The Washington Commanders find themselves in a strange spot. They are quietly loaded up with weapons like Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Brian Robinson, and Antonio Gibson. And now they have a new offensive coordinator in Eric Bienemy to try to replicate that Kansas City Chiefs offense. Unfortunately, they don’t have the most important part of that offense - Patrick Mahomes. And we saw what that looked like when Matt Nagy tried to recreate it with Mitch Trubisky. Washington seems set on rolling with Sam Howell but maybe they have some tricks up their sleeve this off-season in an attempt to compete right away!

With this series, we are taking a look at each NFL team to gauge the direction of the offense from a dynasty fantasy football perspective. Is this team gearing up for a Super Bowl run? Are they in the midst of a rebuild? Are they considering blowing it up? We’ll take all of that into account as well as the current contracts, upcoming free agents, and 2023 NFL draft class to give you our best recommendations on how to handle these weapons in your dynasty fantasy football leagues.


Recommendations Key

BUY - Attempt to acquire this player at or slightly above market value

HOLD - The player is likely more valuable than the market indicates. Hold them if you have them or try to acquire them at a discount.

SELL - The perceived value for this player is higher than the projected remaining value in your average dynasty league. Cash out now.

SELL/DROP - Depending on the depth of the league, always try to sell guys before dropping. But this player is likely not worth the bench spot he’s occupying so you might need to just drop them.  

*Contract information is proved courtesy of*

Washington Commanders 2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football Preview

Washington Commanders Quarterback


The Commanders have one quarterback under contract for 2023

Carson Wentz - age 30

Contract: The Commanders traded for Carson Wentz meaning he is signed through 2024 but can be cut for zero dead cap. They are expected to release him which will save them a little over $26 million.

Outlook: This was probably Wentz’s last stint as a starter after failed runs in Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Washington.

Dynasty Recommendation: HOLD/DROP - No one is buying him in any format. In single QB formats, you can drop him. In superflex or two QB formats you might as well hold him just to see where he lands in free agency. Then, when he inevitably signs in a backup role with little to no chance to earn the job, you drop him before your rookie draft. Or just drop him now if you can make off-season moves and there is someone out there you like. It’s pretty wild that Wentz was in the MVP conversation at one point.

Sam Howell - age 22

Contract: Sam Howell was a fifth-round rookie pick in 2022 so he’s under contract through 2025.

Outlook: Sam Howell is reportedly going to get the first crack at the starting job for the Commanders - good for him. We only saw him start one game so the sample size we have is obviously very limited. 

Dynasty Recommendation: SELL - Any chance you get to sell a fifth-round pick at any position in dynasty you should almost always do it. Day 3 picks just have a terrible hit rate and that’s especially true at quarterback where the vast majority of starters come from the very early part of the draft. Folks will point to his “rushing upside” but he’s actually incredibly slow - his 5.07 40 yard dash is 8th percentile speed for quarterbacks. The sustainable mobile QBs in this league are speedy guys who sneak away then slide, not bulldozers trying to muscle their way for a couple of yards. The combination of Eric Bienemy calling plays with the weapons Washington has should hopefully be enough for you to cash out on what was a fairly longshot lottery ticket for you. Good for you.

Reserve Future: Jake Fromm

Free Agents: Taylor Heinicke

Free Agency/Draft Outlook:

They are almost certainly going to cut Carson Wentz so they will need a backup QB. Taylor Heinicke has said multiple times now that he’s interested in returning to the Commanders. He’s said that he wants to start but has also admitted that backup QB is “probably one of the best jobs in America”. It’s honestly not off the table for the Commanders to draft a QB to compete with Sam Howell either so the value for guys like Howell and Heinicke is holding on by a thread.

Washington Commanders Running Backs 


The Commanders have three running backs under contract.

J.D. McKissic - age 29

Contract: JD McKissic is under contract this season then has a couple of void years meaning he would become an unrestricted free agent in 2024. 

Outlook: McKissic was very close to signing with the Buffalo Bills before returning to Washington on a two year deal. He’s a highly capable pass-down back but Antonio Gibson served in that role after he once again got injured. Moving on from him would cost $2 mil in dead cap with only $1.23 mil in savings even if he’s traded. He probably ends up with the team again in 2029. 

Dynasty Recommendation: HOLD - There is a world where maybe they designate him a post-June 1 transaction and cut or trade him which would at least help with the void money and save cap space for 2023. In that case, he could latch on as a pass-catching back somewhere else. Or he could just be the pass down back for the Commanders. It’s worth waiting to see how they handle him if you have the roster spot on your dyno team.

Brian Robinson - age 23

Contract: Brian Robinson was a third round pick in 2022 so he’s under contract through 2025.

