Sammy Watkins caught three passes on the first three plays of the Buffalo Bills’ first preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings last Thursday night. A day later, the fourth-year wideout was traded to the Los Angeles Rams. Already one of the most intriguing fantasy football receivers in this year’s draft class, the move to L.A. only makes his fate more intriguing.
Watkins is coming off another major foot surgery, and is arguably healthy entering the season for the first time in his career. In training camp, he told reporters that he wanted to stay in Buffalo “forever.” New Bills general manager Brandon Beane seemed to feel otherwise, flipping him for cornerback E.J. Gaines and second and third-round picks in the 2018 draft.
Much like depending on Watkins to be a No. 1 target, drafting Sammy Watkins in a fantasy football league was always going to be a risk. He’s shown genuine flashes of brilliance, with speed and good hands and talent that demands targets. He was in a Bills offense that had few options at reciever, even before Anquan Boldin signed last week.
But Watkins on the Rams is even less of a guarantee. Jared Goff has no chemistry with Watkins at all, and he and the Rams offense struggled in the final quarter of the season with him as starter. The Rams are a franchise that hasn’t figured out what to do with Tavon Austin, so trusting them to find a place for Sammy in LA is a big risk. But Watkins truly needs to have a good season in a contract year, and if you believe he can stay healthy he could be a huge target for a quarterback trying to find his way. If you’ve already drafted Watkins, he might work out as an even more productive option than you thought.