Are We All Sleeping on Dwayne Haskins for 2020? (Fantasy Football)
In 2019, fantasy football drafters created an interesting anomaly in ADP. Mike Evans was being drafted as the WR8 in the 2nd Round. He finished as the WR12. Chris Godwin was going off as the WR17 in the 4th Round. He finished as the WR2. Jameis Winston was going in the 9th round but as the QB13, not even a starter and it took until September for his ADP to climb that high. He finished with 30 TDs as the QB5. We loved the weapons, hated the QB. This article could just as easily be about Tom Brady, the new Bucs QB, and his current QB9 ADP, but we’re going to look at a QB on a similar career trajectory as Winston.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a fantasy analyst that does not love Terry McLaurin in fantasy football this year. He was the WR27 as a rookie and I wrote an article about his WR1 upside back in May. If you dig into 2019’s stats long enough, you’ll also see that Steven Sims Jr finished the last five games of 2019 as the WR13. At RB, few backs have more exciting passing-game upside in 2020 than Washington rookie Antonio Gibson. However, you’d have to scroll much further than QB13 to find Washington QB Dwayne Haskins‘ ADP. For all the adoration of his weapons, he isn’t even being drafted as a top-30 fantasy QB. In no way am I advocating that Haskins be your starting QB leaving fantasy drafts this year, but don’t be surprised if he outplays his ADP tremendously and is starting for a few fantasy teams by the time bye weeks roll around in 2020.
The Jameis Winston Comparison
As a rookie, Haskins did not set the world on fire. He started just 7 games, completed 58% of his passes for seven TDs and seven interceptions. As a rookie in 2015, Jameis Winston did not set the world on fire. He started all 16 games and finished with just over 4,000 yards, 22 TDs, 15 INTs, and a 58% completion percentage. Haskins’ 16 game pace in 2019 would’ve been 3120, 16 TDs, and 16 INTs. Outside of yardage, these two QBs had very similar rookie years and identical completion percentages. Winston did add six rushing TDs that year but never scored more than one in any other year of his career. Winston’s WR1, Mike Evans, finished as the WR24 in 2015. Terry McLaurin was the WR27 in 2019. While comparing a QB to Jameis Winston isn’t exactly a compliment, for fantasy purposes, Jameis was gold. The big difference between the two as rookies was that Winston threw the ball 535 times, 56 more times than the entire Washington Football Team in 2019, and 332 more times than Haskins. In 2020, that is going to change.
The Addition of Ron Rivera
If a lack of volume hurt Washington in 2019, that should not be an ailment in 2020. While the Washington Football team ranked in the bottom-5 with 479 attempts in 2019, Rivera’s Carolina Panthers were #2 with 633 attempts. In fact, no Rivera team has thrown fewer than 500 passes since 2014, and over the last two seasons, with Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator, the Panthers averaged almost 600 attempts. Norv’s son Scott will be running the offense with Rivera in Washington and we can expect to see a scheme similar to his father’s. Winning or losing, Washington will throw the football. If they are successful, we will see at least 500 passes thrown. If they are as bad as they, and Carolina, were in 2019, Haskins may end up tripling his rookie year pass attempts.
A Prediction for 2020
Rivera has already named Haskins his starting QB and his offense should mean a lot more opportunity in 2020. Using the improvements Jameis Winston made from year 1 to year 2, and the additional volume from Rivera, Haskins has some real sleeper potential in 2020. Winston improved his completion percentage by 2.5% in year 2, saw 11.8 yards per completion, and threw a TD every 20 attempts. If Rivera brings this Washington offense up to his Carolina numbers, we should see a minimum of 500 passes for Haskins, with a ceiling of 600 attempts.
At his floor, Haskins would hit 300 completions for 3,500 yards and 25 TDs. Essentially, this would be what Ryan Fitzpatrick did last year and Haskins would be the QB17, 14 spots ahead of his ADP, as his floor. When you get to the ceiling, things get kind of exciting. At his 600 attempt ceiling, Haskins would have about 360 completions, 4200 yards, and 30 TDs. That would be 18 more points than Matt Ryan had in 2019 and a QB8 fantasy finish. Rivera’s QBs have averaged 24 passing TDs over the last five years, so this isn’t exactly the stretch you might think. While it is unlikely that Haskins finishes as a top-10 fantasy QB this season, it’s a virtual certainty that he outplays his ADP, and don’t be surprised if you see him as the starting QB for a few teams in your fantasy playoffs come December.