The Washington Football Team has something to prove this season. They want to prove they aren’t a bunch of racists, misogynists, and losers. I linked exclusively to the Washington Post so that if you don’t like reality and you are like our dear President, you can declare those statements Fake Lyin’ News Media. Terrible leadership at all levels left Washington without any sort of rudder last season. The Jay Gruden Experiment imploded and Bill Callahan seemed hellbent on running the football and ending the football game as quickly as possible last year. After fast-forwarding through the 2019 season, Washington and Ron Rivera stand ready to take a massive franchise turn (but Dan Snyder still refuses to sell). Who is the Washington sleeper, breakout, and bust for 2020?
Sleeper – Antonio Gibson, Running Back (RB58, 204 overall)
A brushfire took over fantasy football Twitter in May; a brushfire named Antonio “Baby CMC” Gibson. This is due to rookie Antonio Gibson being a Swiss Army Knife at Memphis, and Washington planning on using him in the same role, using the same terms, in the NFL. They took him with the #66 overall pick, which indicates they have a real role in mind for Gibson, and that makes a lot of sense.
Gibson’s 2019 stat lines show Gibson’s multi-faceted nature. He played 14 games last year, he had five games of over 75 receiving yards, and three games of over 75 rushing yards. Think about how the 49ers used Deebo Samuel last season, but imagine doing that without George Kittle around to suck up targets, and with running back eligibility. That’s 2020 Antonio Gibson’s upside.
Breakout – Terry McLaurin, Wide Receiver (WR27, 64 overall)
If you look solely at Terry McLaurin’s splits with 2020 quarterback Dwayne Haskins, it looks like he played disastrously all year long with McLaurin, who was in-and-out of the lineup due to Washington being a complete mess. The better split to look at is McLaurin with Haskins in Haskins’ second stint as Washington’s quarterback after their week ten bye. In this stretch, McLaurin averaged four catches for 70 yards per game. He ranked as WR24 in this span but scored just two touchdowns in these seven games. That skews his rank downward.
Now, fast forward to 2020. The team should be set to take a step forward with Haskins, and any step forward undoubtedly needs to include Scary Terry in a big way. If the Washington Football Team throws the ball 550 times next year (50 times less than the 2019 league average), that gives him 129 targets. If you take those 129 targets at his rates in his second stint with Dwayne Haskins, that comes out to 82 receptions, 1,281 yards, and 6 touchdowns. That would be over 200 fantasy points on the year, which would have been WR11 last season. Sounds pretty good for the WR27 off the board.
Bust – Derrius Guice, Running Back (RB30, 78 overall)
Derris Guice’s ADP accounts for his 2020 bustiness. At this point in his career, Guice has gone through two seasons and played five games. He had one really great game in that span, posting 129 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the league’s worst rushing defense (Carolina). In games where teams weren’t the worst run defense in the league, he averaged 47 yards per contest and paced out to score four touchdowns on the year. This is in the five games he was healthy in the first two years of his career.
Sure, he’s going as a reserve running back, but I honestly am not excited or impressed by what Derrius Guice did at LSU in 2017. Since then, he’s torn his ACL, torn his meniscus, and torn his MCL. The Derrius Guice we saw might be gone forever and is yet to show up in the NFL except against the worst rushing defense in the whole league.