Every summer, we take a deep dive into the fantasy football average draft position (ADP) of players on each real-life NFL team. We do this so that we can determine which guys are undervalued, overvalued, or valued just right. As we Goldilocks this ADP, our draft board forms based on our opinions of players and where they go in fantasy football drafts. Since drafters draft (mostly) by site algorithms, site algorithms drive ADP on that site. So, we use FantasyPros’ aggregate average draft position data in order to smooth out those edges. To really smooth out the edges, I will use half-PPR average draft position, which you can find here.
The Washington Commanders have a ton of wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends, but we aren’t quite sure how much we can trust any of them, especially with new quarterback Carson Wentz commanding the team. The Washington Slurs turned Football Team turned Commanders have a lot of questions about their roster, and about the dust-up on January 6, 2020. With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at the 2022 Commanders’ fantasy football sleeper, breakout, and bust!
Sleeper: Curtis Samuel, Wide Receiver (WR78, 218 OVR)
The last time we saw Curtis Samuel for any sort of sustained period of time, he was getting 6.5 targets and 2.7 rush attempts per game en route to averaging exactly 70 yards per game for the Panthers. He did all of this with a mishmash of Teddy Bridgewater and P.J. Walker that was so bad that the Panthers convinced themselves that going out and getting Sam Darnold was a good idea. He didn’t do much with the Commanders last season simply because he had a groin injury that he refused to let heal. With an offseason to let it heal, there’s little to think that he won’t be the Commanders’ #2 wide receiver, in a hybrid wide back role. He’s going outside the top-200 picks and has top-36 wide receiver upside.
Breakout: J.D. McKissic, Running Back (RB41, 121 OVR)
The J.D. MckKissic Breakout didn’t really come last year like we had hoped that it would. A lot of that has to do with an injury he suffered against the Seahawks in week twelve, which caused him to miss the rest of the season. Prior to that, however, McKissic was actually on a decent pace, pacing out to 80 rush attempts and 88 targets over the course of a seventeen-game season, after he basically didn’t make it onto the field in week one. From week two through twelve, he averaged 60 yards per game with 4.3 receptions per contest, giving a nice, sweet 10 PPR point per game floor through a mix of rushes and targets. He also paced out to six touchdowns over the course of the season
He remains a value in fantasy football drafts mostly because pass-catching tight ends remain a value in every draft. But, McKissic remains one of my favorites among these backs, mostly because he’s just sitting there in double-digit rounds while scoring at least 16.9 PPR points in half of his games after week one. It’s free real estate, you just have to put up your sign.
Bust: Terry McLaurin, Wide Receiver (WR16, 46 OVR)
Pretend like I’m the Michael Scott Alright Why Don’t You Explain This To Me Like I’m Five Gif because I don’t understand Terry McLaurin’s annual ADP. It’s Amari Cooper Lite, where no matter what happens year over year, he still gets the benefit of the doubt because we believe in his talent. Terry McLaurin was WR36 last year, WR20 in 2020, and WR30 in 2019. So, what exactly has he done to make it up to WR16 this year? Is it the wide-open depth chart? No, Washington gets Curtis Samuel back and added Jahan Dotson in the draft. Is it the sudden jump in target volume opportunity? Well, he ranked thirteenth in targets and fourth in air yards last year, so it’s not that. Is it his improved quarterback play? Well, new quarterback, Carson Wentz ranked thirty-second in catchable pass rate last season, according to Playerprofiler.com. So, it’s not that.
So what is it? Hope? Betting on his upside? Well, he has plenty of upside, and he’s plenty talented. I don’t want to doubt that, at all. It’s hard to average 1,000 yards per game in your first three seasons. Unfortunately, I don’t see the upside to putting him inside the top sixteen at wide receiver. Call me cautious but I don’t want to bet on a guy at WR16 who was WR36 last year, has never been higher than 20, and who has a crowded wide receiver room with a marginal quarterback. I’ll let someone else make that bet.