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DeShaun Watson’s 2018 fantasy season will depend on his ACL rehab

Injuries cut his rookie season short. Now, the Texans superstar quarterback looks to bounce back and lead his team to the postseason.

NFL: Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

When the 2017 regular season ended, Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson ranked in the top 20 for touchdown passes. Watson only played seven games, however. The 12th-overall pick tore his ACL in practice after passing for 402 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions against the Seattle Seahawks.

Watson began the season on the Texans’ bench, took over under center in the second half of Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and never looked back. Watson started to get hot in Week 3, throwing for 300 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions against the New England Patriots. He stayed hot the next four games, passing for at least 225 yards and three or more touchdowns each game. When Watson’s season ended he had 1,699 passing yards, 269 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

Looking ahead to 2018

The fate of the Texans’ offense lies on Watson’s shoulders and knee next season. He has to get healthy first along with many other starters on both sides of the ball. Watson could return to the field by OTAs, according to beat writer Sarah Bishop, but the team will likely be cautious and wait until training camp to get him in full workouts. The Texans have high hopes when Watson returns. He will have a handful of weapons to start the season including Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and speedster Will Fuller. Watson was on pace to be one of the best QBs in the league last season. He will try to pick up where he left off in 2017. If Watson stays healthy, the Texans could be playoff contenders.

Fantasy slant

Watson was one of the most versatile and explosive QBs in fantasy this year. It was unfortunate that his season was cut so short. He has an amazing arm and tremendous mobility. Watson will go fast in 2018 fantasy drafts — maybe as high as the third round. He could be worth it, especially if the Texans get some more weapons and a better offensive line in the offseason.