J.D. McKissic’s fantasy outlook, ADP, and projection for 2022

What is J.D. McKissic's fantasy outlook and projection for 2022, and should you look to draft him at his current ADP?

Washington Commanders running back J.D. McKissic was ready to leave his old team behind. He originally agreed to terms with the Buffalo Bills before spurning them to return to Washington. With the Commanders drafting Brian Robinson Jr. to go along with starter Antonio Gibson, what is McKissic’s fantasy football outlook and ADP in fantasy football drafts for the 2022 season?

J.D. McKissic’s fantasy outlook for 2022

McKissic’s ascent from a nobody special teamer to one of the best receiving backs in the NFL is really a great story. After barely seeing the field on offense over his first four seasons, the former UDFA signed with Washington ahead of the 2020 season to be a real part of their offense.

In 2020, McKissic averaged 12 PPR fantasy points per game. Last season, he averaged 11.6 ppg.

McKissic has proven to be a useful fantasy asset. In 2021, he saw a 14.7% target share — fourth-highest amongst running backs — and ran 17.7 routes per game. Sixteen fantasy points is about the threshold for RB1 production. Last season, McKissic topped that number in six of his 11 games played.

It certainly helps that McKissic plays on a team that utilizes its running backs in the passing game. The Commanders targeted the RB position 24% of the time last season, the fifth-highest rate in the league. McKissic will never be a three-down back, but even at 29 years old, he’ll be fantasy-relevant once again.

How the Commanders’ depth chart impacts J.D. McKissic’s fantasy projection for the season

The biggest change for the Commanders this offseason, besides their team nickname, was trading for Carson Wentz. Last season, Wentz targeted his running backs 22.9% of the time. So, we have a quarterback that likes to throw to his running backs on a team that likes to throw to their running backs. It’s a great recipe for McKissic … as long as he maintains full control of that passing-down role.

The Commanders do already have Antonio Gibson, and they drafted Brian Robinson Jr. in the third round. While Robinson’s presence shouldn’t impact McKissic at all, it may do so indirectly.

Robinson appears poised to take Gibson’s job — if he hasn’t already. That could mean Gibson is just Robinson’s backup. It could also mean the former college receiver takes on a bigger role in the passing game. McKissic’s absence from the team’s second preseason game allowed Gibson to operate as the passing-down back. We don’t know if that would’ve been the case with McKissic out there, but we at least have to acknowledge it as a possibility.

At wide receiver, the Commanders are looking for help behind Terry McLaurin. Hopefully, for them, Curtis Samuel can stay healthy. They also have rookie Jahan Dotson who can contribute immediately. It’s possible an improved and healthier group of wide receivers will negatively impact McKissic’s target share.

At the same time, Samuel may just never be healthy again, and Dotson is still a rookie.

If he maintains his role as the passing down back, McKissic should at least be a fantasy RB3, albeit one with a low ceiling and heavily dependent on game script.

McKissic’s ADP for 2022

McKissic’s ADP confuses me a bit. Early in the summer, he was going so late. I naturally assumed that would correct itself as draft season approached. But it didn’t. McKissic is still being drafted around 145th overall as the RB47. Relative to the position, McKissic is not far off in ADP, but the overall value is somewhat low. In PFN’s consensus 2022 PPR fantasy rankings, McKissic is 105th as the RB41.

McKissic has finished inside the top 36 running backs each of the past two seasons. I understand his ceiling is capped. He will never be a three-down back, so his role is what it is. But that role has value. He’s proven it.

If Robinson and Gibson are only used as two-down backs, McKissic’s usage should remain the same. He will be a game script-dependent RB3. I understand wanting more upside than McKissic offers, but not many players going that late in fantasy drafts have it. For the ones that do have much higher ceilings, it’s a very low probability outcome.

I’m lukewarm on McKissic at his cost. If I can get a player with more plausible upside, I will chase that. But typically, at that point, I just want someone who can produce when called upon. McKissic has been that guy, but he doesn’t feel as safe as he usually does because of the potential for Gibson to catch more passes.


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