QB - CLE - Suspended
Week 5 Outlook
Deshaun Watson was officially placed on the reserve/suspended list Tuesday. His 11-game suspension begins now.
Watson was suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million after the NFL appealed the original six game suspension. Fantasy managers will want to downgrade Watson in redraft leagues, but he would be a solid stash in dynasty startups. He currently ranks as the QB10 in dynasty ECR, according to FantasyPros.
Deshaun Watson will be suspended 11 games, and be fined $5 million as well. The independent disciplinary officer assigned to Watson's case had issued only a six-game suspension, but that was raised to 11 games after the NFL and NFLPA went through their appeal process.
Watson is one of the league's premier QBs and has not played since the end of the 2020 season. The 26-year-old will now have to sit out another 11 games in 2022. With his suspension being less than a full season, fantasy managers will have the option to draft Watson as a bench stash to help them in their fantasy playoff push. In redraft formats, all Browns fantasy players will take a bit of a hit with the step down from Watson to Jacoby Brissett, especially the pass-catchers. Consider drafting Watson as a late-round flyer to help your fantasy team win games down the stretch.
The NFL and Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson are "actively negotiating a settlement on his discipline" and could reach an agreement soon, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Although negotiations are gaining steam between the two parties, Cabot notes that the NFL has not reached out to Peter C. Harvey, the judge who is hearing the league's appeal on Watson's potential six-game suspension. At this time, there's no reason to believe that the NFL will ask him to hold off on his ruling unless the league and Watson reach a settlement. Cabot also notes that any settlement would allow Watson to play football in 2022. With his status still up in the air, Watson ranks as low as QB30 in the latest ECR.
Deshaun Watson completed 1-of-5 passes for seven yards in Friday's preseason game against the Jaguars.
Watson got to play because the NFL is still awaiting the ruling of Peter Harvey after the league appealed Watson's initial six-game suspension. The veteran quarterback did not look sharp in his three series, although Anthony Schwartz also dropped two balls which hurt Watson's final stat line. Watson will now have to wait to see when the next time he is able to appear in a game will be.
According to a source familiar with his defense, Deshaun Watson is willing to accept an eight-game suspension and a $5 million fine to avoid a season-long suspension.
This seems like the obvious stance for Watson to take, especially as it seems like the NFL is interested in lengthening his original six-game suspension by a hefty amount. The quarterback's 'willingness' to take an eight-game suspension and a fine doesn't mean much unless Roger Goodell and the league are interested in some sort of compromise. As of now, the league is seeking a minimum suspension of 17 games along with a significant fine of over $5 million, so it is clear that both sides have significant ground to cover if negotiation or compromise were to take place. The 26-year-old QB is the riskiest draft pick in fantasy, and it's getting riskier by the day, as it looks like managers should buckle up for a longer suspension than the original six games.