Why should I pick him?
The 2012 season saw Jack Watts, the much-anticipated top-pick from the 2008 draft, shifted to the back line under Mark Neeld’s direction. This marked a departure from his customary tall forward role as he was deployed across half-back and on the defensive flanks. Many coaches would have noted this change and forseen some upside in Watts playing a traditionally lucrative fantasy role with the potential for a glut of +6s (mark-and-kick). Alas, this didn’t materialise as Watts’ performances reflected the Dees’ fortunes as they suffered an ignominious year with just four wins.
As evidenced in some of his performances, this defensive role did seem to suit Watts’ deceptively pacey, athletic playing style and resulted in a handful of promising scores (121, 98 and 94). There is a case to be made for his fantasy selection if he is again utilised as a loose defender with the freedom to push up the field. The expectation would be that after a season of experimenting and development, 2013 will allow him to settle into and develop further as a quarterbacking type. This appears to be Neeld’s vision for Watts and the new(ish) boss might yet bring out the simmering potential that young Jack has shown glimpses of in his fledgling career.
Watts’ designation in 2013 as a dual-position DEF/FWD player may attract further interest. For example, he would make an interesting counter-balance to Greg Broughton, should you have them both in your starting squad. The positional flexibility is there, which adds some merit to his case.
Why shouldn’t I pick him?
Though mentioned in a positive light, Watts’ defensive role may not augur well for his fantasy scoring if he does not build on season 2012. I have resisted using the term ‘breakout’ thus far, but this is what is required of him next year to justify his $360k sticker. A smattering of those three aforementioned 90+ scores does not inspire the confidence in a coach when interlaced with low-floor outputs of 45, 42, 55, 53, 59 and 42 in season 2012. This wide range of deviation in his scoring output raises the biggest query against his selection as there is no guarantee that this will stabilise in the new season.
In a developing side, it is clear that players on the fantasy fringe, like Watts, tend to suffer when the scoreline does not favour their team. Add to that the possible risk of week-to-week role changes and here we have more questions than answers when analysing Jack’s potential. If the Demons fail to improve in 2013, it’s difficult to see Watts improving either.
Deck of DT Rating
JACK – The consideration of a mid-priced player for your fantasy line-up comes down to two factors: (1) your confidence in the likelihood of a breakout season; and (2) how much bottle you have. Jack Watts is not everyones cup of tea; in fact, this will be a polarising preview as there is a significant element of risk associated with his investment. On balance, while the potential is there, conservatism may rule him out of many a coach’s mid-pricer shortlist.
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