Quentin Johnston Fantasy
Johnston was thought by many to be the clear WR1 for the draft this year after the college football season ended, but he saw his stock fall a bit in the pre-draft process and ended up going as the WR2 at pick 21 to the Los Angeles Chargers. He’s been a polarizing player for scouts and fans to evaluate at the wide receiver position, but after finding himself in a good situation with Justin Herbert and Co. in Los Angeles, many are excited for the upside that he brings to the table for fantasy football purposes.
The hype for Johnston started during the 2021 season when he put up 634 yards and six touchdowns throughout the course of just eight games. He displayed an impressive mix of size and speed that made people take notice of his talent, and the seed was planted for him to become an eventual first-round pick. In 2022, he continued to build on that success with 1,069 yards and six touchdowns on 60 catches. He was a key piece of the TCU offense that went to the National Championship, and that kind of exposure in college only helped him to raise his draft stock even higher.
QUENTIN JOHNSTON 76-YD HOUSE CALL 🏠
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 1, 2023
The buzz around the 21-year old’s talent is real. He measures in at an impressive 6’3″/208 lbs with an 81⅝″ wingspan, but despite that size, he plays with above-average speed and good after the catch ability that makes him a big-play threat all over the field. He’s a rare athlete that could become a difference-maker at the NFL level if he is developed correctly. He’s widely considered to be a ‘high-ceiling’ prospect thanks to the intriguing mix of size and speed that he plays with.
Quentin Johnston is 6'2.75" and 208. That's 80th and 63rd percentiles among drafted WRs. I think smaller than most expected, though still massive compared to this mickey mouse class.
— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) March 4, 2023
His pre-draft testing was interesting. He impressed teams with a 40.5″ vertical jump and a 134″ broad jump at the NFL Combine, but at his Pro Day, he raised some concerns with his fluidity when he logged a dismal 7.31-second three-cone drill and a disenchanting 4.28-second short shuttle. He also ran only a 4.52 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and while that isn’t necessarily bad, it’s worse than many had hoped and projected for him prior to that. He relies a lot on his athleticism rather than college production or pro-readiness to carry him as a prospect, so the underwhelming testing numbers for his change of direction and fluidity are problematic.
The hype train for the TCU product lost some steam when his draft stock fell following the pre-draft process, but it came roaring back when the Los Angeles Chargers took him with the 21st pick in the draft as the second wide receiver off the board just one pick after Seattle took Jaxon Smith-Njigba as the top receiver. The coaching staff and team as a whole have seemingly been excited for the addition of Johnston in the offense, and many figure he could bring the speed and versatility that has been lacking in the receiving room for the past couple of seasons.
Quentin Johnston can do it ALL 🔥 pic.twitter.com/kD27T63khZ
— PFF Fantasy & Betting (@PFF_Fantasy) May 9, 2023
His skillset is interesting and his ceiling is as high as can be, but I’m not very interested in him for redraft leagues in his rookie year. He’s still just too raw of a player for my liking. His route running is average at best, he doesn’t play up to his size at all in contested catch scenarios, and his hands are below average.
On top of all of that, he still has to play behind three other great pass catchers in Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Austin Ekeler. The team will likely have him play primarily as an outside receiver when he’s on the field, and he doesn’t project to be a high-volume player overall. He’s currently going as the WR43 in the ninth or tenth round in most drafts in half-point PPR leagues, and the only thing keeping his value that high is the prayer that he can reach his enormous potential in year one. He’s currently going around or above players like Michael Thomas, Rashod Bateman, Allen Lazard, and Odell Beckham Jr., and while I recognize that he could be a great value if every minute detail works out for him, I just don’t see that happening at this point in his career.
Although I’m not super bullish on him in redraft leagues, I like where he’s going in dynasty leagues. The case for him is pretty simple: he’ll be catching passes from Justin Herbert for the foreseeable future. Beyond that, however, he has a clear path up the depth chart after this season. Keenan Allen just turned 31 years old and has had a rough time with injuries over the past few seasons, and it seems likely that he’ll be off of this team within the next year or two. Mike Williams is also projected to be playing ahead of Johnston in year one, but he also has had numerous injuries recently and his contract is set to expire after the 2024 season. The team could even choose to move on from Williams sooner than that thanks to the $32,460,000 cap hit he projects to have in 2024.
Johnston is typically going as the WR3 and sixth-overall player in rookie drafts, and that price seems very fair to me. A team that can’t afford to miss on their first round rookie pick may look to avoid him because of his ‘boom-or-bust’ skillset, but a solid team that is looking for the final piece for a championship may consider him as a high-upside developmental option. Don’t expect him to do much in year one, but the investment on Quentin Johnston’s upside could end up being a very fruitful decision for dynasty managers if he works out in the NFL.
Leo Sells is a passionate fan for the Patriots and 76ers, and he has been playing fantasy sports for over five years. In addition to writing articles about sports and winning his fantasy football leagues, Leo likes to play sports and spend time with his family and friends doing outdoor activities, such as hiking or fishing.