Terry McLaurin’s fantasy output for the Washington Football Team in 2019 was nothing short of incredible. Depleted skill positions leaving him as the primary and only noteworthy receiving talent, coupled with turnover at the QB position, stacked the odds against the 76th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.
According to Fleaflicker.com, McLaurin is currently going in fantasy drafts as WR27 with an ADP of 63 overall. He finished PPR leagues as WR29 last year, but that was only in 14 games played. When looking at points per game, McLaurin narrowly edged out fellow rookie A.J. Brown. While there may have only been a .1 difference per game between the two, it’s important to note that Brown is going a full 20+ picks higher on average in fantasy drafts.
A massive part of McLaurin’s success in his rookie year was his near-total domination against NFC East opponents. In four games against his familiar foes (he missed a Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants and Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys), McLaurin scored an average of 20.1 fantasy points per game.
Terry McLaurin vs. the New York Giants
Yes, the missed Week 4 game robs us of what was already a small sample size. Still, the Week 16 showdown of 3-11 division rivals saw McLaurin catch seven of nine targets for 86 yards. In an effort that accounted for 28% of his team’s receiving yards, McLaurin’s 15.6 fantasy points likely played a big part in many championship matchups.
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What’s more, is that six of the targets were from Dwayne Haskins in the first half. After an ankle injury forced Haskins from the game, current Cleveland Browns backup Case Keenum only targeted McLaurin three more times en route to an overtime loss. With Haskins holding the keys to the car in year two, the budding chemistry should only grow.
Terry McLaurin vs. the Dallas Cowboys
Again, McLaurin missed one of two games against the Cowboys but put on a show when given the opportunity. The Week 2 matchup continued his establishment as the hottest waiver add to start the season. All of McLaurin’s nine targets in the game came from Keenum, and the Ohio State product turned that into five receptions for 62 yards and his second NFL touchdown.
With Washington trailing 14-31 with under three minutes left on the clock, McLaurin was targeted on four consecutive plays, including a third-down attempt, fourth-down conversion, and two targets from the Dallas one-yard line, with the second target resulting in his score.
With the score being what it was, it can’t exactly be called McLaurin exacting his will on the defense, but converting two of his four targets, even in garbage time, is an impressive showing for a rookie in his second game.
Terry McLaurin vs. the Philadelphia Eagles
Before starting here, it’s important to remember that the Philadelphia Eagles added Darius Slay to their roster specifically to stop guys like McLaurin from taking advantage of their suspect defense on their way to big fantasy days. Still, when presented with a great opportunity, McLaurin made the most of it in both Weeks 1 and 15. In both matchups, McLaurin saw five receptions for 125+ yards and a score. The latter performance had to have helped a lot of fantasy players in their playoff matchups.
With no answer for his combination of speed and sharp route running, McLaurin had impressive days with Keenum and Haskins throwing him the ball in their respective matchups. While both games resulted in a loss, Washington was actually in it for longer than people would have imagined. Each game was decided in the fourth quarter, with the Week 15 matchup seeing the Eagles take the lead with 32 seconds left.
Terry McLaurin’s Fantasy Outlook in 2020
With the team heading in a new direction with Ron Rivera and Scott Turner taking over the offense, an increase in tempo should be precisely what the doctor ordered. Fantasy players should look for growth in Haskins’ play from what was already an underrated 2019 campaign. Antonio Gibson and Bryce Love will add a new element out of the backfield. At the same time, Antonio Gandy-Golden and Steven Sims Jr. should help round out the receiving corps around McLaurin.
A simple review of the numbers will help seal the deal on selecting McLaurin. Still the primary target on offense, he is the rare breakout player that, at WR27, is not being overdrafted. Currently, Tommy Garrett’s WR20 in redraft rankings, there is still room for growth baked into that ranking. Along with some WR1 finishes, 2020 could be the year McLaurin cements himself as a high-end WR2.