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2021 Player Outlooks: Washington Football Team

By Andrew Swanson | 7/2/21 |

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
2020 QB Rank - No.22, 18.1 FPts/G

In a shared role with Tua Tagovailoa last season, 36-year-old journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 2,091 yards and 13 touchdowns in nine games for Miami, with eight interceptions and a pair of rushing touchdowns. Although he was not great for fantasy at 18.1 points per game, his propensity to hyper-target wide receivers and force the ball downfield has many people anticipating a monster season for Terry McLaurin and a strong first year with the team for newly signed Curtis Samuel.

Fitzpatrick signed a 1-year, $10 million deal to be a bridge starter this season for whomever the Football team views as their long-term solution in the draft or their QB room.

Washington boasts a strong defense and ground attack, which could limit the number of passes for Fitzpatrick and reduce his ceiling. However, he is a solid QB2 in super-flex formats and a streaming starter in plus matchups, assuming he doesn’t go too crazy with his gun-slinging ways and get benched for Taylor Heinicke.

RB Antonio Gibson
2020 RB Rank - No.18, 13.4 FPts/G

Few running backs carried more buzz heading into fantasy draft season last year than Antonio Gibson, a third-round selection from Memphis who posted ridiculous efficiency stats and above-average receiving skills in college.

With so much hype surrounding Gibson, it was impressive to see him live up to that hype with 11 rushing touchdowns and just over 1000 total yards, despite getting eased into action by the Washington coaching staff. Gibson did not see more than 13 carries in a game until Week 7 against the Cowboys, when he went ham with 128 yards and a score.

Gibson proved that he could shoulder most of the load as a first and second down back, and his receiving skills earned him 36 receptions in a crowded backfield of pass-catching options that includes J.D. McKissic.

There has been talk in Washington’s camp that the team wants to expand Gibson’s role in the passing game further, making him even more of an attractive option and a solid pick in the second round of most drafts.

RB J.D. McKissic
2020 RB Rank - No.34, 9.6 FPts/G

We should all be lucky enough to find someone in our lives as much as Alex Smith loved J.D. McKissic in 2020, with the 27-year-old veteran running back posting a ridiculous 80-catch season with captain check down throwing him the ball at an excessive rate.

Now that Smith has retired and the team has handed the ball to Ryan Fitzpatrick, a QB who loves to throw the ball downfield and force passes into tight windows, McKissic may not see the crazy volume he enjoyed in his first year with the team. The addition of Curtis Samuel also could be a knock for McKissic, as Samuel is a skilled WR who could also see some work as an RB.

Terry McLaurin

WR Terry McLaurin
2020 WR Rank - No.20, 12.2 FPts/G

A sophomore slump for Terry McLaurin did not materialize despite multiple injuries that limited his production and subpar quarterback play. The former third-round pick from Ohio State saw a massive increase in targets to 134 and posted his first 1100-yard season as a pro.

On the downside, his touchdown production was cut in half, and his yard per reception average dipped three full yards. Both of these issues could be remedied by the addition of veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who helped make DeVante Parker a fantasy stud two seasons ago in Miami.

The addition of Curtis Samuel via free agency and the emergence of tight end Logan Thomas could limit McLaurin’s volume ceiling. Still, the change in QB and Fitzpatrick’s history of targeting alpha wide receivers like McLaurin make the WR a desirable option in the third and fourth round for those owners who go RB early.

Assuming his TD rate gets closer to the 12% rate he had as a rookie compared to just 4% last year, look for McLaurin to push into the top 12 at the position by the end of the year.

WR Curtis Samuel
2020 WR Rank - No.28, 11.6 FPts/G

Samuel parlayed a career-best season in 2020 into a lucrative free agent contract with the football team and a chance to reunite with the man who drafted him, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera and his former OC Scott Turner.

The irony is Samuel had his best season with the Panthers under Matt Rhule, and it was Rhule who finally started using Samuel as a multi-dimensional threat as a runner and a receiver. Will Rivera and Turner learn from their past mistakes with Samuel and utilize him that way? Only time will tell. What we do know is Samuel will be the No.2 WR opposite of Terry McLaurin and should see at least 100 targets, making him a nice WR with upside to target later in drafts.

WR Adam Humphries
2020 WR Rank - No.82, 6.8 FPts/G

Humphries was limited to just seven games in his final season with Tennessee before the Titans cut him this offseason. In those seven games, the six-year veteran managed to post just two games of over ten fantasy points as the No.3 WR for Ryan Tannehill.

The addition of Humphries to the Washington Football Team passing game will give newly signed veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick a reliable option underneath, but from a pure fantasy perspective, it is hard to imagine him getting enough volume as the presumed 4th option after McLaurin, Samuel, and tight end Logan Thomas.

TE Logan Thomas
2020 TE Rank - No.6, 8.7 FPts/G

It may surprise some fantasy owners to learn that Thomas posted the third-most targets for tight ends in 2020, trailing only Darren Waller and Travis Kelce. The converted quarterback caught 72 passes for 670 yards and six scores after building an excellent rapport with Alex Smith, a QB well known to target tight ends and running backs in the passing game.

Thomas enters 2021 as the starter at TE, but his tight-end friendly quarterback retired and has been replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick, a QB who has a history of preferring wide receivers over tight ends.

Although we do think he will take a bit of a step back this season, Thomas is squarely in the mix for late-round tight ends to target for those owners who pass on the top 5 at the position.

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