the move, assuming his legal issues get taken care of, with the Broncos listed as a potential landing spot. That would skyrocket him up this list.

2021 NFL Preseason Fantasy QB Rankings

We’ll revisit this as we get closer to the regular season. But it’s more likely the order changes than the actual names. Watson’s situation, for example, could shake up this entire list or even allow for a new name to make it on.

The Most Flawed Rosters in the NFL

We’re in a bit of a down period around the NFL so it’s time to see who has spent their time poorly and left their rosters deeply flawed. We’re three weeks removed from the 2021 NFL Draft, rookie mini-camps just took place, and we now await June 1 when teams will purge some higher-earning players. So…

Which Teams Have the Most Flawed Rosters in the NFL?

Las Vegas Raiders

2020 Record: 8-8

Key Additions: Yannick Ngakoue, Kenyan Drake, Solomon Thomas, John Brown

Key Losses: Rodney Hudson, Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson

Las Vegas is certainly taking a gamble in the 2021 season with how they re-worked their roster coming off of quarterback Derek Carr’s best year since 2016. They moved on from 60 percent of their starting offensive line, one of the best and most durable around the NFL. Detroit also gave up their fewest sacks since 2017. They took Alex Leatherwood to play right tackle but most considered him a late first-round prospect, if not a second-rounder. Vegas took him 17th overall.

They did something similar with Clelin Ferrell back in 2019. And while Pro Football Focus gave him a very good grade last season, the Raiders still had to go to free agency to find pass-rushing help. The return of Karl Joseph also doesn’t inspire much faith in a group that ranked 26th against the pass, but Trevon Moehrig might. It all still comes down to whether or not they can get to the quarterback with regularity this coming season.

It’s hard to say the Raiders got better in any area. In fact, it is much easier to make the case they have regressed in several key areas including the offensive line and in the wide receiver room, though the departed Tyrell  Williams was never healthy enough to make an impact. It could be a cursed year in Sin City.

Green Bay Packers

2020 Record: 13-3

Key Additions: None

Key Losses: Corey Linsley, Jamaal Williams, Christian Kirksey

Now, Green Bay isn’t really a big free-agent destination nor do they pursue them as most teams do. That being said, not adding anyone has rarely proven to be a successful endeavor, especially when that team has fallen short the past two years. Oh, and the Hall of Famer under center is reportedly unhappy too.

It needs to be said that, independent of the Aaron Rodgers situation, the Packers are actually handling everything about as well as you could want a front office to do. They addressed the defense and offensive line in the draft, retained their playmaking running back in Aaron Jones, and they get Devin Funchess in the mix after he opted out last season.

None of that will matter if Rodgers leaves, though. His gripe is understandable; Green Bay hasn’t used a first-round pick on an offensive weapon since drafting Rodgers. They’ve been tremendously successful given the constraints they operate under. But those are largely self-imposed and ticking off only the second starting quarterback in the last 30 years won’t make things any better.

Houston Texans

2020 Record: 4-12

Key Additions: Tyrod Taylor, Phillip Lindsay, Mark Ingram, Marcus Cannon, Desmond King, Christian Kirksey, Shaq Lawson

Key Losses: Benardrick McKinney

This is another team that, were it not for a quarterback controversy, would be mentioned among those having a solid if unspectacular offseason. The potential impact of Cannon and Lindsay on this offense shouldn’t go unnoticed. Mark Ingram is great for the locker room and Tyrod Taylor gives them a capable backup should something happen to Deshaun Watson (like a trade).

But Watson’s scandal has put Houston in a bind. They were adamant they wouldn’t move the 2020 passing yards leader when the offseason began. His off-the-field troubles with masseuses claiming impropriety had many writing the obituary for his career. Since then, though, the public rhetoric has died down and it seems he might find a way to make this “go away”.

That leaves Houston right back at square one and reports are they are willing to move him now but only for fair value. Having once thought they would be the winners in this situation no matter the outcome, they still can if they get the return they seek. But since they waited, the compensation teams can give up is far less. And we never even talked about the lack of a true number one wide receiver.

