Fantasy Football 2020: Beware of Drafting Devante Parker

Parker managed to break out of his shell in 2019, establishing himself as one of the best pass-catchers in the AFC. Sure it took five years, but Parker finally managed to deliver upon the first-round investment made in him by the Dolphins, tallying 1,202 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns for the team. Parker,who was nearly released by the team the last offseason, (only to be re-signed to a multi-year deal) surpassed everyone’s expectations, finishing as the WR11 in PPR formats. As impressive as Parker’s breakout was, all signs are pointing towards a regression from the former Louisville standout this season. 

 

The Dolphins are set to turn over the offense to rookie Tua Tagovailoa at some point during this season, with the expectation being that veteran gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick will begin the year as the team’s starting quarterback. Fitzpatrick’s aggressiveness was often the key to Parker’s big performances, as the veteran targeted him at least 10 times in 75% of the team’s games following Preston Williams’ season-ending injury, with Parker producing all of his 100+ yardage games in this period. The short-term downgrade at QB from Fitzpatrick to Tagovailoa combined with the return of Preston Williams should be the combination that leads to Parker’s regression this year, as his targets should see a significant decrease. Moreover, the implementation of a more stable ground game could cut into Parker’s production, as the game script often called for the team to air the ball out due to the abominable performance of the team’s backs.While Matt Breida and Jordan Howard are far from elite, that duo could easily account for 1,000 rushing yards between them. 

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Looking into Miami’s schedule this season, it’s possible that Parker may have one of the worst schedules for a receiver on any team in the league this season. As it stands, Parker is set to draw one-on-one matchups against reigning DPOY Stephon Gilmore (twice), Tre’Davious White (twice), Richard Sherman, Chris Harris Jr., Jalen Ramsay, Patrick Peterson, and William Jackson III. That’s at least nine weeks of potential shutdown matchups right there. It could be a rough year for the veteran wideout, but his stats won’t take too much of a nosedive in the grand scheme of things, thanks to the lack of depth in Miami’s receiving core.

 

DeVante Parker:

 

  • 61 receptions (-11 from last season)
  • 112 targets (-16 from last season)
  • 892 receiving yards (-310 from last season)
  • 5 receiving TDs (-4 from last season)
  • 180.2 fantasy points ~WR30 (-19 spots from last season)

 

Parker should still be a valuable piece for many fantasy teams, although I see him being a very boom or bust option on a week-to-week basis. 

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