Week 5 at Washington Redskins
Finally! There's a New England tight end worth considering! Following Rob Gronkowski's offseason retirement, the Patriots have lined up without a tight end on the field more frequently than any team but the Arizona Cardinals. It's fair to say that New England's options at the position haven't been quite Gronkowski-level. While the Patriots are likely to continue to lean more heavily on their wide receivers and running backs moving forward, it will be shocking if they don't immediately implement Watson regularly on both rushing and passing downs, especially with the loss of fullback James Develin.
Washington has been fairly stingy against tight ends so far in 2019, as they've yet to allow one to surpass 54 receiving yards despite having faced both Zach Ertz and Evan Engram. Washington has very little tape to study this season with New England utilizing tight ends and nothing that includes Ben Watson, which should benefit him slightly. This isn't an endorsement to start Watson expecting a TE1 return, but 4 catches for 58 yards made Engram the TE18 last week in 0.5 PPR formats, and that's well within Watson's range of outcomes.
**UPDATE 10/5 @ 12:00pm: Welp, my Ben Watson enthusiasm was premature. He was ruled out for the game today, and should head straight to your bench. If you picked him up for this week (or already had him), hang onto him, as he should be the primary tight end for New England moving forward.**