Detroit Lions

2020 Record: 5-11

Key Additions: Jared Goff, Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Jamaal Williams, Michael Brockers

Key Losses: Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Duron Harmon

One of the NFL’s most wayward franchises, the Lions will now try to scuttle from under that dark cloud without the services of Matthew Stafford. Jared Goff comes from one of the best offensive systems in the league. He now joins one in Detroit that is, at best, a work in progress. Detroit has also lost the one advantage it often had over opposing defenses in their wide receivers. Williams and Perriman are several classes below Golladay and Jones.

Detroit did snag the top offensive lineman, Penei Sewell, in the 2021 NFL Draft. They heavily fortified the defensive line as well. Most successful teams are built in the trenches so it may very well be that the Lions are on the right path. But this was a team that was supposed to be a contender when they had a better roster.

This, again, isn’t to say the Lions aren’t on the right path. It’s just hard to believe they will be able to get more out of Goff than the Rams did, let alone more than they (Detroit) were able to get out of Stafford. Looks like another season of no playoffs is on the way for the Lions in Dan Campbell’s (who was their second choice by the way) first season.

The NFL’s Most Flawed Rosters

This is not a definitive list. Any number of teams could have made it or be added later. But for now, these are the teams with the most imbalanced rosters around the NFL. We still have June 1 cuts where we’ll see a number of big names released. This could lead to a few of the teams listed above plugging enough holes to get by or resolving whatever issues they have with personnel.

Triple Zeros: “All the MVPs Going Down”

Triple Zeros

“All the MVPs Going Down”

NBA

In this episode of Triple Zeros, Josh recaps the NBA trade deadline frenzy that saw Nikola Vucevic, Norman Powell, and others move on to new teams. He also talks about the MVP race and how all the contenders are dropping like flies before going into Draymond Green’s comments.

NFL

Then things switch over to NFL talk and the upcoming Clocker Sports 1st-round mock draft 2.0 as free agency has changed the landscape. He also gets you caught up on the latest on Deshaun Watson, asks the media to leave Chicago Bears fans alone about Russell Wilson and so much more!

Winners and Losers from the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

Examining the Foundational Issues of the NBA’s Cellar-Dwellers

Anchor | Apple

 

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The Houston Texans Will Win the Deshaun Watson Standoff

You would have been hard-pressed to find anyone who’d say the Houston Texans would win their standoff with star quarterback Deshaun Watson when the whole saga began. Yet, nearly a month since he set the NFL on fire by officially requesting a trade, that’s exactly where we stand. Houston is, and has always been, in the driver’s seat.

Houston Texans in Win-Win Situation with Deshaun Watson

Playing the Long Game

Now, before anyone pulls their hair out trying to list all the ways Watson can make life hell in the locker room and throughout the organization, let’s think that all the way through. There’s only so far Watson can go in showing his displeasure without hurting his own image in the process.

Houston is truly dysfunctional but organizations can undergo facelifts far easier than players.

Just take a look at the Washington Football Team. A team mired in racial and sexual misconduct claims totally revamped its front office, leaned into an already-diverse coaching staff, and dropped the epithet for a name, and voila! Friendly press and a pass for the bumps that come along with a rebuild.

Juxtapose that with the image of Carson Wentz.

It’s easy to write him off as a locker room cancer and coach killer. With the team erecting a statue of his backup that everyone loved, his supposed coddling by upper-management, and just by looking at the rest of the roster, it’s kind of a miracle he lasted in a city so tough as long as he did.

No Pardons

That’s not to excuse Wentz or say the Football Team should be from under the watchful eye. It’s just to show how quick the fall is for players when the rise is so slow. And that the inverse is true for billion-dollar organizations. PR teams will do that for you.

How does this apply to the Texans and Watson?

Houston has done everything wrong for at least the past two seasons, beginning with the trade of DeAndre Hopkins. They replaced him with Will Fuller (who got suspended six games for PED use and is a free agent) and Brandin Cooks; secondary options at best.

