Terry McLaurin’s Best Ball Fantasy Outlook: Does the Commanders WR Have a Big Season in Him?

On what could be a very poor Commanders offense, should fantasy managers be staying away from Terry McLaurin in Best Ball drafts?

Washington Commandres WR Terry McLaurin has been a good, not great, fantasy football asset his entire career. With a rookie quarterback under center, but minimal target competition, is McLaurin someone worth targeting in Best Ball drafts this season?

Terry McLaurin’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

Now entering his sixth NFL season, we should know who McLaurin is at this point. For his entire career, he has been the epitome of “fine.” He’s not special. He’s not a league-winner. But he’s never a disaster. He’s just…fine.

McLaurin’s best season came in 2020, when he averaged 14.9 fantasy points per game. His worst season was 2023, when he averaged 12.3 fantasy points per game. He’s never finished higher than WR20 or lower than WR34.

While McLaurin has been consistent, there’s no way to spin last year as anything other than a disappointment. His 12.3 points per game was the lowest mark of his career. He saw a career-low 21.6% target share. His 1.57 yards per route run ranked 57th in the league, and he only commanded a target on 20.3% of his routes run, 46th in the league.

Of course, McLaurin hasn’t exactly enjoyed the greatest quarterback play throughout his career. It’s easy to say that if McLaurin were better, he would be better. But look no further than 2023 DJ Moore as an example of what a QB upgrade can do.

In 2024, McLaurin will have a different quarterback. Right now, that man projects to be a first-round rookie. Unless you get C.J. Stroud or Andrew Luck, rookie quarterbacks usually aren’t great for wide receivers in fantasy.

Should You Draft McLaurin in 2024 Best Ball Leagues?

McLaurin faces a very uncertain situation this season. However, volume should not be an issue.

Currently, the Commanders do not have a single wide receiver capable of threatening McLaurin’s target share. Jahan Dotson has been wholly disappointing in his first two NFL seasons. Curtis Samuel is gone. The Commanders will likely draft a wide receiver, but that almost certainly won’t come in the first round.

Regardless, McLaurin will be the clear top target. That opens him up to potentially see a target share north of 25%, something he hasn’t done since 2020.

McLaurin is not going to be an exciting pick for fantasy managers — he never is. But there’s value in the volatility of the Commanders’ quarterback situation. Whether it’s Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, or even J.J. McCarthy, there’s certainly a chance their QB is better than expected.

Where McLaurin goes in Best Ball drafts, the opportunity cost is minimal. With that said, it’s typically a spot where you want to take younger, less-proven players. McLaurin will be 29 years old this season.

At the same time, McLaurin does have something going for him the others don’t — he’s his team’s WR1. Since 2017, 86.7% of fantasy WR1s have been their team’s primary target. To be fair, fantasy managers aren’t exactly expecting McLaurin to be a WR1. But it’s worth noting that, historically, his odds are better than the WR2s and WR3s being drafted around him.

Fantasy managers should not necessarily avoid McLaurin. But I would stop short of calling him a player to target.

KEEP READING: Best Ball Stacking Strategy

As we look ahead to the 2024 fantasy football season, 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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