After an impressive rookie season, fantasy football managers were excited to see whether Terry McLaurin could take the next step. The Washington Football Team wide receiver has answered those questions and more. He has emerged as the rarest of things — a quarterback-proof wide receiver.
Regardless of who is throwing the ball, McLaurin will get open and be there to catch it. His status for Week 6 is in doubt, though, as Washington added him to the injury report.
Will Terry McLaurin play in Week 6?
McLaurin missed practice on Friday with a hamstring injury. He has now been listed as questionable for Week 6. That’s not good news for fantasy managers, who have likely relied on his heroics to get them out of tight spots this season.
McLaurin has been the WR12 in both standard and PPR leagues so far this season. Despite an underwhelming Week 5 performance, when he recorded just 4 catches for 46 yards, he’s started the season strongly. He’s had 29 receptions for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Should I start Terry McLaurin in fantasy?
Washington plays against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. If McLaurin plays, it would be difficult to bench him, even if he’s at less than 100%. The Chiefs have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to wide receivers. McLaurin is currently attracting 30.2% of the targets in Washington’s passing game.
The Chiefs offense is scoring the fifth-most points per game in the NFL this season. If Washington stands any chance of winning the game, their offense will need to have an impressive showing. These factors combine to make McLaurin the WR9 in our Week 6 wide receiver rankings.
Head coach Ron Rivera has shown an abundance of caution so far, and the team has been quick to rule players out of games, taking a long-term approach to injuries. Curtis Samuel, WFT’s big free-agent acquisition, will miss the game. Rookie third-round receiver Dyami Brown missed the Week 5 loss to the New Orleans Saints with a knee injury. Like McLaurin, he is listed as questionable for the game.
Washington will need a plan if McLaurin is out
While they have a talent-laden defense, Washington lacks stars on the offensive side of the ball. Outside of McLaurin, the focal point of the offense is Antonio Gibson. Gibson, the team’s workhorse running back, is also questionable and could further burden Taylor Heinicke and the team’s passing game if he doesn’t suit up.
If McLaurin is inactive, WFT will have to adapt its gameplan. The Washington coaching staff would likely place more of an emphasis on the short passing game, as they have in the past. With Alex Smith under center last season, tight end Logan Thomas posted a breakout campaign. Thomas, operating as a safety net across the middle of the field, caught 72 passes for 670 yards and 6 touchdowns. Unfortunately for Washington, he’s also been struck by injury and is on injured reserve.
Who would see McLaurin’s targets?
If McLaurin sits, the likely beneficiaries would be running back J.D. McKissic, tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, and wide receiver Adam Humphries. McKissic established himself as one of the top receiving backs in the NFL last season. He was targeted 110 times, catching 80 for 589 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has been used far more infrequently this season but would have the opportunity to return to prominence.
Seals-Jones had a slow start to the season behind Thomas but was targeted 9 times last week. 5 catches for 41 yards and no TDs isn’t an exciting statline, but it’s a testament to his role in the offense. Humphries is another player who would necessitate a shift of gameplan. While he has been targeted the second-most times on the team this season, he has been considerably behind McLaurin (20 targets vs. 49 for McLaurin).
It’s unlikely that one player will be able to replace McLaurin in fantasy, but the passing game will look very different if he’s inactive.
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