A Grand Jury declined to bring criminal charges against DeShaun Watson yesterday. He won't be going to jail. There are still a number of civil suits pending, and a supposedly ongoing league investigation, but it looks pretty likely he'll be playing in the NFL at some point this season.
No doubt, the league will eventually come down with some kind of suspension, giving the impression it takes these allegations seriously. Six games, four games, whatever. Or maybe it will determine that 2021 was "time served" and he'll be out there starting in Week 1. Nothing can be ruled out.
NFL Network's Dan Jeremiah has reported that most around the league believe the Seahawks will trade for Watson. Seattle doesn't have a viable quarterback, and currently owns two extra first- and second-round picks in the next two drafts thanks to the Russell Wilson trade. The other favorite is Carolina, which has supposedly been trying to acquire Watson all along. Tampa Bay needs to also be considered as a possible landing spot. There are other candidates, but those are the big three with an obvious, pressing need at the position.
Once it's clear what (if any) suspension Watson will face and what new team he'll be starting for, he probably needs to be installed back among the top 10 quarterbacks in fantasy rankings. At least; he was even better than that the last time he was on the field, and for each of the seasons of his career. He's just 26 years old.
Watson entered the league back in 2017, and after a hot start was hurt for most of that season. He missed all of last year, of course. But in his three full seasons as a starter (2018-2020), he posted 3 of the 20 best seasons in typical fantasy scoring (4 point TD passes) from that period of time.
|TOP 20 QUARTERBACK FANTASY SEASONS, 2018-2020|
|2018||Patrick Mahomes, K.C.||16||5097||50||272||2||496.1||1|
|2020||Josh Allen, Buff.||16||4544||37||421||8||473.5||1|
|2019||Lamar Jackson, Balt.||15||3127||36||1206||7||463.0||1|
|2020||Kyler Murray, Ariz.||16||3971||26||819||11||450.45||2|
|2020||Aaron Rodgers, G.B.||16||4299||48||149||3||440.25||3|
|2020||Patrick Mahomes, K.C.||15||4740||38||308||2||437.8||4|
|2020||Deshaun Watson, Hou.||16||4823||33||444||3||437.55||5|
|2020||Russell Wilson, Sea.||16||4212||40||513||2||435.9||6|
|2018||Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.||16||5129||34||98||3||429.2||2|
|2018||Matt Ryan, Atl.||16||4924||35||125||3||428.2||3|
|2019||Jameis Winston, T.B.||16||5109||33||250||1||426.5||2|
|2019||Dak Prescott, Dall.||16||4902||30||277||3||412.8||3|
|2020||Tom Brady, T.B.||16||4633||40||6||3||410.25||7|
|2018||Andrew Luck, Ind.||16||4593||39||148||0||405.9||4|
|2020||Ryan Tannehill, Ten.||16||3819||33||266||7||398.55||8|
|2020||Justin Herbert, LAC||15||4336||31||234||5||398.2||9|
|2018||Deshaun Watson, Hou.||16||4165||26||551||5||397.4||5|
|2018||Jared Goff, LAR||16||4688||32||108||2||397.2||6|
|2019||Deshaun Watson, Hou.||15||3852||26||413||7||389.5||4|
|2020||Lamar Jackson, Balt.||15||2757||26||1005||7||386.35||10|
Things could move pretty quickly on this front. Perhaps Watson will settle his various civil suits, now that the criminal proceedings are in the past, and then the NFL will conclude its investigation, after determining which way the wind is blowing. Watson could be traded somewhere in the next month, probably before the NFL Draft.
If you've already being doing best-ball drafts and selected Watson with a late pick, congratulations. You're probably going to have a pretty good quarterback for most of the season with that selection.