The Christian Watson injury situation will have both Green Bay Packers fans and fantasy football managers concerned heading into Week 17. After the WR left the Packers’ Christmas Day game, there was always some concern that Watson may not be able to get back for a week, which is crucial for both the Packers’ playoff push and fantasy championship games.
Let’s examine the latest injury update for Watson and the fantasy football impact of his potential absence.
What is the Latest on Christian Watson’s Injury?
With the Packers heading out onto the practice field to open Week 17, the news that Watson was absent from practice is concerning. The Packers’ WR left their Christmas Day game against the Miami Dolphins just before halftime and then was ruled out shortly afterward. Prior to that point, Watson had six receptions for 49 yards on eight targets.
Coming into Week 16, Watson had averaged 81.6 yards per game and found the end zone seven times in the previous six weeks. Just once in that stretch had he not returned double-digit fantasy outputs in half-PPR scoring. However, with the injury on Christmas Day, he has now gone back-to-back weeks with fewer than eight fantasy points in half-PPR.
It will be interesting to see how the Packers view the situation with Watson. They really need to win this week if they want to stay in the NFC playoff hunt. However, they also have to consider the longer-term picture with their rookie receiver and not have him further aggravate their hip issue.
Additionally, the Packers also got another rookie, Romeo Doubs, back on the field in recent weeks. Doubs had been impressive earlier in the season when Watson was injured, although he did not have the consistency that we have seen from Watson recently. With Doubs and Allen Lazard as the potential starting options this week, the Packers may not feel like they need to rush Watson back onto the field this week.
From a fantasy perspective, it will be hard to trust Watson this week if he plays. We saw Ja’Marr Chase try to play through hip issues, and it led to him struggling in the second half of games and then missing significant time. Yet, at the same time, if he plays, it will be hard to bench a player who scored seven touchdowns in a four-week span and topped 19 fantasy points in all of those weeks.
If Watson does not play, Doubs and Lazard both project to have increased value. Watson had really established himself as the number one pass catcher, but that should switch back more towards Lazard, with Doubs as the number two. The Vikings are a juicy matchup, having allowed an average of 38.45 fantasy points to WRs in the past four weeks.
If you are playing in Underdog Fantasy Best Ball leagues this week, then Watson and the entire Packers’ WR group are best avoided. If Watson ends up suiting up, it could be a mess with little to no clear value. In the event he is active, it might be tempting to try and use him, but the risk would be extremely high.