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Dynasty Twitter Observations: Diontae Johnson Shines, Christian Watson Does Not

What was dynasty Twitter talking about after week one?

Diontae Johnson

Week one of the 2022 season was a long time coming and didn’t disappoint. From overtime games to goal post doinks, it was everything fantasy managers hoped it would be. The chaos made its way to Twitter, too, as several tweets caught our attention. Below are a few that should pique your interest as you evaluate your dynasty teams after the season opener.

Johnson Sense

For all the talk of Diontae Johnson entering week one with a lingering shoulder injury, the tweet above removed any doubt of it affecting him. Johnson’s spectacular catch not only salvaged his fantasy day but helped the Steelers set up a potential game-winning field goal (which was missed). The game (and throw) also reinforced Johnson as the top receiving target in Pittsburgh despite the quarterback change. He led the team with 12 targets, even if he did only manage to catch seven of those for 55 yards.

Dynasty Impact: You weren’t alone if you were skeptical about Johnson’s dynasty value now that Ben Roethlisberger retired. Big Ben leaned on Jonhson, especially the last two seasons, which resulted in Johnson seeing north of 300 targets. It was only natural to wonder if draft bust Mitchell Trubisky could keep up the same pace.

Luckily for Johnson dynasty managers, Trubisky will pick up where Roethlisberger left off. Not only were the 12 targets a team-high in week one but, if extrapolated out to a full season, would equal 200-plus targets. And even if Johnson doesn’t keep that pace up and only goes for 75% of that, that’ll still mean 150 targets and enough volume to keep Johnson’s dynasty value steady.

Dak Out

As if the Cowboys’ season wasn’t looking bad enough, they end up losing their starting quarterback for at least six weeks and maybe more. Dak Prescott, and the entire Cowboys offense, were struggling before the injury and this will just make it worse. By the time the game was over and Dallas lost 19-3 to Tampa, the offense managed just 244 total yards and zero touchdowns. Ezekiel Elliott, the de facto leader of the offense now, saw just 10 carries and two targets. And perhaps most concerning of all, CeeDee Lamb managed to turn 11 targets into two catches for 29 yards. Big yikes.

Dynasty Impact: With the changes to the Dallas offense this off-season, or lack thereof, dynasty managers were losing faith in Cowboy skill position players. Except for the ascending CeeDee Lamb, every Dallas player of note was starting to slip when it came to their dynasty ADP.

This Prescott injury will only make things worse. And except for Lamb, you can avoid buying the dip on anyone else. Between Elliott and Tony Pollard, running backs are a dime-a-dozen. Tight end Dalton Schultz will never sniff the elite level of tight ends and is easily replaceable whether it’s on the Cowboys or your dynasty team.

But keep an eye on Lamb. The prognosis won’t get better next week which means his production will suffer. Whether it’s this week or a few weeks from now, I’d look to take advantage of a Lamb discount in preparation for Prescott’s return.

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Oh no. Christian Watson was already in an uphill battle to earn the trust of Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is notoriously tough on rookies no matter how high they were taken in the draft. Watson had a bit of a reprieve after being taken in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft as he was recovering from off-season knee surgery. But the drop on Sunday put him squarely on Rodgers’ radar and not in a good way.

It’s unfortunate as the opportunity to be the man in Green Bay was wide open. Allen Lazard is the lead veteran while the Packers also signed veteran Sammy Watkins in the off-season. They then used a second-round pick on Watson and a fourth-round pick on eventual training camp standout Romeo Doubs. Who knows what would have happened had Watson caught that 75-yard bomb? He’ll have to wait his turn for another shot.

Dynasty Impact: It would be a bit of an overreaction to say one catch could alter any player’s dynasty value. But if there were one team and one quarterback that would do it, it’d be Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers. Watson was climbing dynasty drafts as he was drafted by the reigning two-time Most Valuable Player with little to no competition.

It’s not exactly time to sell Watson, especially this early in his career, but he’s a definite hold and I wouldn’t be seeking out the Watson manager in your league. He hasn’t established himself relative to other Packer receivers which could lead to a more even distribution than Green Bay has had in the past. In short, Davante Adams isn’t walking through that door. Neither is Christian Watson.

Barkley Language

It’s been a rocky couple of years for Saquon Barkley dynasty managers. He played in just two games during the 2020 season after tearing his ACL. He returned in 2021 but had a very un-Barkley campaign, rushing for less than 600 yards, a 3.7 yards per carry, and just two touchdowns. You wouldn’t have been blamed for wanting to move on from a 25-year-old running back who was seemingly years removed from his best pro season. But for those who held on, week one of the 2022 season was a good reason why. He was fantasy’s top running back and looked like the Saquon Barkley that was drafted second overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Dynasty Impact: It’s usually not wise to invest a lot of your dynasty assets into a running back but Barkley may be an exception. Still just 25, if he puts together more games like he did this past Sunday, he can be a league-winner. Using the DLF Trade Analyzer, you can see some of the players – straight-up – it would take to pry Barkley away.

There may be one-two players on this list – maximum – who you would rather have than Barkley right now. His legs are fresh, he has a competent offensive head coach in Brian Daboll, and he’s the focal point of the offense.

Dynasty Twitter Observations: Diontae Johnson Shines, Christian Watson Does Not
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