Terrelle Pryor Fantasy 2017
The one-year, $6 million dollar contract that Terrelle Pryor secured with Washington, was a definitive indicator that the market for his services was more tepid than many had expected. However, the fact that he was considered to be among the most enticing options in free agency at the wide receiver position, represented the latest byproduct of his career renaissance during the 2016 regular season. Pryor had appeared in a total of 18 contests between 2011-2015. 15 of which occurred while operating at quarterback for the Raiders. Which was his most notable achievement during a five-year sequence of events that included being jettisoned from the rosters of five different teams.
As a result, he began 2016 with career receiving totals of two catches for 64 yards. But Pryor quietly captured a starting slot during Cleveland’s training camp, played in all 16 regular season contests, and proceeded to supply one of the more compelling storylines of the year. As his transformation into a proficient wide receiver enabled the 6’ 4” Pryor to fully utilize his impressive combination of size, speed and versatility. He eventually finished the season 12th among all receivers with 140 targets, while leading the Browns in every major receiving category. Including receptions (77), yardage (1,007), and touchdowns (4). He also surpassed 90 yards in five contests, reached 100 yards in three games, and exceeded 130 yards twice.
Pryor’s unquestioned success during his initial foray into a sustained role at the wide receiver position, launched him firmly into the fantasy landscape as the season unfolded. But despite his accomplishments, and the availability of substantial cap space, Cleveland’s analytics-driven front office eschewed the option of using a franchise tag on Pryor before the onset of free agency. Even though any determination of his worth should have included the knowledge that last season’s output was attained while contending with a highly substandard level of quarterbacking. Nevertheless, the Browns instead opted to reward Kenny Britt with a multi-year deal, which ultimately resulted in Terrelle Pryor becoming a Redskin.
It will be difficult to replicate the target total that he collected last season. But the expected decrease will be minimal, and his status as a viable WR2 option will be preserved in 2017. Because Pryor will have the benefit of functioning within a more potent offense, that ranked second in passing last season (297 YPG). Plus, it will be guided by a vastly superior quarterback than the collection of signal-callers that he lined up with as a Brown. As Washington’s aerial assault will be spearheaded once again by five-year veteran Kirk Cousins. Who was one of just six quarterbacks to launch over 600 attempts last season, while accumulating the league’s third highest yardage total (4,917). Cousins and the Redskins’ offensive staff will now be highly dependent upon Pryor to sustain that level of success, by cushioning an inevitable impact that will result from the collective departure of 2016 starters DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Both exceeded 1,000 yards, while combining for 135 catches and seven touchdowns last season.
Even though targets will be distributed among this cluster of options, Pryor should consistently perform as an integral component within the Redskin passing game. Which will enable him to provide favorable numbers throughout the season. Crowder and Reed will accumulate a sufficient number of receptions to maintain their viability, yet their presence did not prohibit Garcon and Jackson from commandeering a sizable percentage of opportunities during their tenure with Washington. As they combined for 216 targets last season, which was just over 35% of the team’s total. This, after Cousins attempted to locate the tandem on 34% of his throws in 2015. Plus, each member of the foursome procured double-digit Red Zone targets in 2016. Pryor’s unique skill set should allow him to siphon a significant amount of the passes that can no longer be garnered by Garcon and Jackson. Particularly when smaller defensive backs are hampered by his significant height advantage.
As with every fantasy forecast that is generated at this point of the offseason, many variables including the NFL draft and subsequent free agency transactions can impact the accuracy of any final prediction. But as Washington’s roster is currently constructed, Pryor should lead the Redskins in catches (75), and receiving yards (1,000+), while generating six touchdowns. Which should enable him to barely edge Crowder as the team’s most productive overall receiving weapon.