Welcome to Week 17 of the 2022 Footballguys Roundtable. Our intrepid panel of fantasy pundits discusses and debates four topics every week. Topics are now split into separate features.
This week's roundtable features these four topics:
- Sign of Good Things to Come in 2023 (see below)
- QB Futures
- Difficult Week 17 Lineup Calls
- Gutsy Championship Lineup Decisions
Sign of Good Things to Come in 2023
Matt Waldman: Choose two players from the list below and explain why their recent production is a good sign of things to come in 2023.
Who makes your shortlists?
Jordan McNamara: Okonkwo leads the tight end position in yards per route run as a rookie. The high-level production on a per-route basis is a great signal for future success at the tight-end position. Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry's statuses with Tennessee are uncertain, but Okonkwo is on a strong developmental track that I'm excited to watch for into 2023.
Watson is on a terrific track, ramping up his production and his involvement in the offense. The Packers have a limited history of drafting wide receivers high, so there is a real opportunity that Watson can grow into the WR1 of the future in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers's status with the team will be important to watch, but Watson has proven he can play, and I would not be overly concerned about Rodgers's status.
Scott Bischoff: I have to agree with Watson, who is an outrageously athletic player. He is capable of making huge plays because of the speed challenge he presents to the defense. He has flashed big-time potential as a rookie in what seems like a tough offense to play in, and he has shown a touch of chemistry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. There is a question as to whether Rodgers returns in 2023, but if he does, Watson is positioned nicely to be a very productive player for the Packers.
I also agree with Akers. His situation with the Rams was very much in doubt early in the 2022 season. There were trade rumors, and it looked like Akers was struggling to overcome the Achilles injury he suffered in 2021. Fast forward a few months and he is starting to look like the explosive player he was coming out of Florida State. Akers has scored six touchdowns in the last four games, and if he solidifies as the starting runner for the Rams, he will produce at a nice level.
Adam Harstad: Everyone’s already talking about Watson, but I did want to chip in. It’s obvious he’s still a limited player in some ways, and there are reasons to be skeptical of his production which has been very dependent on an insanely fluky TD total.
But I have a model to evaluate rookie performances that winds up being extremely predictive of career outcomes. It identified off-the-radar stars like Cooper Kupp and Stefon Diggs and Doug Baldwin after good but not great rookie years (superficially speaking).
And the model is going nuts for Watson. To this point, it would score him as the 17th-best rookie (out of 163 total) from 2006-2021. Right behind Michael Thomas and Percy Harvin, right ahead of Stefon Diggs and Cooper Kupp.
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