Fantasy Player Rankings

Fantasy Stock: Phillip Dorsett in 2017, Now or Never?

Phillip Dorsett Fantasy

When the Indianapolis Colts used the 29th overall pick to select Phillip Dorsett out of Miami in the 2015 NFL Draft, more than a few heads were turned. It seemed to be a luxury pick at a spot on which the team didn’t exactly scream out for help, given how porous their defense and the offensive line had been for practically the whole of Andrew Lucks career. Still, the team felt that by giving Luck another weapon he could continue to mask the team’s inefficiencies and propel them to glory.

It hasn’t happened yet.


I don’t like to bandy the word “bust” around, considering how far superior the average NFL player is to me from an athletic standpoint, and also a size (They could all, quite conceivably, crush my head like a beer can). But it is not beyond the realms of reason to say that Dorsett has been a disappointment during his first two seasons in the NFL. Of all WRs playing in their first two seasons in the NFL in 2015-2016, here is where Dorsett ranks in the key statistical categories.

Fantasy Fantasy Ranking

Phillip Dorsett Total Rank
Receptions 51 29th
Yards 753 24th
Touchdowns 3 t-28th

If we are to consider a range of outcomes for Dorsett, based on this inauspicious beginning to his career, using the RotoViz Screener app I found the following players who “enjoyed” a similar start to their time in the pros after being selected in the first round of the draft since 2010.

NAME Rec’s First 2 Seasons Rec Yards First 2 Seasons TD’s First 2Seasons Total PPR First 2 Seasons
Phillip Dorsett 51 753 3 147
Nelson Agholor 59 644 3 142.8
Jon Baldwin 41 579 2 110.9
Demaryius Thomas 54 834 6 174

So, if we look at this simplistically, Dorsett could turn out to be like Demaryius Thomas, one of the better WRs of the last decade, or he could be the second coming of Jon Baldwin. Baldwin also has a claim to fame of recent years, namely that he is one of the biggest busts of the last ten NFL drafts.

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Is there any hope that Phillip Dorsett can escape a fate similar to that of Baldwin, and actually become a productive NFL wide receiver in 2017? Mock drafters at present don’t seem entirely convinced of this, as the players at Fantasy Football Calculator are leaving him undrafted. He is experiencing a similar lack of popularity among best ball players, with owners quite happy to be leaving him to rot on waiver wires that, as is the case with MFL10 leagues, will never be touched once the season begins.


[the_ad id=”72106″]Given the presence of other WR’s on his own team, it is very difficult to see him earning enough playing time in 2017 to be worth the candle to any potential fantasy owners. T.Y. Hilton led the NFL in receiving yards in 2016 with 1448 ¬†and has eclipsed 1000 yards in each of his last four seasons. Donte Moncrief, a perennial breakout candidate has had his own struggles with consistency. But he is at least an absolute monster in the red zone. Since entering the league a year before Dorsett, Moncrief has been targeted 25 times inside the 20-yard line. He has converted these looks into 18 receptions for 11 touchdowns.

The Colts also parted ways with the GM who drafted Phillip Dorsett, Ryan Grigson, this offseason, and his replacement Chris Ballard signed former Raven Kamar Aiken. Aiken told reporters after signing that he’d been assured he would be in contention to earn a job, and the job in question was probably Dorsett’s.

Even if Dorsett does somehow hold off the challenge of Aiken, the playing style of the Colts does not necessarily mean he is a surefire bet to see the field. In 2016, the Colts took to the field in 11 personnel (three WR sets) on just 60% of their offensive snaps. That is good for league average. Also, only seven teams targeted their tight ends more than the Colts last season, with 23% of their targets going the way of the big fellas. Andrew Luck has also relied heavily on his tight ends for touchdowns. Of the 132 regular season scores that Luck has amassed since 2012, 42 of them have gone to his tight ends or 32%.


In conclusion, there just appear to be too many barriers for Phillip Dorsett to break down if he has any chance of being fantasy relevant in the coming season. Indeed, I would argue that if it were not for the $3.2m dead money hit his release would cause, he would already be off the team. He could very well have fantasy value on another team, but as I write this, he is still on the Colts. As a result, he has practically zero.

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