Ante up on Armani Watts for your fantasy teams, get in now as his value skyrockets into the regular season!
From The Sports Betting Glossary:
Futures – (Also, Ante Post) Bets placed in advance predicting the outcome of a future event.
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This “take” may not be 100% up to the standard in terms of proper article writing. But the original idea of the “IDP Tipster” persona was to hit on the IDP players who are either “sleeping” or “under the radar” before they go mainstream. So please, read the content more than the delivery with me as I follow up on this situation that’s come up.
For those of you who may follow my “takes” in one form or another may remember that back in mid-June I had a “take” on the Chiefs fourth-round rookie safety Armani Watts. Which I’ll point out can be found thru my latest dossier for accountability entitled “The IDP Tipster” 6/10/18. In the article, I make such statements as:
“And they are certainly not betting on Sorenson to make some great leap in his playing heading into his 5th season. So Watts has little to moderate competition to win the strong safety role if he can step up.”
“He does have some work to do to gain the Chiefs trust, but we need him firmly on our radar as his situation has “upside” as a potential IDP play.”
“As a Flier, he has one step heading to be a sleeper sooner than later.”
With those statements being recapped and it becoming official enough in my mind to say they played out, as my intentions were to get Watts on the radar. It is time to unleash and move on to the next step. We will recap what has unfolded since the article in a short and sweet way. Then I’ll make my “take” for the next step.
Over the last couple of months, there have been reports out in the fantasy football community stating former 2016 fourth-round selection (cornerback in college) Eric Murray as a beneficiary of free safety Ron Parker being released by the Chiefs this offseason. Additionally, we have even seen 2017 sixth round Leon McQuay in that conversation by some sites.
However, as the situation has played out and as we cover in the article, the momentum has been that Watts is the player that looks like the clear-cut benefactor. At least from my perspective. Not to say that Murry or McQuay won’t have roles this coming season, but not at the level that indications by other sites have stated.
As the offseason played out, the Chiefs made statements of how they were pleasantly surprised that Watts fell to them unexpectedly in the fourth round. By the time camp started, and after Watts recovered from a short injury to his ankle, it was a full go getting Watts acclimated to the pro level by the coaching staff.
He was automatically receiving plenty of reps at all levels of the depth chart to prove himself. He had to show he was as viable as what the Chiefs thought they were landing in the fourth round. As any rookie would, Watts did show some growing pains. However, he still illustrates enough to prove he is a pro-level ready player. All indications were that they were allowing him the due time and opportunity on the practice field sooner rather than later as I indicated.
Now for the recap that has Watts leaping from a flier approaching a sleeper to a full-blown sleeper with upside. To start off with, we will cover what has played out with rumored IDP targets Eric Murry and Leon McQuay.
Free safety Murray has seen snaps with the first unit at free safety due to injuries among the ranks. My personal “take” on Murray was that he had not stood out enough in the past to garner a relevant role. It was doubtful if thrust into the role in 2018 that he would amount to much as an IDP play for us. Of course, unless it was by production by default, and that was a big maybe. He still should be a small “blip” on the radar considering the injuries the Chiefs are enduring in the secondary. But not a “blip” to the point I’d suggest having him on our rosters at this time.
To cover McQuay is simple enough. I hope no one was drinking that Kool-aid. And shame on those out there assuming he would be worth the sip. He hasn’t shown any indications worth noting over this time to support the mention. Other than some default time with the first defensive unit towards the end of last season, while the Chiefs were resting their starters for the playoff run, there is nothing to see here.
I have really stated enough here because for him to become relevant at this time the Chiefs would have to endure even more injuries vaulting him into a starting role. At that level of discretion, it is more likely that the Chiefs would pick up a free agent veteran safety instead of relying on McQuary as a starter. I guess I should also note that McQuary has reportedly had a hamstring injury throughout camp. But my suggestion is if you have him on your roster don’t hold your breath too long.
As for the incumbent default starter, last year’s Daniel Sorensen was basically the only guy that Watts needed to outperform in due time for a starting role. As fate would have it he is now out of the picture with a tibial plateau fracture. The leg injury just may have him out for the rest of the season or by some miracle back in six weeks.
Personally, I find it an irrelevant injury as far as what Watts future role was going to be in 2018. It was just going to be a matter of time. Sorenson was the default starter in 2017 due to Eric Berry being out for the season. Even if he was great for IDP production, it was by luck not skill. Realistically, he was not up to performing at the level needed as a starter.
Hence, the Chiefs being excited about Watts falling to them in the draft. If Sorenson does manage to heal up and return to the team in the minimum reported time the only way he is inserted back in as the starting strong safety is that Watts failed or those injuries keep accruing for the secondary. Sorenson had his opportunity to solidify the starting role in 2017, all offseason reports and grades pointed to the fact he did not accomplish that.
Keep one thing in mind if having doubts in what I’m stating. In the NFL there is such a thing as giving a veteran on the team the respect he deserves. And this was the likely case with the Chiefs when it came to the idea that he was one of their preferred starting safeties according to the early depth charts.
As for stud safety Eric Berry returning from a season-ending Achilles injury, as I stated in the first article on Watts, the Chiefs are crazy if when he is healthy they play him up on the line in the strong safety position. If they do and I was his IDP owner I’d be worried. As it is right now he is out with a sore heel, reportedly.
It might be nothing or it might be a “red flag”. I have no suggested avenue to take at this time on Berry. It is truly a double sided sword situation and if my concerns seem unwarranted or confusing the best I can sun it up is that if I owned him in an IDP league I’d look to trade him or at least attempt to for the piece of mind. I fear his time in the NFL versus his value isn’t worth holding onto for the long term.
What is His Value
My final “take”: If your looking for a DB2 type with upside Watts should be our target as a player that is likely sitting on waiver wires. He should also become a player that we draft in the later second wave of rookie drafts and in third waves of redrafts.
His ceiling could reach as high as the DB2 area as a rookie. And I’ll call it safe on the floor as a low-end DB2. I got this kid on our radar back in mid-June and on my personal 32 team flagship team back in the spring and have been prepared to fall on my sword (so to speak) in either case.
I’m not shocked that I am now unleashing him as a player that shouldn’t be sitting on the wire or going undrafted. He recently performed well in their first preseason contest with the most snaps out of any of the defensive players during the game. The Chiefs needed to and did put a rush on his development is the reason why he received that amount of snaps (89%).
They need, correction, they want this kid to succeed and be on the field, period. As of the most recent practice reports since the first preseason contest he is running with the first unit in practice and learning the strong safety position. This may go with my call that the Chiefs shouldn’t risk Berry up on the line when he is healthy and they realize it now, or simply making sure Watts knows both positions for obvious reasons. Either way, at some point this kid is going to be a starter and as of now, it looks like it will be as soon as week one of the regular season.
Thank you as always for reading and feel free to find me on Twitter @HBogart27 for any follow-up questions or anything IDP. Or reach out at email@example.com. And be sure to catch me on periscope via Twitter and look for me on those podcasts.