WATCH: What to Expect from DeShaun Watson Without DeAndre Hopkins

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Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been one of the best passers in fantasy football but can he still post great stats without DeAndre Hopkins?

Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson is coming off back-to-back seasons as the No. 5 quarterback in fantasy football. After the Texans traded superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Watson’s Average Draft Position took a bit of a drop. But then Houston signed Randall Cobb and traded for Brandin Cooks which added some rejuvenated hope about Watson’s upcoming season. 

Where does Watson rank now and when should fantasy football players draft him in their upcoming drafts? Sports Illustrated’s fantasy analyst Ben Heisler and State of the Texans' Patrick Starr breakdown Watson’s upcoming season.

Read the full transcript from their conversation:

Bill Enright: Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been one of the best quarterbacks in all of fantasy football the last two seasons. But can he still hit that top five mark in 2020 without DeAndre Hopkins? Let's bring on State of the Texans' Patrick Starr and SI fantasy analyst Ben Eisler to talk about this Texans team heading into 2020. Patrick, I'll go to you first. We know that Hopkins is off the team. Houston did bring in Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb. What do you make of that duo alongside Will Fuller heading into 2020?

Patrick Starr: The Texans are trying to find that deep ball threat again in Brandin Cooks something that he excelled at in 2018 with the Los Angeles Rams. In 2019, that a kind of loot with Jared Goff based on inaccuracies from throwing and just not being on the same page. The Texans have one of the best deep ball throwers in the NFL with Deshaun Watson, who was top five, not only in deep ball percentage, but completions also. That's something that he's worked well with Will Fuller - and throw Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills in that, the Texans have a full array. Three wide receivers that can go vertical at any time. They can run the intermediate routes. They can run the short routes. The Texans are trying to balance out this offense where they have three receivers that can beat you deep at anytime to give Deshaun Watson to fit into what he does best. And that's throwing that deep ball. Adding this Randall Cobb. Randall Cobb is something the Texans have not had, something they've been looking for since Bill O'Brien arrived to the Texans, a dependable slot wide receiver. They've gone through every name in the book. Keke Coutee, who a lot of people thought was going to be the next guy, just didn't pan out. And the Texans felt like they had to find Deshaun Watson a veteran player, someone that's been there, someone that's played with the likes of Aaron Rodgers, helped Dak Prescott Prescott last season. They feel like he can do the same for Deshaun Watson. Cobb himself has even said that he feels like he can be a plus for Deshaun Watson to help him out on third downs and middle of the field. Read those defenses and give him a safety valve when he needs it most to extend those downs. 

Bill Enright: Ben, let me go over to you. A lot of fantasy managers scared off about drafting Deshaun Watson this year since Hopkins is no longer that top target in Houston. What do you make of drafting the Texans quarterback?

Ben Heisler: Bill, I think it's an easy narrative to try and stay away from Deshaun Watson without DeAndre Hopkins, and I think that's a mistake. I was looking at Watson as my number one quarterback coming into last year. He ended up finishing top five. But it was just pointed out the deep ball is something that Deshaun Watson has been marvelous at. So you're adding in somebody like Brandin Cooks, if Will Fuller is healthy - we've seen just a dynamic relationship between those two. You have Randall Cobb in the middle of the field. And let's not forget, somebody like David Johnson can line up in the slot as well. And Duke Johnson can catch passes. Deshaun Watson still going to run. And I think right now he's going off as the quarterback five in fantasy around the overall pick number fifty two. And I think there's always value with somebody like Deshaun Watson, even with somebody like DeAndre Hopkins no longer there. 

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