Penn State WR Jahan Dotson has elevated his game each season since his freshman year when he played alongside future NFL players like Miles Sanders, Pat Freiermuth, and KJ Hamler. Does Dotson have what it takes to be a long-term dynasty asset, helping dynasty fantasy football managers lock in a wideout who belongs in weekly lineups? How should dynasty managers assess Dotson now that he’s landed with the Commanders?
Jahan Dotson’s dynasty fantasy profile
Dotson has demonstrated immense growth as a collegiate wide receiver. Which factors could impact his longer-term floor and ceiling?
PFN colleague Ian Cummings reminds us that Dotson dominated in his senior season despite not playing with an upper-echelon QB. When examining a wideout’s NFL potential, we have to consider what he brings to the table and how an improved passing attack might elevate him.
Despite his 5’11”, 181-pound frame, Dotson possesses long-strider speed and terrific vertical movement. This was backed up by his Combine performance, running a 4.43 40-yard dash.
He also has exceptional coordination and body control. He’s an adept route runner who uses burst, head fakes, and double moves to shift defenders and create open spaces.
Will NFL defenders outmuscle Dotson? Anyone of his size carries yellow flags, at least when weighing the probabilities of elite-level production. Can it be done? Of course. But he’s a bit undersized, and depending on his landing spot, that could limit his ceiling.
Although he has terrific body control, as stated above, there’s room for improvement on contact balance after the catch. Presumably, his size contributes to this challenge, as heavier and stronger defenders have distinct advantages over him.
Dotson is also a four-year player at a Power Five school who didn’t break out until his junior season. That’s…not good. Yet, it’s fair to wonder if Dotson would’ve declared for last year’s draft had his 2020 season not been complicated by COVID-19. With that said, if we just blanket-dismissed all Power Five wide receivers that didn’t declare early, we’d be right a lot more than we’re wrong.
By no means does this mean Dotson can’t succeed at the NFL level; it’s merely one of many data points to consider.
Dotson’s injury history
Dotson suffered a broken leg his junior year of high school, ironically while playing quarterback in place of his team’s injured starter. There is no evidence of health issues impacting him as he heads into the NFL Draft.
Dotson’s dynasty value on the Commanders
I’m still holding out hope that Curtis Samuel works out. He’s really good at football but just couldn’t stay healthy last season. Unfortunately, the Commanders cannot just bank on Samuel this season.
If Samuel once again struggles with injury, they don’t have any NFL-caliber wide receivers behind Terry McLaurin. Dyami Brown was a weak prospect that had a rookie season far below the 500-yard threshold for future success. He is unlikely to ever matter.
McLaurin has recorded a consistent 23-25% target share over his first three seasons. During that time, he’s been the only true wide receiver threat on his team. Now, he has some help.
Dotson is immediately the third-best wide receiver on this team and possibly the WR2 (pending Samuel’s status). While he won’t step in and dominate right away, there are a lot of targets available for him to secure if he proves to be good enough. If things break right, Dotson could emerge into a useful contributor and even be a fantasy WR3 by the middle of this season.