The man responsible for that madness and the trade for Laremy Tunsil is gone but the sting remains. Look at Houston’s cap space and draft pick situation.

They’ve hired from the same organization that’s left them spinning their wheels in the New England Patriots for their new general manager in Nick Caserio. But it’s another Boston import, Jack Easterby that’s been the focus of many a fan’s ire.

Even with all of that, including the hiring of a lifelong assistant to be the head coach, Houston can distance themselves from this by winning. That becomes harder to impossible without Watson.

Watson’s Woes

As for their beleaguered quarterback, he’s felt left out of the planning process, something every franchise passer enjoys. But listening to the chatter many feel he’s being a diva.

Those people have never watched the Houston Texans play.

Watson just led the league with a career-high 4823 passing yards and threw 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions; both career-bests. This while the Texans ground attack, led by the shell of David Johnson (the return in the Hopkins trade), ranked 31st.

Houston’s offensive line, ranked worst in Adjusted Sack Rate by Football Outsiders, allowed the franchise to be sacked 49 times, one fewer time than Wentz’s league-leading 50.

Plot Twist

Get this, here’s where Houston can choose how it wants to win this standoff with Watson. That’s right. The team did nothing right while the player has done just about all you could ask for someone in this situation and it’s still the former that can choose their destiny.

They can keep Watson in the fold and spend the next five years making it up to him. That requires solid drafting and free agency signings. Most importantly it means rebuilding the lines of communication, and ultimately the trust, between the franchise and the best player they’ve ever drafted.

Or at least, he’s the most important Texans draft pick ever.

Houston’s other option is the more conventional one. Trade Watson away for a bounty of picks and likely an up-and-coming player or two and begin the rebuild in earnest.

This is also why it might not be as beneficial to Watson to jump ship as some might believe. What good is going to a new team if it’s just been gutted to bring him on? They’ll be right where the Texans were these past two years.

For those wondering about diminishing returns for the Texans, don’t. Every team on his list has the firepower to get him. Not too many teams would pass on a 25-year-old franchise quarterback anyway.

The Houston Texans Will Win Deshaun Watson Showdown

Given how long it took the Texans to find Watson, and by extension relevance, it’s in their best interest to hold onto Watson. But, practically speaking, moving him would allow them to start fresh with little to no expectations, a better cap situation, and replenished draft capital.

Either way, they’ll take a short-term PR “hit” but this too shall pass.

To put it simply, there really isn’t a bad move for the Texans to make here. Keep Watson and have your franchise quarterback in place. Trade him and get a head start on a rebuild that may come with or without Watson.

When it comes to their standoff with Deshaun Watson, It’s a win-win as far as the Houston Texans are concerned

Triple Zeros: The King, the Sniper, and the MVP Award

Triple Zeros: The King, the Sniper, and the MVP Award

Josh flips the script and leads with some NBA talk on MVP frontrunners, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Then he gets into the NFL and the latest on Deshaun Watson, Matthew Stafford, and other quarterbacks expected to be on the move. That and so much more in this episode of Triple Zeros.

Anchor | Apple

Follow Josh on Twitter @JoshGBuck and follow the pod on Twitter and Facebook @3ZerosPod.

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Triple Zeros: Is Deshaun Watson Gone?

Triple Zeros

Is Deshaun Gone?

Josh goes over the big news out of Houston that Deshaun Watson is “extremely unhappy”. He also laments the injury to Markelle Fultz and so much more!

Deshaun Watson gone Clocker Sports. This is content to help reach the green light. Tis is content to help reach the green light. Ths is content to help reach the green light. Thi is content to help reach the green light. his is content to help reach the green light. Tis is content to help reach the green light. Ths is content to help reach the green light. Thi is content to help reach the green light. his is content to help reach the green light. Tis is content to help reach the green light. Ths is content to help reach the green light. Thi is content to help reach the green light.

Deshaun Watson gone

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