The Washington Football Team signed journeyman Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency. While there is mixed opinion on Fitzpatrick because of his inconsistent play, he brings a gunslinger mentality that can greatly improve the offense. Keep reading for a break down of the fantasy impact for the WFT offensive players.
The Washington Football Team surprised a lot of people last year, even though the NFC east was a mess. The defense is young and looks like one of the top units going forward. The offense has good young pieces moving forward and the only question is about the QB. Alex Smith will not be back and to address the immediate need at QB, the WFT signed Ryan Fitzpatrick aka FitzMagic. Fitzpatrick is an aggressive QB that will push the ball down the field and will bring a totally different style for WFT compared to what Alex Smith did last year.
The Washington Football Team brings in Ryan Fitzpatrick to potentially replace Alex Smith as their starting QB next season.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 16, 2021
Terry Mclaurin IDP GUYS SF 60 ADP – WR 21
As a 3rd rounder in 2019, McLaurin exceeded expectations and totaled 58 receptions for 919 yards and 7 TDs. McLaurin proved he was not a rookie one year wonder in 2020 with 87 receptions, 1,118 yards, and 4 TDs. In PPR, McLaurin has finished 29th and 20th among WRs in his first 2 years. This was even more incredible considering his QBs consisting of Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins, Colt McCoy, Alex Smith, Kyle Allen and even Taylor Heinicke.
Can’t wait to see Ryan Fitzpatrick force feed Terry McLaurin downfield. Last year, 33% of Fitzmagic’s throws traveled 10+ yards in the air (tied for 11th-highest rate with Mahomes).
Just 18% of Alex Smith’s attempts went 10+ yards (last out of 38 QBs).
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) March 16, 2021
McLaurin has been great in scoring TDs that are 20 + yards and ranks sixth in the NFL. With Fitzpatrick the WFT will have a QB that will percentage wise, double the amount of throws past 10 yards from last year with Alex Smith. Fitzpatrick hasn’t shown signs of slowing down at 40 and the #1 receiver with him the last 6 years has averaged over 13 fantasy points a game.
If you take the average of those 6 years it would be right under 16 points per game and that would be right outside WR 1 territory. McLaurin’s ADP of 21 seemed about right before the signing but now I believe he can approach low end WR 1 numbers and should be snatched up immediately.
WR fantasy stats with Ryan Fitzpatrick:
2020: DeVante Parker, 13.6 PPG
2019: DeVante Parker, 14.4 PPG
2018: Mike Evans, 17.5 PPG
2017: Mike Evans, 14 PPG
2016: Brandon Marshall, 13.1 PPG
2015: Brandon Marshall, 21.2 PPG
Eric Decker, 16.8 PPG
Terry McLaurin will be the WR__? pic.twitter.com/C2ARMI5CWQ
— Fantasy Pro🏈 (@Fantasyfballpr0) March 16, 2021
The WFT was not done with improving the offense and came to agreement with Curtis Samuel to complement McLaurin on the other side. The two former buckeye teammates are reunited and could form quite the dynamic duo. Samuel had his most productive year in 2020 averaging over 14 fantasy points per game and ranking as WR 28 in PPR formats.
Many people who do not watch him, would think Samuel is more of a slot receiving that works more over the middle but he can line up all over the field and had the highest deep target catch rate of all WRs in 2020.
Curtis Samuel has tested at or above the 88th percentile in #ReceptionPerception's success rate vs. man coverage metric for three-straight seasons. Awesome separator who can thrive in a ton of roles.
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) March 18, 2021
There may be question that if there is enough targets for two fantasy relevant receivers with Fitzpatrick. Throughout his career, Fitzpatrick has been able to feed the WR2 of a team over 7 targets a game and 12 fantasy points a game. Another reason to like Samuel is his ability to be a strong runner in the backfield.
