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Fantasy Spotlight: The Case For Starting WR Terry McLaurin

Terry_Fantasy

Time is slowly winding down in the NFL season with only six games left on the schedule, but it’s slipping away even faster in fantasy football.

With just a few games left in the regular season before the playoffs begin, there are plenty of NFL fans out there looking to make that one move that puts them over the top for a postseason push.

Well, stop rifling through the waiver wire for those under-the-radar gems, because Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin might hold the key to solving your fantasy woes. Here is the case for putting McLaurin in your starting lineup:

The Skinny

Let’s start with the stats. McLaurin didn’t waste any time in starting off his NFL career in a big way. He had 125 yards and touchdown in the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, resulting in 18.5 points in standard leagues. That was the ninth-best performance by a wide receiver and second-best among rookies.

He followed that up by posting 12.2 points against the Dallas Cowboys -- this time catching five balls for 62 yards and a touchdown -- and 13 points against the Chicago Bears. Some quick math puts him at 43.7 points in three weeks, which made him the eighth-best receiver option.

Although McLaurin’s targets stayed relatively steady -- he averaged eight through three games -- his production and points took a dip. After averaging 14.6 points in the first three games, the number dropped to 7.2 in the next six. And outside of 22-point outing against the Miami Dolphins, he has only scored above five points in two games since the Monday Night Football game against the Bears.

According to ESPN.com, he currently ranks as the 20th-best receiver with an average of 9.6 points per game. He is currently available in 39.1% of leagues.

The Kicker

There are things the Detroit Lions do well, but defense is not necessarily one of them.

The Lions give up an average of 426.5 yards per matchup, which ranks 30th in the NFL ahead of only the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals. They the 29th worst fantasy defense and have finished with negative points on three occasions. The most recent came against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, when the unit allowed 35 points and three scores through the air for -6 points.

Football Outsiders ranks Detroit’s defense 24th in terms of overall efficiency, while McLaurin is ranked as the eighth-most efficient receiver among players who have caught a minimum of 44 passes this year. That puts him ahead of top receivers like Mike Evans, Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill and Julio Jones.

What’s more, the Lions’ defense, which allows 288 passing yards per game with quarterbacks completing 61.3% of their throws, has allowed players to have big games against them. Chargers’ receiver Keenan Allen had 98 yards for 9.8 points, Packers’ receiver Allen Lazard had 12.5 points after having zero through five weeks, and Michael Gallup with the Cowboys put up 148 yards for 14.8 points.

The Verdict

McLaurin has had an up-and-down fantasy season, but his big-play ability makes him a worthy addition to a starting lineup. He has also incrementally improved since scoring just 1.1 points against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7.

Although he hasn’t had a score since Week 6 against the Dolphins, he reminded Redskins fans that he is still a threat when he caught a 67-yard bomb from quarterback Dwayne Haskins that was ultimately called back because of a holding penalty. Had that catch stood, McLaurin's point total would have doubled.

If you’re looking to go from being in the playoff hunt to being in contention, put “Scary Terry” in your lineup; he’ll be a nightmare for both the Lions and your fantasy opponent.

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