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Buy, Sell, or Keep: Washington Commanders Offense

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The Washington Commanders have a lot of “new.” Who are the Buy/Sell/Keep candidates in all this newness?


Buy

Terry McLaurin, WR

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Terry McLaurin was Washington’s third-round draft pick out of Ohio State in the 2019 NFL draft. He stormed on the scene as a rookie starting in 14 games and had 93 targets — 37 more than the next WR on the roster.

His rookie statistics consisted of 58 receptions for 919 yards and 7 TDs. In McLaurin’s second year in the league, he produced 87 receptions for 1,118 yards and 4 TDs. His third year was 77 receptions for 1,053 yards and 5 TDs.

Let’s look at his quarterbacks for those three years. McLaurin had the pleasure of receiving passes from the likes of Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins, Colt McCoy, Alex Smith, Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke, Garrett Gilbert, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. The ability to produce those kinds of statistics with those quarterbacks says a lot about McLaurin’s talent.

McLaurin Gets His Ninth QB of his Three-Year Career

In 2022, McLaurin gets a new QB in Carson Wentz. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner, (son of Norv Turner), gets a three-year extension to keep developing the Commanders’ offense. With all of Wentz’s critics out there doubting he can deliver an acceptable performance, Wentz has a chip on his shoulder and knows where to go with the ball to be successful.

McLaurin regressed in 2021 from his 2020 season in catches and yards. He is ranked anywhere from 12th to 33rd on multiple sites, but most of the experts have McLaurin ranked in the 20s. This is why you are going to buy him now and never look back. McLaurins’s value will never be lower — he will be a top 12 WR at the end of 2022.

Sell

Antonio Gibson, RB

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Antonio Gibson is a talented converted wide receiver that has played for the Commanders as a running back for the last two years. He was selected in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft.

All of the experts thought the 6′ 2″ and 221lb athlete would bloom into the ultimate PPR running back in the league. The Commanders, however, had different ideas with the addition of J.D. McKissick as their third-down receiving back.

As a rookie, Gibson played in 14 games and produced 170 carries for 795 yards and 11 TDs. Add in 36 receptions for 247 yards and 0 TDs, and you have some surprising receiving stats for an ex wide receiver. Meanwhile, McKissic delivered 80 receptions for 589 yards and 2 TDs.

In their second year together, Gibson delivered better rushing stats with 258 carries for 1,037 and 7 TDs and also 42 receptions for 294 yards and 3 TDs. McKissic missed six games and still had 43 receptions for 397 yards and 2 TDs.

McKissick Says “No” to the Bills and Rejoins the Commanders

McKissic originally accepted a free-agent deal with the Buffalo Bills and it looked like Gibson would finally get the chance to shine in the passing game along with his already solid rushing game. But, 24 hours later, McKissic changed his mind and returned to the Commanders on the matching two-year contract. Gibson moves back to a low number two RB in my eyes.

With very inconsistent numbers on a weekly basis, Gibson is a sell. He is ranked as high as number six and as low as number 17. I am in the lower range of expectations. Just last year, Gibson had six games of 11 or fewer points in my PPR league. You can’t have a starting RB deliver those kinds of stats. With him being ranked as high as #6, you should be able to get a replacement and more in trade. Sell Gibson now, before the Commanders select more competition for him in the 2022 NFL draft.

Keep

Logan Thomas, TE

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Logan Thomas was originally drafted as a QB out of Virginia Tech by the Arizona Cardinals in 2014. After very little success there, Thomas played for the Miami Dolphins in 2015 and New York Giants in 2016.

The Giants waived him in November of 2016 and the Detroit Lions claimed him and moved Thomas to his new position of tight end. He hadn’t played that position since high school, but with his size and athletic ability, Thomas would gravitate to his new role.

Thomas would learn and grow in his new position over the next three years while playing with the Lions and Buffalo Bills.

Thomas Becomes a Very Viable TE in the NFL.

In 2020, Thomas signed a one-year contract with the Commanders. He delivered big time with 72 receptions for 670 yards and 6 TDs. Those stats got him a new three-year contract extension for $24,000,000.

2021 brought a very frustrating for the soon-to-be 31-year-old converted TE. His first 3 weeks delivered 12 receptions for 117 yards and 2 TDs. Then, on the fifth play of week 4, Thomas strained his hamstring and would be placed on injured reserve for the next six games.

He returned to action in week 12 and produce 6 receptions for 79 yards and 1 TD in his next game and a half. Week 13 was more bad news for Thomas with a knee injury that turned out to be a torn ACL.

Thomas should be ready for drills during the Commanders 2022 training camp. You would get absolutely zero value for him in any trade. Keep Thomas on your roster, and if he is healthy, he will deliver a solid #2 TE season. Add in that Wentz completed 64 passes to his TEs in Indianapolis last year for 724 yards and 7 TDs. Keep Thomas and be happy that you did.


Thank you for checking out the latest article in the Buy/Sell/Keep series! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense too) and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

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