29-Year-Old Defensive End – Houston Texans
2018 Fantasy Football Outlook
If Watt is the same player he was before and stays perfectly healthy, the ceiling is an 80-tackle, 20-sack season. Reliable sack and tackle data only go back so far, but it appears no other lineman ha...
J.J. Watt Contract Information:
Signed a six-year, $100 million contract with the Texans in September of 2014.
Watt (lower leg) is not expected to start training camp on the PUP list, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2018 Proj||29||HOU||Subscribe now to see our 2018 projections for J.J. Watt|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|21||PRO BOWL||Pro Bowl|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
J.J. Watt: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
We've known for a long time that injury was the only thing that could stop Watt, but prior to last year it was reasonable to wonder if even injury couldn't stop him. After all, he played through the 2012 season with a dislocated elbow and played through back injuries and a broken hand in 2015. Unfortunately, that same back injury required surgery from which Watt never fully recovered in time for last season, and he needed another, season-ending back surgery after just three games. With almost a year to recover this time around, Watt should be back to normal. If he is, he's likely the best.
No one needs Watt's IDP appeal explained to them at this point, as he's been the top IDP regardless of position going on the fifth year straight now. You'd have to go back to 2011 to find the last time he fell short of 76 tackles in a season, and he hit the 17.5-sack mark in three of the last four years, tallying 10.5 in the one "down" year. He's likely locked into the Hall of Fame and he just turned 27 years old. He's the first IDP off the board in any conceivable IDP format.
Watt has easily been the league's best defensive lineman the last three years, averaging 80 tackles while totaling 51.5 sacks, including his second 20.5-sack season last year. Watt took his IDP value to even greater heights last season by catching three touchdown passes as a goal-line tight end to go with his two defensive scores. At 6-5, 289, Watt is unstoppable even with double- and triple-teams as he totaled 60 quarterback knockdowns last year, 30.5 more than the second-ranked D-Lineman. He has not missed a game in his four seasons and still dominates when playing injured. Still just 26, Watt is the favorite for an unprecedented third NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in four years.
Watt is likely the top IDP at any position. It's difficult to recall the last time a defender was as uniquely dominant as Watt, a 6-5, 289-pound beast that looks like a defensive tackle but moves like a player 50 pounds lighter. Only 25 years old, Watt accumulated 161 tackles and 31 sacks over the last two years. He might be the best pass-rushing threat in the league, yet he provides linebacker-like tackle totals at the same time. He's yet to miss a game in his three-year career, showing good durability, as well as the ability to produce at a high level even when hurt, like when he played through a dislocated elbow in his 20.5-sack 2012 season. Although he'll likely always be the target of double- and triple-teams, Watt could improve on his 2013 sack total of 10.5 this year thanks to the arrival of Jadeveon Clowney, who the Texans drafted No. 1 overall this year. Clowney should be a menace on the opposite side of Watt, leaving quarterbacks with fewer escape routes once Watt closes in for the sack. Even if he suffers a down-year, Watt's floor seems to be in the 75-tackle, 10-sack range, which would still probably make him the top IDP among defensive linemen.
Watt was nothing less than incredible in 2012, finishing with 20.5 sacks and a linebacker-like 81 tackles despite playing in a 3-4 alignment. Both figures are unprecedented. It's only reasonable to expect some regression, though, because the 2012 season could easily turn out to be Watt's career year. Plus, Watt's outrageous 2012 season sent the rest of the AFC South into a panic, resulting in the Jaguars (second overall pick Luke Joeckel), Titans (free agent Andy Levitre, 10th overall pick Chance Warmack) and Colts (free agent Gosder Cherilus, third-round pick Hugh Thornton) making huge investments in their offensive lines. Between the inherent probability of a regression to the mean, increased attention in game plans and the increased talent of his opponents, it would be best to expect something like 70 tackles and 15 sacks rather than another 80-tackle, 20-sack bonanza.
Watt did more than well enough during the regular season of his rookie year, serving as one of the top contributors in one of the league's best defenses while totaling 56 tackles (48 solo) and 5.5 sacks as a 16-game starter. He really came alive in the playoffs, though, posting 14 tackles (11 solo) and 3.5 sacks while returning an interception for a touchdown in two games. That sort of outburst indicates Watt might have the potential to be the exceedingly rare 3-4 end who can push for double-digit sacks.
Taken with the 11th overall pick in April's NFL Draft, Watt likely will start from Day 1 for Houston this season. He had 20.5 tackles for loss last year for Wisconsin and ranked third on the team in tackles with 61 in 13 games. Watt also has ridiculous jumping ability for a player his size, so expect him to knock down passes in the NFL after batting down seven last year.