Week 13 NFL Primer

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    NFL’s Biggest Villain Returns

    Deshaun Watson is Back – It’s been 700 days since Watson’s last regular season appearance, and as if this story couldn’t get more bizarre, his Browns debut will occur back in Houston with a dozen or more of his accusers on hand.

    Watson’s talent and productivity have always been elite, which explains Cleveland’s willingness to weather this PR nightmare, and dole out a $230M bag to the just-turned 27 year old this offseason.

    But the suspension is now over entering Week 13, and Watson will be at the helm for the (4-7) Browns, who will need to run the table for any shot at a playoff berth.

    In terms of average fantasy points per game, Watson has been incredibly productive in his young career, finishing as the QB5 or better every season.

    Some rust is to be expected, but below are the numbers to support his MVP caliber upside:
    2017 – QB1 (24 PPG)
    2018 – QB4 (21 PPG)
    2019 – QB2 (22 PPG)
    2020 – QB5 (24 PPG)

    Watson is lauded for his dual-threat abilities, tallying 1,677 rushing yards, and 17 endzone trips in 3.5 NFL seasons.

    But his passing prowess is the true differentiator to his game, and his 269 YPG career average ranks 7th all-time.

    The only QBs currently ahead of him are:
    1. Patrick Mahomes (305 YPG)
    2. Justin Herbert (287 YPG)
    3. Drew Brees (280 YPG)
    4. Andrew Luck (275 YPG)
    5. Matthew Stafford (272 YPG)
    6. Peyton Manning (271 YPG)

    So Watson’s squarely in the mix with some of the best pocket passers to ever do it, while possessing more rushing explosiveness than any player on this list.

    Like it or not, Deshaun Watson will be back to producing top-tier QB1 results before Santa begins his journey across the globe.

    Mahomes Leads MVP Candidates

    QBs Jockeying for MVP Hardware – After earning the 2018 MVP award in just his first year as starter for the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes is a heavy favorite (-200) to win it again in 2022.

    Other Top QB Odds in MVP Race
    Jalen Hurts: +325
    Tua Tagovailoa: +500
    Josh Allen: +800
    Joe Burrow: +2000

    Non-QB Longshots with Odds
    Justin Jefferson: +10000
    Tyreek Hill: +10000
    Derrick Henry: +10000

    In 2022, Mahomes looks to fill his trophy case with more individual accolades, which include a Super Bowl MVP, in their win over the Niners in 2020.

    Mahomes continues to put up ridiculous statistics, and like Watson, is just 27 years old. As shown above, he’s currently the only player in NFL History to average 300+ passing yards per game.

    The QB position is more loaded than ever across the NFL, and Mahomes continues to serve as a measuring stick of excellence for his peers to aspire to.

    Key Injuries & Sleepers

    Top Injury Headlines Darnell Mooney (ankle) and Elijah Mitchell (MCL) both sustained Week 12 injuries that will end their seasons.

    Travis Etienne (foot) logged just 2 carries before exiting with a scare involving the same foot he had Lisfranc surgery on, but looks good to go against the Lions in a potential smash spot this week.

    Late Season Sleepers:
    Kyren Willams (LAR) – Out-touched Cam Akers 14-8 and played 70% of snaps, looks to be lead dog with Darrell Henderson gone.

    Mike Boone (DEN) – Activated from IR this week, could be most explosive option competing with Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack.

    Chase Claypool (CHI) The biggest beneficiary from the Mooney injury, he needs to step up and be more consistent.

    Jameson Williams (DET) – NFL debut today, should be eased in but possesses as much deep speed as any WR in this impressive draft class.

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