Jayden Daniels’ Dynasty Rookie Profile | Washington Commanders QB Fantasy Football Outlook

After he won the Heisman last season, what can dynasty managers expect from QB Jayden Daniels in his rookie season with the Washington Commanders?

The Washington Commanders may have taken some of the top quarterback prospects out on a joint interview at Topgolf, but the team ultimately knew they wanted to make Jayden Daniels their franchise quarterback despite his lack of a golf swing.

After being selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, what can dynasty fantasy managers expect from Daniels in his rookie year and beyond?

Should You Draft Jayden Daniels in Dynasty Fantasy Football?

The fantasy ceiling of dynamic dual-threat talents under center is quite valuable and jumps immensely with an elite athlete like Daniels, who has proven passing and rushing production. In many cases, dual-threat prospects can see a lot of fantasy success early in their career, even if they aren’t the most polished passing products entering the NFL.

Need proof? Just take a look at some of these dangerous quarterback prospects who had successful fantasy impacts within the first two years of their careers.

Lamar Jackson: QB1 (2019)
Josh Allen: QB8 (2019)
Justin Fields: QB7 (2022)
Robert Griffin III: QB5 (2012)
Cam Newton: QB3 (2011)

Quarterbacks who offer a high weekly rushing floor simply raise their fantasy floors to a level that gives them an unfair advantage compared to other pocket passers who must produce all of their fantasy production through the air.

Daniels’ dynamic playmaking ability as a ball carrier has rightfully drawn comparisons to other awe-inspiring rushing threats under center — particularly Jackson — who represent fantasy cheat codes when they land in a favorable situation.

Daniels’ landing spot in this air raid scheme with Kliff Kingsbury in Washington represents an excellent opportunity in multiple ways. He can run an RPO-heavy scheme — which Kingsbury utilizes — while being able to run pro passing concepts and, of course, provide an immense amount of production as a ball carrier.

The number of weapons Daniels is surrounded by in Washington is also pretty good. Players like Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Austin Ekeler, Brian Robinson Jr., Zach Ertz, Luke McCaffrey, and Ben Sinnott make for a talented and versatile group of playmakers to help lift Daniels’ production through the air.

In Superflex, Daniels is an easy first-round top-five pick in upcoming rookie drafts. He’s the best dual-threat QB prospect in this class, which certainly puts him in the conversation for the QB1 off the board when dynasty rookie drafts begin.

Who Is Daniels?

Background

Daniels is listed at 6’4” and 210 pounds with a slender build, but he’s put on size since his earlier collegiate days at Arizona State.

Daniels’ prep days at Cajon High School were impressive, to say the least. He was a consensus four-star prospect and considered among the best dual-threat quarterbacks of his class.

Daniels was a four-year starter at Cajon, where he amassed a record of 44-10, finishing with 17,652 total yards and 211 total touchdowns. His outstanding production broke numerous records and earned him countless accolades during his high school career.

College Production

Daniels won the Heisman Trophy in his final collegiate season with 3,812 yards through the air and an additional 1,134 yards on the ground, which resulted in him accounting for 50 total TDs in his super senior campaign.

Prior to 2023, Daniels never topped 3,000 passing yards or 1,000 rushing yards in a season but was still one of the most productive dual-threat QBs in the country during his days under center for both LSU and Arizona State.

His junior season in 2021 with the Wildcats was his roughest statistical year as a passer, with just 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. By the end of his collegiate career, Daniels finished with 89 scores through the air and another 35 TDs as a runner.

Injury History

Daniels entered concussion protocol during his 2023 season after suffering a big hit from Alabama’s Dallas Turner. Nevertheless, he ended up playing the next week against the Florida Gators.

Daniels missed a game against USC his freshman year with a lower leg injury but returned the next week and finished out the remainder of the season.

Daniels’ Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Incredible jump in production as a passer in 2023.
  • Gifted athlete with special playmaking ability to threaten opposing defenses as a runner in QB-designed run game while breaking the pocket to either extend plays or gash opposing defenses when scrambling.
  • Can punish undisciplined edge players in zone read concepts with plus-level burst and top speed.
  • Slippery and elusive in the open field.
  • Showed the ability to get through progressions on tape.
  • Plenty of arm talent to make NFL-caliber throws on all three levels.
  • Had reps where he was able to locate the hot receiver when defenses would show blitz.
  • Proved capable of playing with a nice base within the pocket.
  • Very poised and patient and will drift and reset his feet when scanning the field and going through progressions.
  • Consistently doesn’t bail on clean pockets or run himself into trouble.
  • Can be decisive, play within structure, and properly diagnose coverage pre-snap.

Weaknesses

  • Accuracy tends to dip when color flashes in front of him or gets pressure to disrupt his release.
  • Didn’t see many anticipation throws on tape
  • Had some reps where he was a bit late getting the ball out late on certain concepts — not enough to call him a “see it before I throw it” type of player, but I would love to see more anticipation.
  • Can occasionally be a bit “toesy” instead of keeping all of his cleats in the ground.
  • Only one true season of elite passing production.
  • Needs to showcase better judgment when acting as a runner
  • Takes far too many unnecessary hits, which could lead to some durability issues at the NFL level

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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