Watkins said it would be a pleasure to re-sign with the Rams following Saturday's 26-13 loss to Atlanta in the wild-card round, the Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. He caught one of four targets for 23 yards in the defeat. With Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Todd Gurley garnering 37 looks from Jared Goff in the passing attack, there wasn't a lot left over for Watkins on Saturday. The pending unrestricted free agent did receive a fourth-and-goal target in the end zone with 2:11 remaining in the game that could have pulled the Rams to within seven points, but he and Goff failed to connect. Watkins finished the regular season with just 39 receptions for 593 yards, but his eight touchdowns buoyed his fantasy value to a degree. His virtual stock will remain in limbo until he signs a new contract, and despite his sentiments about returning to the Rams, he may price himself out of availability with his contract demands.
Head coach Sean McVay said Thursday that the Rams offense won't "see much" of Watkins versus the 49ers on Sunday, Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Watkins has been fairly touchdown-dependent during his first season with the Rams. While he's repaid owners richly with exactly one TD in six of the last eight outings, his averages otherwise (2.6 catches for 41.1 yards on 5.1 targets per game) are underwhelming for a player of his pedigree. Because the Rams have already clinched the NFC West, they are expected to restrict the workload or outright sit Watkins, Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp (knee) in Week 17.
Watkins hauled in three of seven passes for 30 yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 27-23 win at Tennessee. Although Watkins has reached 100 yards receiving in one game as a Ram, he's been a touchdown machine, especially in the second half of the season. With Sunday's TD, he's scored exactly one in six of the last eight contests, which has helped to offset a modest mark of 8.0 YPT during that span. He'll attempt to close out the regular season on a high note Week 17 against a 49ers defense that has conceded 147.2 receiving yards per game and six touchdown catches to wide receivers over the last five contests.
Watkins caught just two of five targets for 14 yards during Sunday's 42-7 win over Seattle. Despite pedestrian reception and yardage numbers for the season, Watkins had buoyed his fantasy value with a touchdown in five of his previous six games. Unfortunately, Los Angeles was in cruise control early Sunday, and with Seattle unable to stop the run, quarterback Jared Goff and the passing attack were quiet. Additionally, the Rams opted to rest their starters, so it was a horrible game script for Watkins' fantasy prospects. Still, his Week 15 showing highlights the receiver's dependency on touchdowns, and Watkins' outlook moving forward is also less promising with Robert Woods healthy.
Watkins caught three of seven targets for 21 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 43-35 loss to the Eagles. Watkins struggled to get on the same page as Jared Goff for most of the afternoon, but he salvaged his day from a fantasy perspective with a one-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. Though the fourth-year pro has only topped 50 yards twice in the last six games, he's scored five touchdowns in that span -- including three straight weeks -- to fuel his fantasy utility. Watkins could see his role diminish next week against Seattle if Robert Woods (shoulder) is cleared to return, but he'll remain a big-play threat with a touchdown pedigree.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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