Terry McLaurin just scratched the surface of his potential in 2020. I kind of felt bad for the guy because he had some of the worst quarterback play in the league last season. But he never complained and still put up big numbers which show the kind of player McLaurin is. McLaurin has improved every year despite his worsening situation and every defense keying in on stopping him. He is only 25 years old and entering his third season with the Football Team. With the new offseason additions Washington made, “Scary” Terry McLaurin has a chance to show people around the NFL why people should be afraid of the Washington Football Team.
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Terry McLaurin had a career year in 2020. He recorded a career-high in targets, receptions, and receiving yards through all of the chaos surrounding Dwayne Haskins and the quarterback situation. He had some top-tier games, like his 7 catches for 125 yards and 1 touchdown performance against the Cardinals, but he also had some stinkers, like his 2 catches for 6 yards and 0 touchdown letdown against the Steelers. Again, it can not be stressed enough how bad the quarterback situation was for Washington last season. Last year they started Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, and Alex Smith last season. All of those quarterbacks had a subpar QBR and failed to reach 2,000 yards passing on the season. In a pass-happy league, Washington needs to get some better quarterback play so they don’t waste the talent of one of the best young dynamic receivers in the league.
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This could be a huge year for Terry McLaurin. He finally gets a real quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick and it is the second season with head coach Ron Rivera pirating the ship. Wait, let me take that back. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t a real quarterback, but he is way better than anyone McLaurin has ever played with and a gigantic upgrade at the position. McLaurin is kind of like DeAndre Hopkins early in Hopkins career. Revered as a top receiver in the league only to be crippled by bad quarterback play. McLaurin is a speedster, but he also improved his change of direction and route-running ability to become a receiver defenses fear. Look out for a year as explosive as Terry McLaurin.
ADP & Auction Value
ADP: 38, Rounds 3-4, WR13
Auction Value: $24
Terry McLaurin is in that next tier of receivers. He has not put up the numbers necessary to meet the elite receivers club, but he sure is pretty darn close. He trails fantasy royalty like Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill and fits more into the second category of receivers like Allen Robinson and Mike Evans. The reason that I would put McLaurin over those guys is that McLaurin is the only receiver on his team that does not play an unreasonably hard schedule. Tampa Bay has a cornucopia of receiving threats, which includes Evans, and the Bears play one of the hardest schedules in the NFL next season, which will definitely limit Robinson’s production. McLaurin might be joined by Curtis Samuel this season, but Washington is still going to need to feed him the ball if they want to gain yards through the air.
Look Ryan Fitzpatrick is an upgrade over any of the other quarterbacks Washington has, but he is far from a top 15 quarterback. This is because Fitzpatrick is famously inconsistent in a fun way. One game he will throw for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns, and then the next game he throws for 4 interceptions and 200 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick is like the quarterback version of Russian roulette and that’s the beauty of him. However, that’s bad for McLaurin fantasy owners because that means that McLaurin will have inconsistent performances throughout the year. Also, McLaurin has injured his hamstring and suffered a concussion in 2019, so fantasy owners should be wary that those injuries are more likely to pop up than other injuries.
McLaurin finally has a real quarterback to throw the ball to him. I thought I’d never see the day. Now, Fitzpatrick is nothing special, but Fitzpatrick also has no issue with chucking the ball deep down the field. That’s great because McLaurin has 4.35 40 speed in his back pocket. Even with the slightest uptick in quarterback play, we might find ourselves thinking Terry McLaurin is a top 10 receiver in the game next season. That’s how special he could be barring that he gets someone who can actually complete the ball downfield to him to go along with Washington’s solid run game.
Washington Football Team Offense
Words fail to describe how bad this offense was last season. Some words off the top of my head to describe this offense are anemic, lackluster, and abysmal. Last season the Football Team ranked bottom 10 in both offensive yards and offensive points. The only other teams in the league to do that are the Jets, Giants, Bengals, Jaguars, and Patriots. That is not good company to be in, but somehow the Football Team won their division. It was mostly because of their defense but they still won the division. Anyways, there still is hope on offense for Washington. They acquired Ryan Fitzpatrick and Curtis Samuel through free agency, who help to fill some holes they have on offense. They also have the deadly fast Terry McLaurin to scare teams on the outside and the dynamic running back duo of Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic to scare opponents on the interior. Washington is still not an offensive juggernaut, but they will certainly finish out of the offensive basement with their new firepower.
Strength of Schedule
Even though Washington played in the inconceivably bad NFC East last season, they still have the 15th hardest schedule coming into 2021. Finishing as the division winner means there is a price to be paid and that price comes in the form of having to play the AFC West, NFC South, Seahawks, Packers, and Bills. This means that the Football Team has to play 5 division winners in 2021, and that’s not great considering that Washington finished with a 7-9 record. This also means that winning against your division foes is even more important if you are going to lose against some of the top teams in the NFL. Luckily, the NFC East was terrible last year and the only real threat for the division crown is the Football Team or the Cowboys. Washington should be able to beat the Giants, Eagles, Broncos, Jets, Falcons, and Panthers. They might stumble playing against the Saints, Chiefs, Buccaneers, Raiders, Seahawks, Packers, and Bills, but so long as they beat the Cowboys twice, they have a great chance at repeating as NFC East champions. Another interesting thing to note is that they play 5 straight games against division foes. This includes playing the Cowboys twice in 3 weeks and the Eagles twice in 3 weeks. This might change the whole landscape of the NFC East or it might not, we shall wait and see.
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