The first three seasons for Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker have been disappointing for a player of his skill set as well as for someone who was drafted in the first round at 14th overall back in the 2015 NFL Draft. Parker’s first three years have been plagued with injury and statistical inconsistency while playing in the shadow of former teammate Jarvis Landry. Before the 2017 season last year, Parker was coming off of his second year in the league with 744 receiving yards on 56 catches and 4 touchdowns. This led the assumption that DeVante Parker was primed for the always popular “third-year wide receiver breakout.”
Unfortunately for DeVante Parker dynasty owners that third year breakout season did not come to fruition last year. Parkers numbers regressed to 670 receiving yards on 56 catches and only 1 receiving touchdown in 2017. While 2017 was disappointing for Parker, I have not yet hit the panic button on his dynasty value just yet. In fact, quite the opposite. For the first time in his career, Parker will have the opportunity to become the Dolphins true number one receiver with Jarvis Landry no longer on the roster.
Since DeVante Parker arrived in 2015, Jarvis Landry has totaled 458 targets in the past three seasons for the Dolphins. In 2017 alone Landry totaled 161 targets that will be up for grabs in 2018 with Landry now catching passes in Cleveland. In the four seasons, Jarvis Landry was in Miami, he accounted for a little over 25% of the Dolphins receiving targets.
This off-season the Dolphins have brought in pass catchers such as Danny Amendola and Abert Wilson through free agency and Mike Gesicki through the draft, none of which will supplant the target opportunities that will be going to Parker this upcoming season. Along with the return of starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who missed all of 2017 due to an ACL injury, these are all positive signs that point to a DeVante Parker break-out season in 2018.
Even with three disappointing seasons statistically, few still question the talent and ability Parker possesses to become a consistent NFL and fantasy wide receiver for 2018 and beyond. Parker is still only 25 years old and possesses a rare combination of size and speed at 6’3’’ 212 pounds while running a 4.45 40 yard dash at the 2015 NFL combine. He will need to take control of the opportunity to finally become the number one wide receiver in Miami he was drafted to be four years ago.
DeVante Parker has proven he still has tremendous talent and big-play ability totaling just under 14 yards per reception in his short career with 139 catches for 1,908 receiving yards. For comparison, Parker’s 13.7 yards per reception are better than the career averages of Antonio Brown (13.5), Larry Fitzgerald (12.6), and almost 4 yards more than former teammate Jarvis Landry (10.1). This specific stat shows that DeVante Parker can be a reliable fantasy wide receiver with the anticipated uptick in target share moving forward.
As mentioned earlier, staying healthy will also be very key to Parker’s success as he has missed 6 games in his first 3 NFL seasons. Simply put, with the new opportunity Parker will have for the first time in his career to be the number one option on his team in 2018 paired with the talent and experience he has, I fully expect him to become the player many dynasty owners have been expecting for the past three seasons. Buy DeVante Parker while his price is still relatively low.
Do you agree that Parker will breakout in 2018? If you do, or even if you don’t you can find me on Twitter @DFF_Maverick and let me know.