2021 Washington Fantasy Soccer Preview: There’s a whole lot of Fitzmagic occurring for the soccer staff

This was one of the best stories of 2020, with the football team rolling out a surprise playoff run and Alex Smith making his comeback from his injury. Washington has an excellent young core of talented players, and now they’re getting an injection from Fitzmagic. You could take a big leap.

2020 review

Recording: 7 – 9 (17)
PPG: 20.9 (25)
YPG: 317.3 (30)
YPG pass: 216.6 (25)
Rush-YPG: 100.7 (26)
PAPG: 37.6 (9)
RAPG: 25.0 (25)

2020 fantasy ends

QB: Alex Smith * QB37, Dwayne Haskins * QB38
RB: Antonio Gibson RB14, JD McKissic RB17
WR: Terry McLaurin WR20
TO: Logan Thomas TE4
* No longer in the team

Number to know: 55.6%

So many times in 2020 Washington’s pass attempts traveled less than 5 meters across the field, the highest mark in football. If you’ve seen this offense, you know Alex Smith took his conservative style to an even greater extreme than ever before on his comeback from injury, with a whopping 62.3% of his passes less than 5 meters across the field hike. This offense is more conservative with everyone but Smith below the middle, and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 5 or more yards across the field in 59.9% of his attempts in 2020. JD McKissic’s worth was directly linked to Smith’s lack of aggressiveness, but it gets to be interesting to see what the move to Fitzpatrick means for Gibson’s advantage. This team should still be throwing a lot into the running back – remember, Ron Rivera coached Christian McCaffrey in Carolina – but you can’t necessarily just look at last year’s usage and expect that to happen this season as well.

2021 low season

Selection drafts

1. (19) Jamin Davis, LB
2. (51) Samuel Cosmi, OT
3. (74) Benjamin St-Juste, CB
3. (82) Dyami Brown, WR
4. (124) John Bates, TE
5. (163) Darrick Forrest, p
6. (225) Camaron Cheeseman, LS
7. (240) William Bradley-King, OLB
7. (246) Shaka Toney, DE
7. (258) Dax Milne, WR

additions

CB William Jackson, WR Curtis Samuel, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, LT Charles Leno, WR Adam Humphries, G Ereck Flowers

Important departures

CB Ronald Darby, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, RT Morgan Moses, DE Ryan Kerrigan, QB Alex Smith

Opportunity available

0 carries, 0 RB targets, 82 WR targets, 3 TE targets

Team previews: Dolphins | Aries | Charger | Raider | Chiefs | Colt | packer | Patriots | Vikings

Preview 2021

Projections by Chris Towers

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick PA: 615, YD: 4492, TD: 28, INT: 14; RUSH – ATT: 34, YD: 154, TD: 2
RB Antonio Gibson AUTO: 256, YD: 1151, TD: 8; TAR: 58, REC: 44, YD: 391, TD: 2
RB JD McKissic AUTO: 88, YD: 378, TD: 3; TAR: 55, REC: 42, YD: 332, TD: 2
WR Terry McLaurin TAR: 136, REC: 86, YD: 1200, TD: 8
WR Curtis Samuel TAR: 110, REC: 72, YD: 823, TD: 6; AUTO: 32, YD: 158, TD: 2
WR Adam Humphries TAR: 41, REC: 26, YD: 277, TD: 2
TO Logan Thomas TAR: 104, REC: 71, YD: 711, TD: 6

Biggest question

Will Antonio Gibson be a three-down back?

It’s funny, the rebuilt wide receiver wasn’t used too much in the reception game – its 45 goals pale in comparison to JD McKissic’s 110. However, Gibson turned out to be a strong runner, especially near the goal line, so now the question is whether Washington is ready to use him more consistently as a weapon in both facets of the game. If they do, he could be an elite fantasy RB.

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A sleeper, a breakout and a bust

One of the main ways you can try to find value on quarterbacks is to simply check which quarterbacks have many of their weapons ranked high but not ranked high themselves. In Washington’s case, Gibson is a top 20 selection, McLaurin is a top 35 selection, and both Thomas and Samuel are off the board within the top 100. Also, JD McKissic’s ADP is 134.8. Where does Fitzpatrick come in? 163.0 in NFC ADP, as No. 25 quarterback off the board. That’s not a bad value, but if we expect four fantasy options to emerge from this offensive from the start, it seems certain that Fitzpatrick will do better than the No. 25 QB. Conversely, if Fitzpatrick is struggling, it could be an overall disappointing offensive. Good thing there’s nothing on Fitzpatrick’s track record to suggest he’ll fight once everyone believes in him.

Gibson had a very promising rookie season as he proved to be a strong runner in close range situations and a solid playmaker in both running and passing. It would have been an even better rookie season if it hadn’t been for the toe injury that effectively forced him to miss three games and constrained him in his last couple of games. In the game before the injury, he had a season high of 20 carries and seven goals and looked like he was about to become a league winner. If he can expand his passing role while maintaining his lead rusher role, Gibson has top five advantages in that position. He has such abilities.

Thomas turned out to be a very good start-tight end last season after causing a lot of buzz at training camp for the soccer team and if we expect this offensive to get better then Thomas shouldn’t be preparing for another step forward be? I’m not sure about this. Thomas ended the season very strong, with 342 yards and two touchdowns on 50 targets in his last five games, but still ended up with only 670 yards total. That means he was just a touchdown-or-bust option for most of the season, getting only four touchdowns. Now the soccer team has much better guns in the passing game, which means Thomas probably won’t be number 2 like he was a year ago. He’s # 1 in the low-end tight-end discussion, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he takes a step backwards in 2020.

So what thresholds, breakouts, and busts should you target and fade away? And which QB shocked the NFL with a top five performance? Head over to SportsLine now for fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model Josh Allen’s huge season called and find out.

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