The Cleveland Browns will play host to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15 as they hope to split the season series in this AFC North rivalry. The Ravens managed to squeak by with a 23-20 win back in Week 7, but the Browns will have a new player under center for this second bout. Deshaun Watson will make his third straight start since returning from suspension, but does he make sense as a fantasy starter in Week 15?
Fantasy Football analysis: Browns QB Deshaun Watson
It’s safe to say that it will take a couple of games for Watson to acclimate back into form, but his performance last week against the Bengals was a notable improvement from his debut the week prior. The veteran signal-caller finished with 276 passing yards alongside a touchdown and an interception, for a cumulative 16.34 fantasy points. Part of Watson’s low production may be due to an offensive strategy of throwing underneath coverage, but expect Watson to be given the green light to throw downfield sooner rather than later.
That being said, he does have what appears to be a solid matchup on paper versus the Ravens' secondary. Baltimore has the 26th-ranked pass defense and gives up an average of 249.2 yards per game through the air. Additionally, they’re allowing the 15th-most fantasy points per game to his position, setting up Watson for an efficient day so long as he’s given the go-ahead to make plays in the pocket. He has 54 rushing yards over the last two weeks and while we haven’t seen one of his vintage rushing performances yet, he still remains one of the few dual-threat fantasy quarterbacks available.
Start or sit in Week 15?
Watson is more or less a low-end QB2 heading into Week 15, which would be a reasonable justification to start him on a regular week. However, given that this is the first week of the fantasy playoffs managers would likely want a more secure option at quarterback. Watson hasn’t yet shown he’s back to form, so the best bet is to keep in on the bench.