Jahan Dotson Fantasy Outlook: Is He a Top-35 Fantasy Football Receiver in 2023?

Washington Commanders WR Jahan Dotson provided fantasy football value as a rookie, but can he build on that success in 2023, or will he be a bust in Year 2?

Jahan Dotson was a first-round pick in 2022 after producing a monster season at Penn State (91-1182-12). He immediately made an impact by averaging 14.9 yards per catch and scoring seven times across 12 games in his rookie year.

The offense around him is a major question mark, but fantasy football managers are hopeful that this big-play threat can put himself into the “weekly starter” conversation as he continues to develop.

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Jahan Dotson’s Fantasy Outlook

The change under center is certainly a moving piece (moving from the Taylor Heinicke/Carson Wentz tandem to Sam Howell), but can we really ding Dotson for that? The Washington Commanders fielded a bottom-10 offense in completion percentage, interception rate, and percentage of red zone plays that were passes last season … how much worse could it get?

As for the skill position players, Washington brings back the same core of weapons. Terry McLaurin is the unquestioned WR1, while Curtis Samuel is the gadget/short-area option. The backfield will again feature Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr., the former offering pass-catching upside and the latter more of a pounder style.

The addition of Dotson to this WR room changed the style of the passing game. In the two seasons prior, the Commanders ranked 31st in average depth of target as a team. But Washington’s average pass traveled 17.8% further last season, resulting in the team ranking 13th. If that was a philosophy switch and not just a random result, Dotson possesses rare upside for receivers drafted outside the top 30 at the position.

Growth or Regression, Which Is More Likely in 2023?

Dotson caught seven touchdowns as a rookie, something only 23 other receivers have done over the past decade. I can’t take that away from him. Every one of those touchdowns counts, and they will until the end of time. What I can do, however, is question the sustainability.

Those 23 rookie WR seasons that I just mentioned? Those receivers recorded a catch on 13.2% of their routes; they weren’t just able to score, they proved, at a young age, that they could get open at a good rate.

Dotson’s rate: 9.3%.

That’s not to say that we know Dotson CAN’T develop into a consistent playmaker, but it does mean that he very much still needs to prove it.

MORE: 2023 Half-PPR Fantasy Football Rankings

It is no secret that production from this passing game will likely be spotty week-to-week, something that will make consistency an uphill battle as it is. And if Dotson’s usage remains that of a field-stretching specialist, it’s difficult to see him repeating his per-catch fantasy production from a season ago.

Should Fantasy Managers Draft Dotson at His ADP?

Dotson is currently being drafted as the WR37 (84th overall), a price that’s a little rich for my liking. It’s not that Dotson can’t provide nice bye-week-filler value from that spot (he very much can), it’s the names around him. In his general ADP range, from a mean projection perspective, I much prefer George Pickens, Jordan Addison, and Gabe Davis.

At this point in the draft, Dotson isn’t even the Commander I’m most interested in. Both of the team’s running backs have an opportunity to earn the feature role, and I’d rather gamble on picking right among the two of them than draft a receiver like Dotson, where I’m throwing darts as to which weeks I can count on him.

If you pick the wrong running back, at least you know it, and there is no temptation to play him. But in rostering Dotson, you’re signing up for a weekly headache and no shortage of weeks where you’re burned by making the wrong call.

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