Football Team RB Antonio Gibson (toe, doubtful) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is doubtful for Week 15. J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber will split the work.
WAS RB J.D. McKissic - 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook
J.D. McKissic came seemingly out of nowhere last year and ended up leading all running backs in targets with 110. He finished the year with 80 receptions for 589 receiving yards. He especially came on late in the season after Washington’s bye week, averaging 8.6 targets and 6.1 receptions in the final nine games of the season. He wasn’t just a third-down type back either as he averaged 65% of the offensive snaps in those final nine games. He ended the year as the 17th-highest scoring back in full PPR, which is solid production from someone who is second on the depth chart.
While we still expect to see McKissic in a receiving role, we don’t expect him to top 100 targets again. For starters, Antonio Gibson is expected to run more routes and become more involved in the passing game. Washington also added Curtis Samuel in the offseason and had a change at quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick. We’re likely to see fewer checkdowns from Fitzpatrick compared to Alex Smith, meaning fewer targets for McKissic. And since McKissic has such a small role as an actual running back (five carries per game last year), and doesn’t find the endzone much (three touchdowns last year), he’s really reliant on those receptions to have value in fantasy.
2021 Bottom Line
Washington underwent many changes in the offseason, and most of them are bad for McKissic. We’d be shocked if he saw the volume he saw last year again in 2021. We’re projecting a massive drop in receptions from his five per game average a year ago to 2.2 this year. McKissic will still be involved, but in a much smaller role that makes him a fringe fantasy candidate. He’s best as a bench stash or a handcuff to Gibson.