View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: DeVante Parker Fantasy Football Outlook
It’s June, which means it’s time for the annual DeVante Parker hype train to leave the station. Ever since entering the league, Parker has teased fantasy football owners with great off-seasons and random great games. However, he’s largely been a disappointment and never managed to consistently play up to his first-round talent. Time is a flat circle, and Parker is reportedly dominating mandatory minicamps for the Miami Dolphins. Will Parker finally play up to his potential, or is this yet another false alarm?
2019 Fantasy Football Outlook: DeVante Parker
2018 was a lost year for Parker and the Miami Dolphins. Despite claiming to be healthy for the whole season, Parker appeared in just 11 games. During his time on the field, the Louisville product recorded just 24 receptions for 309 yards and one touchdown. These numbers, while bad on their own, get even worse when removing his outlier six-catch, 134-yard, one touchdown performance against the Houston Texans. In his other 10 games, Parker recorded just 18 receptions for 175 yards and no touchdowns.
Parker’s baseline numbers were bad, and the underlying statistics tell a similar story. According to Sharp Football Stats, Parker had a 70 passer rating when targeted to go along with a team-low 36% success rate. Player Profiler gave him a 68.6% true catch rate, good for 105th in the league. True catch rate factors in poor throws from the quarterback, so Parker has nobody to blame but himself for that ugly ranking. Basically, Parker hardly saw the field and didn’t make anything happen in his limited opportunity.
Typically, nobody would be interested in DeVante Parker following such an underwhelming season. However, it’s easy to play Devil’s Advocate and make excuses for Parker’s lackluster season. For one, Parker and head coach Adam Gase were openly at-odds for the majority of the season. Only Gase and Parker truly know the behind-the-scenes details, but Parker’s agent called Gase incompetent and Parker obviously felt misused in the offense.
Additionally, Parker spent 2018 catching passes from the underwhelming duo of Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler. Tannehill used to be a serviceable starter, but injuries clearly took their toll in 2018. Tannehill couldn’t push the ball downfield and didn’t have the same zip in his arm. On top of that, Tannehill missed time, meaning that Brock Osweiler had to start five games. Anyone who’s ever watched Osweiler knows that he’s not exactly gifted at throwing outside the numbers. A player like DeAndre Hopkins can stay fantasy relevant with Osweiler, but Parker could not.
Parker is still on the Dolphins, but everything around him has changed. Instead of having to battle with Adam Gase, Parker gets a clean slate with first-year head coach Brian Flores. Additionally, instead of catching passes from Osweiler and a broken down Tannehill, Parker is set to see targets from either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh Rosen. While it would be foolish to completely buy into the annual DeVante Parker hype, there are legitimate reasons to believe he could have his best season yet.
As of this posting, it sounds like Fitzpatrick is the frontrunner for the starting quarterback position. Anyone who has ever watched Fitzpatrick play knows that he’s an aggressive quarterback who almost exclusively targets wide receivers. Parker works the intermediate portion of the field, which is exactly where Fitzpatrick loves to throw the ball. If Fitzpatrick’s the guy, then Parker will probably be worth a bench spot as the WR2 in the offense.
Should Rosen earn the job, Parker probably won’t be worth rostering. Rosen is a precision-based passer who prefers to work the short portion of the field to set up the deep pass. In this world, Albert Wilson would be the WR1 while Kenny Stills would be the primary beneficiary of Rosen’s deep passes. Miami’s offense won’t be good enough to support three fantasy-relevant receivers, so Parker won’t even be worth rostering.
DeVante Parker Average Draft Position
As of this posting, Fantasy Football Calculator has DeVante Parker going off the board with the 10th pick in the 14th round. This puts him right around the elite ranks of Tre’Quan Smith, Andy Isabella, and a series of kickers and defenses.
Parker’s stock will probably rise as we get closer to the start of the season, but you shouldn’t select him any earlier than the 13th round. If Fitzpatrick ends up winning the starting job, Parker has the chance to post decent fantasy outings and can be a spot-starter should injury strike your roster. If Rosen wins the job, Parker probably won’t even be worth a bench spot. The late rounds are all about building up depth, and Parker can be a good depth guy if Fitzpatrick is the one throwing passes.
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