He was mainly a RB in college and still shows that ability in the NFL with 41 carries in 2020 for 200 yards and a average of 3.5 yards after contact. Samuel’s ADP of WR 51 is criminally too low. He should be able to continue on his success in 2020 and be a mid level WR2 for the WFT. If he is still around after the 6th round in startups, he should be picked up and could help lead your fantasy team to a playoff run in 2021.
Prediction: Terry McLaurin going to get FED pic.twitter.com/WAxORwRyuN
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) March 16, 2021
Converted college QB Logan Thomas had a breakout season in 2020 and looks to build on that in coming years for the WFT. He is 29 but with lack of playing time early in his career there is not the wear and tear, other players would have at his age. He was a target monster, converting 110 targets for 72 catches, 670 yards and 6 TDs. He finished as TE3 in PPR formats with 11 points per game.
With the addition of Curtis Samuel and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who likes to throw the ball down the field more, the huge amount of targets will probably not continue. But in two years with Fitzpatrick, Mike Gesicki, averaged over 50 receptions, 600 yards and 5 TDs.
This would still be borderline Top 12 TE numbers, so I believe the ADP of TE 16 is a little low but do not draft Thomas based on 2020 numbers either. He will have value in this potent offense, even with the likelihood that Thomas will be affected somewhat like Mckissic is.
JD Mckissic IDP GUYS SF 160 ADP – RB 51
Many people wouldn’t think much of JD Mckissic but he is a good receiver and change of pace back. Most teams do not have a workhorse back anymore, so the need for a complement back has great fantasy value. McKissic had 365 yards and 1 TD on the ground but did most of his damage through the air with 80 receptions on 110 targets for 589 yards and 2 TDs. This was good enough for 12 points per game in PPR formats and ranked 17th amongst RBs.
While the ADP of RB 51 is still too low, McKissic likely will not reach his stats of 2020. For one Fitzpatrick is not as much of a check down passer as Alex Smith and the signing of Curtis Samuel will take away some opportunities in the running game. Last year McKissic was a RB 2 but in 2021 will likely only be a low flex option with volatility week to week based on game situation.
Curtis Samuel among WRs since ‘19:
🏎 330 rushing yards (1st)
🌀 16 MTF on runs (1st)
New gadget for OC Scott Turner pic.twitter.com/zohxjNHeg8
— PFF Washington (@PFF_Washington) March 18, 2021
Antonio Gibson had a great rookie campaign even though he suffered some injuries near the end of the year. Through 14 games, Gibson totaled 795 yards and 11 TDs, while also providing solid numbers out of the backfield with 36 receptions. The addition of Samuel will take some carries away from the running backs but most likely this will be taken from JD McKissic. Gibson should still be the lead back and gain even more carries going into 2021.
With a more vertical passer, there should be more balance to the offense and could provide less defenders in the box, allowing Gibson more room to maneuver for larger gains. Coach Ron Rivera has always like to have a balanced offense, so I do not see that changing with the free agent acquisitions. I believe the ADP for Gibson of 19 is a little low but I don’t have a problem with that range.
He finished as the # 13 RB in 2020 but could see anywhere from 15-20 because of the possibility of more vertical passing TDs. I would say Gibson stock changes very little going into 2021.
WFT Offense Going Forward
The offense in 2021 will be potent and should be able to support multiple fantasy relevant players. McLaurin and Samuel’s stocks will go up while Gibson should see the same amount of touches and production. Thomas will decrease in target share but will still have enough production to be a borderline TE 1 and with the drop off in TEs after the top 3 is still a buy. Mckissic I would stay away from unless in the deepest of leagues as a bye week fill in or a flex play.
As far as Fitzpatrick, he is a good QB 2 in SF formats and has the potential of a borderline QB 1. Just know as in the past, FitzMagic can turn into FitzTragic for certain parts of the season. There could always be a 4 interception game that may come along.
While his contract is only for a year, the team could bring him back for another year if they draft a young QB and think the prospect needs another year. It should be an exciting year for WFT and for once you actually may want to own multiple offensive fantasy players.