Before I get into this article, let me be clear about one thing:
Terrelle Pryor is an absolute physical freak! He is a 6-foot 4-inch tall receiver that can run a 4.4 forty yard dash and I was able to witness his dominance first hand in Nashville last season when Pryor snagged 9 receptions for 75 yards and 2 red-zone touchdowns.
Now that I stated the obvious, please allow me to spend the rest of this article arguing that 2017 Fantasy Football drafters should not be buying the Terrelle Pryor hype because he is an unpolished receiver, his new team underwent turnover in the offensive locker room, and most importantly, his draft cost is simply too high.
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Sure, Pryor is only one year removed from fully transitioning from a quarterback to a wide receiver and accumulated nearly 80 catches and more than 1,000 yards for the Cleveland Browns last season. However, Pryor’s route running and offensive feel from the receiver position is unpolished compared to other WR1 options around the NFL. To Pryor’s credit, the 28-year old has been busting his butt trying to be an elite receiver by working out with the GOAT Randy Moss during the offseason, but it takes top-flight receivers many years to master the nuances of their craft in the NFL. Last season, the talent-lacking Browns made it a priority to get Pryor the football in any way possible, often using simple slants, screens, fades or go-routes to maximize Pryor’s freakish abilities to purely out-run, out-jump and out-muscle defenders.
With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon moving on to Tampa Bay and San Francisco respectively, Pryor will be immediately leaned on as an alpha receiver that will be double-covered for the pass-happy Kirk Cousins. Washington also lost young offensive coordinator Sean McVay to the Los Angeles Rams over the off-season, so a new offensive system and building chemistry and trust could get overly complicated for a raw and inexperienced receiver in Pryor. Unlike 2016 in Cleveland, Pryor will have to compete for targets with elite (when healthy) tight end Jordan Reed, shifty slot-receiver Jamison Crowder, and scat-back Chris Thompson, which should limit his reception and yardage volume upside in Washington in 2017 to pretty much what he produced last season. FantasyPros.com projects Terrelle Pryor to catch about 70 receptions for 1,000 yards and 6 TDs.
However, the difference is that in 2016, Pryor was an unknown commodity that probably went in the late rounds or was undrafted in your home league. As of August 23, Fantasypros.com has Terrelle Pryor ranked as the 15th wide receiver and carries an ADP of 34. Spending a 3rd or 4th round pick on Terrelle Pryor in 2017 would be a mistake when drafters can use that draft capital on other proven target monsters such as Allen Robinson, Alshon Jeffery, Davante Adams, Michael Crabtree or Larry Fitzgerald within a round or two. Running backs that are coming off the draft board in the same range as Terrelle Pryor and are more valuable to own include a workhorse in Carlos Hyde and Dalvin Cook and dual-threat pass catching backs in Christian McCaffery and Ty Montgomery. I will certainly be rooting for Pryor to succeed in his transition to receiver and I will enjoy watching his highlights, but I won’t be owning Pryor at his inflated cost in 2017.
Tactically, if a drafter employs an aggressive zero-RB strategy, Terrelle Pryor would be an amazing ceiling WR3 for a fantasy team, but under a balanced strategy, Pryor will be an inconsistent touchdown dependent WR1 if selected in the 3rd or 4th round of your draft.
BenK’s Razzball Ruling: Sell Terrelle Pryor! Spending a 2017 3rd or 4th round pick is way more expensive than taking a chance on Pryor in the 2016 waiver wire for basically the same production. Let someone else pay the Pryor Premium in 2017.
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