Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Logan Thomas' Fantasy Outlook with Kyle AllenOctober 7, 2020
Fantasy managers should be keeping a close eye on the Washington Football Team quarterback situation moving forward.
Head coach Ron Rivera announced on Wednesday that Dwayne Haskins will be benched in favor of Kyle Allen.
Allen will make his first start of the season on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. It's certainly not a favorable matchup for the 24-year-old.
Los Angeles' defense is tied for fifth in the NFL with 12 sacks, ranks sixth with 20 points allowed per game, and is eighth in pass yards allowed (229.8 per game).
Per Football Outsiders, Washington ranks 29th in pass protection and adjusted sack rate (8.7 percent).
Things will get much easier after the Rams matchup, with games against the New York Giants (twice), Dallas Cowboys (twice), Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals from Week 6 through 12.
Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner will need to devise a scheme that gets the ball out of Allen's hands quickly.
If there's a reason for fantasy players to be optimistic, Terry McLaurin appears to be a wide receiver who is so talented that it makes him quarterback proof. The second-year wideout ranks in the top eight among all players in targets (39), receptions (26), receiving yards (387) and 20-plus yard catches (seven).
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Terry McLaurin Week 1- faced Darius Slay Week 2- faced Patrick Peterson Week 3- faced Terrance Mitchell Week 4- faced Marcus Peters Week 1- 11.1 ppr points Week 2- 25.5 ppr points Week 3- 12.6 ppr points Week 4- 21.4 ppr points Do not EVER take him out of your lineups
McLaurin's 387 receiving yards are more than the next three Washington players combined (310).
While McLaurin is a must-start player every week, the biggest beneficiary of the quarterback change could be Antonio Gibson. The rookie had 735 receiving yards, 19.3 yards per catch and scored eight touchdowns last year as a wide receiver at Memphis.
Gibson has transitioned to running back in Washington and is starting to take on a bigger role in the offense. He has scored one rushing touchdown in each of the last three games and had a career-high 128 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens.
When Allen was the primary quarterback for the Carolina Panthers last season, Christian McCaffrey led the NFL with 403 touches, 2,392 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns.
Gibson has a long way to go before reaching McCaffrey's level as a player, but based on his increased usage each week, Rivera could use him like he did McCaffrey. Fantasy managers might be able to find the 22-year-old on the waiver wire if they act quickly.
Per Fantasy Pros, Gibson is currently rostered in 90 percent of ESPN leagues and 83 percent of Yahoo leagues. It shouldn't be long before he's off the board in every league.
Logan Thomas is an intriguing option for fantasy managers looking for a flex player with bye weeks starting to impact rosters. His stats with Haskins at quarterback weren't sexy (102 yards, one touchdown on 13 receptions), but he was targeted at least seven times in each of the first three weeks.
Thomas isn't rostered in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues and 73 percent of ESPN leagues, per Fantasy Pros.
Allen certainly had his share of rough games in 2019, but he did have three games with at least two touchdown passes and no interceptions. The Texas A&M alum had a 106.6 quarterback rating with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in his first four starts last year.
McLaurin and Gibson remain must-starts among Washington's skill position players. Thomas is a deep sleeper because of his target share, but he shouldn't be depended on to have a major impact for your team.