Outlook: What a story. He has a promising camp then is shot twice before the season starts. He then miraculously makes it back to the field mid-season where he puts up 797 yards rushing. Incredibly impressive no matter how you look at it.

Dynasty Recommendation: HOLD - This is another hold situation for us for one specific reason. He hasn’t been given the chance to show his pass-catching chops and, in all likelihood, he won’t again this year. JD McKissic and/or Antonio Gibson will likely be featured in that role. That hurts his perceived value for the time being. But there has been a good amount of talk behind the scenes that he actually can catch the ball well and at some point could be trusted with the full role. His ability in the running game alone should keep his value steady (if not increase it) so we are holding now even if his upside might be in the RB2 range for this year. There’s a lot more to dynasty than just the 2023 season.  

Antonio Gibson - age 23

Contract: Antonio Gibson was a third round pick in 2020 so he’s an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Outlook: Hopes were high for Gibson as a converted WR coming out of college who earned the starting job early in his career but he never really fully caught on. JD McKissic took the pass work from him early on then last year the rug was completely pulled as he was relegated to return man duties when everyone was healthy.

Dynasty Recommendation: SELL - If you look around the fantasy community, you will see all sorts of people saying they still believe in Gibson’s upside. Find those people and sell him. As we mentioned, he was virtually relegated to special teams until Brian Robinson got shot and then JD McKissic suffered a neck injury. He has never caught on to the pass protection game which was the exact issue that plagued Philip Lindsay - another dynasty back where everyone kept asking what the problem was. You have been gifted a golden opportunity to sell Gibson one last time. 

FREE AGENTS: Jonathan Williams

RESERVE/FUTURE: Jaret Patterson

Free Agency/Draft Outlook:

If the Washington Commanders make no moves at all, they could still get by with what they have. Brian Robinson as the starter, JD McKissic on third downs, and Antonio Gibson as the backup who also plays special teams. I mean, that was the game plan last season. Jaret Patterson also proved he was capable as well if they want to hang onto even more depth. It really boils down to whether they want to plan for the inevitable departures of JD McKissic and Antonio Gibson next year or just cross that river when they get there.

Washington Commanders Wide Receivers


The Commanders have five wide receivers under contract for 2023 with two signed to reserve/future deals.

Terry McLaurin - age 27

Contract: Terry McLaurin signed a three year extension keeping him under contract through 2025 with a void year in 2026 (when he will become a free agent).

Outlook: No one is truly quarterback proof but Terry McLaurin has proven that he can get the job done with the lowest tier of talent. With a rotation of passers, he’s had 120+ targets, 75+ catches, and 1,000+ yards in three straight seasons. Can’t ask much more from the man.

Dynasty Recommendation: BUY - Terry McLaurin is actually still towards the start of the age apex at age 27 and he doesn’t turn 28 until September. He gets a new offensive coordinator in Eric Bienemy and, if the team sucks with Sam Howell, he’ll get a new QB next year. This is simply a case where you bet on the talent and hope the window opens for greatness but, as we’ve seen, he’s still pretty much a lock to provide at least goodness.

Curtis Samuel - age 26

Contract: Curtis Samuel is under contract for 2023 then he will be a free agent next year. 

Outlook: Samuel has really struggled with injury and at times even feuded with the medical staff over whether he’s cleared to play or not. He’s a low aDot, gadget-type player so he really needs a lot of touches to thrive.

Dynasty Recommendation: SELL - There is probably enough name recognition to sell and I suggest you try to do that. The thing we liked about Samuel was that, in 2020 and 2022 under Ron Rivera, he racked up ~40 carries on top of his targets which really made a difference. The 200 yards rushing and 2 TDs in 2020 was the reason he was a WR2 instead of a WR3. Well, Eric Bienemy has been brought in to run the offense so he has no obligation to give this guy carries or throw to him out of the backfield, especially when they have guys like Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic (who were both WRs in college). So I’d cash Samuel out now if you can. There are two WRs on the team we like better so, for us to get back on board with Samuel, he needs a change of scenery. 

Jahan Dotson - age 22

Contract: Jahan Dotson was a first round pick last year meaning they have him through 2025 and can pick up his fifth year option for 2026. 

Outlook: We had hoped that Dotson would become the other outside WR opposite of Terry McLaurin sooner rather than later and that’s exactly what happened. Outside of the game where Dotson left with injury and his first game back, he out-snapped Curtis Samuel in every game. He’s the guy moving forward.

