Fans of 31 other teams take solace in the fact that the Washington Football Team’s offense will generally be ranked 32nd in most preseason rankings, but contrary to popular belief, Washington’s offense isn’t doomed to disappoint. As these 2020 Washington fantasy stat predictions will show, there’s potential for the offense to improve, despite the team’s overall mediocrity.
For these stat predictions, we’ll focus on the big-name players at each position, but also touch on some intriguing lesser-known contributors who could ultimately emerge from the uncertain circumstances. Let’s begin the discussion on Washington’s offense, starting with second-year signal-caller Dwayne Haskins.[sv slug=mocksim]
Washington 2020 fantasy stat predictions
QB Dwayne Haskins
At first glance, Dwayne Haskins is one of the more underwhelming passers from the 2019 NFL Draft. Daniel Jones had some of the highest peaks. Kyler Murray was the production king. Drew Lock had the late-season winning streak to tout. Meanwhile, Haskins’ 2019 season seriously underwhelmed in comparison to his fellow 2019 NFL Draft picks, but understanding his circumstances, as well as his progression, helps to provide context for his 2020 campaign.
From a pure statistics standpoint, Haskins didn’t stand out. Overall, he completed 119 of 203 attempts for 1,365 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions, with a completion percentage of just 58.6 and a mediocre 6.7 yards per attempt.
When delving further into Haskins’ year, however, it’s clear that early relief performances heavy with interceptions negatively weighted his production. Before he became the full-time starter against Buffalo, Haskins was 12 for 22 for 140 yards and four interceptions. You read that right: Haskins threw four interceptions in his first 22 passes, for an interception percentage of almost twenty percent.
The Starter role
As Haskins gained stability in his role as a starter, his production garnered similar stability. In his seven games as a starter, Haskins was 107 for 181 for 1,225 yards, seven touchdowns, and just three interceptions. His completion percentage neared 60 percent, and his yards per attempt also increased by over 0.3 yards.
Haskins’ Offensive Share Metric grade reflected his performance down the stretch. Despite coming up near the rear in terms of statistical volume among his rookie peers, Haskins was the second-best rookie quarterback by OSM’s standards, behind only Giants rookie Daniel Jones. Haskins performed very well amidst his circumstances, and in 2020, there’s more reason for optimism.
This quote from FPC Washington’s Nathan Coleman does well to quantify the kind of sophomore leap Haskins could see if things break his way: “Since 2015, rookie passers have seen significant improvement in year two, averaging a +.4 Yards Per Attempt, +.75 Adjusted Yards Per Attempt, +3% Completion Percentage, +1.8% Touchdown Rate, and a whopping 3.5% Success Rate increase.”
Haskins has trimmed down his weight and worked tirelessly through the offseason. In addition, Haskins has garnered positive reviews thus far through camp and gained a forward-thinking offensive coordinator in Scott Turner. It’s reasonable to expect an uptick in performance from Haskins. Also, considering that Washington may be playing from behind fairly often, Haskins could rack up more yards than expected.
Haskins won’t yet have an offensive line worth trusting on a consistent basis, but he showed toughness in the face of pressure last year, and his mobility has shown improvement in the early goings of training camp. There will still be lumps, but Haskins should prove himself to be a viable long-term answer at quarterback.
Dwayne Haskins 2020 stat projection: 374-583, 4,085 yards, 26 TDs, 12 INTs
RBs Adrian Peterson and Antonio Gibson
Some Washington fans are bullish on Adrian Peterson in 2020, but I’d advise caution. The man can’t last forever as a viable NFL running back, as much as his late-career success might suggest otherwise. He has a ton of wear on those tires, and it’s more likely that his share dwindles as Washington resorts to a committee of sorts.
One running back whose outlook may be boosted in that scenario is third-round rookie Antonio Gibson. Ron Rivera and Scott Turner have both likened Gibson to Christian McCaffrey. While it’s unreasonable to expect anything near McCaffrey’s production from Gibson in 2020, he does have a very intriguing multi-faceted skillset. Additionally, his athleticism has also been on full display at training camp.
Peterson should still outproduce Gibson as a runner overall, as Gibson will need to adjust to the pace of the NFL — his volume was minimal at the collegiate level. Gibson’s potential as both a runner and a pass-catcher gives him impressive versatility. He has all the traits necessary to eventually explode: Burst, high-end speed, contact balance, natural receiving skills, et cetera.
Adrian Peterson 2020 stat projection: 130 carries, 525 yards, five touchdowns, 10 receptions, 90 yards
Antonio Gibson 2020 stat projection: 55 carries, 279 yards, five touchdowns, 34 receptions, 486 yards, three touchdowns
WRs Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gandy-Golden
Washington’s receiving core is far from a finished product, but the team has two solid young pieces in Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gandy-Golden. McLaurin neared 1,000 receiving yards last season, while Gandy-Golden, drafted in the fourth round by Washington in the 2020 NFL Draft, has the necessary height, density, and vertical burst to be a dangerous downfield weapon.
Given the uncertainty around him, as well as his deeply-rooted chemistry with former Ohio State teammate Dwayne Haskins, McLaurin should easily surpass his totals from last season. The key for McLaurin will be to remain injury-free. Gandy-Golden, meanwhile, has the traits that are conducive to downfield success, as well as looks in the red zone.
Given that the Washington Football Team has no established threat at tight end, Gandy-Golden’s height could become a valuable asset when the field is shortened. Expect these two, to some degree, to man the boundaries for Washington’s offense, and thrive doing so, as Haskins mounts a sophomore leap.
Terry McLaurin 2020 stat projection: 89 receptions, 1,390 yards, nine touchdowns
Antonio Gandy-Golden 2020 stat projection: 46 receptions, 605 yards, six touchdowns
Washington won’t be expected to compete for a playoff spot in 2020, but 2020 was never meant to be a playoff year. If the team’s young pieces can start to show meaningful development, and if some of these Washington 2020 fantasy stat predictions can come to fruition, then they will be in a good place.