Contract Year Player Outlook: Terry McLaurin (2022 Fantasy Football)
We recently look at the impact contract status has on fantasy football performance. Focusing specifically on players entering the final year of their rookie contracts, Sam Ryner put together key general takeaways and also players impacted entering the 2022 fantasy football season. Let’s take a deeper dive on one of those players, Terry McLaurin.
Other Contract Year Player Outlooks:
Contract-season fantasy performances for WRs (2017-21; PPR scoring)
- 48.9% produced a PPG at least one point above their career average.
- 32.6% produced a PPG at least one point below their career average.
- 18.3% produced a PPG within one point of their career average.
- 38.7% had the best season-end rank of their rookie contract.
- 30.6% had the worst-season end rank of their rookie contract.
Fun Fact: 67.2% of fantasy-relevant WRs produce a PPG number that is better than or equal to their career average in the final year of their rookie contract.
What this means: The fact that WRs are more likely to increase their fantasy PPG during the final season of their rookie contracts isn’t surprising given that the WR position tends to be one of the more difficult transitions from college to the NFL. Fantasy managers have been spoiled by Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson the past two seasons, but the majority of young WRs require a few seasons in the NFL to establish themselves as consistent contributors. Research has shown that a WR’s prime years are generally between ages 25 and 28, with age 27 most likely to be the pinnacle of production. So WRs improving their PPG in the final year of their rookie contracts makes sense when rookie contracts can range from 3-5 years. The final season of WR rookie contracts is usually taking place as the player enters or is already within his prime in most circumstances. With this being the case, WRs entering the final season of their rookie contracts are good bets to increase their production and may present draft-day bargains assuming that their potential bump in production isn’t already baked into their ADP.
Terry McLaurin 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook
But the horrible quarterback play in the nation’s capital limited McLaurin’s fantasy production to fantasy WR25 status.
Many will point to new Washington quarterback Carson Wentz as just another retread of bad quarterback play coming TMC’s way, but I am much more optimistic.
The former No. 2 overall pick has a proven track record of sustaining fantasy viable weapons – most notably Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. from a season ago. His 27 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions and 67.9 PFF passing grade are miles better than Washington’s 20 passing touchdowns, 15 interceptions and 58.3 PFF passing grade in 2021.
– Andrew Erickson
Terry McLaurin has dealt with a history of sprains, strains, and putrid quarterback play that have limited our view of his true ceiling potential. Since 2019 McLaurin has endured two hamstring strains and two high ankle sprains that have only cost him three games but have drastically hindered his effectiveness at points. Since 2019 he’s suffered catchable target rates that have ranked 70th, 77th, and 41st in the NFL. Carson Wentz might not be amazing, but if he continues the deep ball prowess that he flashed last season, McLaurin could offer fantasy managers high-end WR2 production. In 2021 Wentz was fourth in deep-ball accuracy, which pairs well with McLaurin, who was second in deep-ball targets last year.
– Derek Brown
Terry McLaurin‘s 2022 Contract Situation
- Odds he is WR1 in WAS: 85%
- Odds he is traded/holds out: 15%
- Who to draft in fantasy if he traded: Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel
Analysis: Terry McLaurin is amidst a contract dispute, Curtis Samuel has struggled to stay healthy and 2021 third-rounder Dyami Brown failed to fire as a rookie. Dotson’s biggest strengths to me are his reliability and the floor that he can offer the Commanders, which will translate into target volume. That’s what he did during his final season at Penn State, posting an absurd 43% dominator rating while racking up the 8th-most receptions in his draft class. Dotson’s sure hands – 4th percentile career drop rate of two percent – will help him vacuum up targets from Carson Wentz and make him the favorite to be the right behind McLaurin in the target pecking order. He’s already looking ‘ELECTRIC’ at OTAs.
– Andrew Erickson
2022 Fantasy Football Staff Consensus Rankings
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