Dynasty Recommendation: BUY - These are the guys we want - the ones playing full-time roles that don’t come off the field. And it’s clear that Dotson and McLaurin are the guys in two WR sets with Curtis Samuel as the part-time slot guy. Dotson showed a nose for the endzone and was making big chunk plays with his high aDot of 15.4 yards so we really just need him to secure a bigger target share. Otherwise, he might translate better to standard or half-PPR leagues than full PPR. 

Dyami Brown - age 23

Contract: Dyami Brown is under contract through 2024. 

Outlook: There is a real-life use to Dyami Brown but it’s not one that translates particularly well to fantasy. He’s the speedy outside field stretcher who forces the safeties back (his aDot was an absurd 27.3 yards so he was getting downfield). But these players can be super boom/bust so they’re best utilized in best ball formats.

Dynasty Recommendation: SELL/DROP - Someone might be willing to take a shot on him still because he was a third round pick with some hype but his role really is not conducive to consistency in fantasy football. His role isn’t much different than guys like KJ Hamler, Anthony Schwartz, or Tutu Atwell. You don’t necessarily need to hold him if you don’t have the roster space.

Dax Milne - age 23

Contract: Dax Milne is under contract through 2024.

Outlook: Milne is a seventh round pick who was drafted primarily to play special teams. 

Dynasty Recommendation: DROP - You can drop him unless your team has big bonuses for punt and/or kick return yards.

RESERVE/FUTURE: Alex Erickson, Kyric McGowan


Free Agency/Draft Outlook:

The Commanders honestly have everything they need right now - split end, flanker, slot, field stretcher, return man. They’ll add someone somewhere for depth (maybe a guy who also plays special teams as well) but they have all the major roles pretty much covered at wide receiver.

Commanders Tight Ends


The Commanders have three tight ends under contract and one signed to reserve/future contracts. 

Logan Thomas - age 31

Contract: Logan Thomas is signed through 2024 though he can be released with $3.5 mil in dead cap and $5.175 in savings. If that’s a post-June-1 designation, they could move some of that to 2024 and save almost $7 mil towards this year.

Outlook: We liked Logan Thomas when he had the opportunity in 2020 and he was the second best pass-catching option on the team after Terry McLaurin. We don’t like him being third or fourth behind the healthy WRs they have now.

Dynasty Recommendation: SELL - The best case scenario for Logan Thomas is he gets cut and there are some rumors that that might happen. But we always liked the opportunity more than the talent and I’m just not sure that a team is going to look at his age and knee issues and decide to make him the focal point of their team. He might still have enough name recognition for you to sneak him into a trade though. 

John Bates - age 25

Contract: John Bates is under contract through 2024

Outlook: We really found out who John Bates is this year which is more of a blocking tight end. He blocked on 34.1% of his pass plays per PFF and that isn’t anywhere close to what we need for pass-catching relevancy (that number needs to be below 15% at worst). 

Dynasty Recommendation: HOLD (THEN SELL)  - If you have John Bates, you hold him then try to sell him if they cut Logan Thomas. He wouldn’t all of a sudden become fantasy relevant but you might be able to trick someone into thinking that. Or you just drop him.

Cole Turner - age 22

Contract: Cole Turner is under contract through 2025

Outlook: Compared to John Bates, Cole Turner had a better route participation, he lined up at slot more, he lined up at WR more, and he had a better aDot. He’s likely the better pass-catching tight end based on his deployment even if the sample size was limited.

Dynasty Recommendation: HOLD  - Like many tight ends, his path to relevancy is a long one. He first needs Logan Thomas to be cut at which point he would skew pass catching and Bates would skew blocking. But even then, he wouldn’t be a top two target on the team. So he’d also need one of Terry McLaurin or Jahan Dotson out of the picture at least to have difference-making upside. This is why tight end is so tough. You don’t need to hold him if you don’t have the roster spot but no one is buying. 

RESERVE/FUTURE: Curtis Hodges, Armani Rodgers


Free Agency/Draft Outlook:

I’ve seen folks suggest that they should cut Logan Thomas and then sign Dalton Schultz but I really would not love that for fantasy. We want whoever pays Schultz to make him a focal point of that offense (or at least for it to be a high-volume offense). Sam Howell is not going to support like five different fantasy assets. So best case is they roll with what they have or cut Logan Thomas and split Bates and Cole Turner. Also just want to give a shoutout to Eli Wolf who is a guy with tremendous athletic upside but has yet to crack a roster (at times due to injury). That is the deepest tight end I am holding onto in any of my deepest leagues but he really shouldn’t be held in any normal league for normal people. 


Follow Andrew Cooper on Twitter @CoopAFiasco for more NFL and fantasy football insights and stay tuned as we hit on all 32 NFL teams in this series leading into NFL free agency!

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