Pour one out for Deshaun Watson fantasy owners. The sensational rookie quarterback tore his ACL in practice on Thursday and will have season-ending surgery. With Watson running the show the Texans were the highest scoring team in the NFL (30.7 points per game).
According to the oddsmakers, Watson is worth nearly a touchdown to the spread. Tom Savage is a massive downgrade that limits the fantasy upside for guys like DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. It is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to replace a singular talent like Watson but the truth is his injury doesn’t impact the playoff picture.
Here is a snapshot of the AFC playoffs before and after Watson’s injury based on 10,000 simulations.
|Team||Make Playoffs (Before Injury)||Make Playoffs (After Injury)|
The most likely playoff remains unchanged. Houston was on the outside looking in before losing their starter. The Texans’ playoff probability has now dropped from 33.7% to 14.4%. Jacksonville is the big winner. The Jags were the favorite to win the AFC South before Watson’s knee betrayed him. Now the Jaguars, No. 1 in defensive DVOA and 6th in offensive rushing efficiency, have a 65.4% chance to win the division for the first time, up from 58.3%.
Watson is fun to watch and it can be difficult to believe that an injury to a fantasy stud won’t impact the playoffs but that’s the truth. Even with the high-powered offense Houston was a below .500 team. The Texans have scored 30 or more points five times this season and went 2-3 in those games. The defense, crippled by injuries, has allowed 26.9 points per game (29th in the NFL).
The Texans were underdogs to make the playoffs before, without Watson their longshots.