DeVante Parker had a breakout campaign in 2019, but he’s lined up to be a fantasy bust this year.
Four years into his career, it was worth wondering if DeVante Parker would ever deliver like a first-round pick. But he reward the Dolphins patience last year, as he finished with 72 receptions for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns.
Ryan Fitzpatrick took over as Miami’s starting quarterback for good in Week 7 last year. Over those 11 games, Parker had 59 receptions (on 100 targets) for 973 yards and seven touchdowns. He was WR2 in both standard and full PPR fantasy scoring over that span.
The Dolphins wide receiver core was thinned a but by injuries last year. Perhaps most notably Preston Williams did not play after Week 9 due to a torn ACL, which lines up almost parallel with Parker’s finishing 11-game stretch. In those final eight games sans Williams, Parker had double-digit targets six times. Tight end Mike Gesicki is also sure to be a prominent target as he seems to be in line for a breakout this year.
Will DeVante Parker be a top-12 fantasy receiver again?
Fitzpatrick is likely to start the season under center for the Dolphins. But rookie Tua Tagovailoa may step in at virtually any point, which at least initially would cloud the outlook for the passing game. Parker clearly has rapport with Fitzpatrick, and he’d be starting a square one with Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins made a lot to moves to improve their defense this offseason. So negative game scripts are less likely this year. In the aforementioned 11 games, Fitzpatrick had at least 35 pass attempts nine times and 40 or more four times (Week 15-17 in a row). Parker’s target share was 23.1 percent from Week 7-17, and 24.6 percent from Week 15-17. (27.9 percent in Week 16-17).
Parker capped his breakout season with eight receptions for 137 yards against the New England Patriots. That showing against that defense is notable, but it also didnt benefit a hug chunk of fantasy owners. To be fair though, trimming off Week 17 doesn’t greatly alter Parker’s fantasy standing for the whole season or for the final several (or a little more than several) weeks.
More competition for targets. A rookie quarterback who won’t have the benefit of a regular offseason. The likelihood of closer games. It’s not looking good for Parker to follow up last year well.
Via Fantasy Football Calculator (12-team leagues), Parker’s ADP has fallen to WR29 (pick 6.10,full PPR) and WR31 (pick 7.01, standard scoring). That can be seen as nice value in the WR3 range, but the downside is big and Parker will not be repeating his 2019 breakthrough.