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Christian Watson: Dud or Stud in 2023

Christian Watson: Fantasy Football Stud or Dud in 2023- Will Watson be able to produce with Love as his new quarterback, or will he bust?
Christian Watson Fantasy Football

Christian Watson had a rough start to his rookie campaign but was able to finish strong in fantasy football. Despite missing six games due to injury, he compiled 41 receptions for 611 yards (5th amongst rookie wide receivers) and seven touchdowns. He also scored two rushing touchdowns and garnered 2.92 targets per game. As a team, the Green Bay Packers are in transition mode after trading away Aaron Rodgers and seeing several free agents following him to New York in pursuit of a ring. With Love at the helm this year, what kind of fantasy value does Watson have? Is he a sleeper, or is he being over-valued?

Christian Watson 2023 Fantasy Football Outlook

Watson Rookie Review

Green Bay drafted Watson in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. At 6 foot 4 and 208 lbs., he is an elite athlete who runs a 4.36. He tends to drop passes and  posted an 11.6% drop rate as a rookie. From a fantasy football standpoint, Christian Watson averaged 10.3 points per game and finished the season as the overall WR34. He had an average target distance of 13.8 yards, which was the 12th-highest in the league. He accumulated 129.5 fantasy and had a Targets-per-Route Run (TpRR%) percentage of 24.38%, ranking 14th amongst eligible WRs. Watson finished as a top 10 wide receiver in Weeks 10-13. He scored all seven of his touchdowns during that stretch, averaging 9.3 yards per target and 2.26 yards per route. Watson was the WR3 in PPR leagues, and the WR1 in standard scoring. In Weeks 10-18, he averaged 17.2 ppg and saw more than 30% snap share.

It is worth noting that he did this with one of the best arms in the league as his quarterback. He also wasn’t the WR1, as he was competing with Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. Both are now with Rodgers in New York. It appears that the road to fantasy success has opened up and looks favorable for Watson heading into year two.

Sophomore Season Outlook

Watson enters the season as the presumed WR1 in Green Bay but will compete with Romeo Doubs. His volume and target rate will go up exponentially this year, which are key factors to consider when drafting a WR. However, last season he struggled to get separation and was prone to drops which makes it hard to trust him as the go-to guy when playing against shutdown corners.

Watson’s success hinges on how well Jordan Love plays this year. Coach LaFleur will likely choose to go run-heavy, considering he has Aaron Jones and A.J. “Quadzilla” Dillon at his disposal. I see Watson garnering over 100 targets this year and surpassing 1,000 receiving yards. He will be a WR3 with WR2 potential. Watson’s ADP has been hovering between 45-55. He should post between 150-175 fantasy points this year and average a little over 10 FPPG. Historically speaking, second-year wide receivers are good bets, and Watson fits the bill. Don’t let Jordan Love being the quarterback deter you from drafting a WR with tremendous upside.

Main Photo: Kareem Elgazzar – USA Today Sports


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