The Washington Redskins have signed Terrelle Pryor to a one-year, $8 million dollar contract. This was one of the juiciest fantasy football signings of free agency for a number of reasons, so let’s get right to it.
Opportunity Up For Grabs
Pryor is going from a Cleveland Browns team that attempted the 19th most passes last season to the Redskins who threw the 7th most passes. From a volume standpoint, Pryor’s change of scenery looks to be an upgrade just on the surface. Yet, things get really exciting when you realize Washington also lost their top two leading receivers from 2016 in free agency. With Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson both signing contracts elsewhere, 214 targets and over 35% of the team’s target share are now up for grabs heading into 2017.
Washington is in need of a new #1 WR and despite Cleveland really having no one else to turn to besides rookie Corey Coleman, Pryor proved he can carry the load last season. Pryor saw 140 targets (12th in the league) and a 25% target share.
Yes, Pryor’s slice of the offensive pie is almost guaranteed to be smaller in Washington this season with proven commodities Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder already entrenched in significant roles. Then there’s 2016 first round selection, Josh Doctson, who projects to be a difference maker as well if he can get on the field and stay healthy. Plus, role players like Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson should once again be involved.
However, as a thought exercise, if we reduce Pryor’s target share from 25% to 20% (Garcon had a 19% target share and Jackson a 17% target share a season ago) in 2017 and assume Washington throws 607 times again just like they did a year ago (not extremely realistic, I know, but just bear with me), Pryor projects to see just over 120 targets. That number would’ve placed him top 25 in the league in that category last season.
Pryor’s targets for the 2017 season should also be increasing in quality. As long as Kirk Cousins stays in Washington, by almost every measure, Pryor’s Quarterback situation has just improved.
Per The RotoViz Screener, Washington threw the ball more often, threw it farther downfield, had a significantly higher Touchdown Rate, and a lower Interception Rate in 2016 than Cleveland.
Increased Touchdown Potential
Under Kirk Cousins, Washington has thrown ten more TD passes than Cleveland in each of the past two seasons. Over that span, Washington has averaged 27.5 TD passes a season while Cleveland has averaged 17.5. Plus, as we saw earlier, Washington had a 14% higher TD rate than Cleveland last season, Pryor’s first as a relevant fantasy football commodity.
Now playing with an objectively better QB situation and in an overall more productive passing offense, Pryor projects to have higher TD upside in 2017. Pryor’s freakish 6’4″, 233 lb frame should only help by making him a solid red zone weapon for Cousins to utilize.
Terrelle Pryor finished last season as WR18 in standard and WR19 in PPR on the putrid Cleveland Browns while in his first full year playing the Wide Receiver position. Despite that impressive accomplishment, through the first few weeks of MFL10 best ball drafts, Pryor currently has a price of WR26. For more context, his overall ADP is 50.25, which is the beginning of the 5th round.
Although his overall volume should dip in his new home, Pryor will be playing with a much better QB and in a more favorable overall passing situation this season. These upgrades could help Pryor score more touchdowns, which we all know are extremely significant in fantasy football. For the most part, these positives should offset Pryor’s reduction in volume and are enough to make me feel comfortable with his current draft cost.
Check out why Jason chose Terrelle Pryor as his biggest Free Agency Winner.