Will Terrelle Pryor Thrive in Washington?

Apr 25, 2017
Will Terrelle Pryor Thrive in Washington?

In his first season as a full-time receiver, Terrelle Pryor finished the season as the #21 fantasy wideout, though his numbers dipped over the final month of the season. Here are his game logs:

Terrelle Pryor - 2016 Game Logs
Game Opp Tgt Rec Yds TD QB
1 PHI 7 3 68 0 Griffin
2 BAL 10 3 32 0 McCown
3 MIA 14 8 144 0 Kessler
4 WAS 9 5 46 1 Kessler
5 NWE 6 5 48 0 Whitehurst
6 TEN 13 9 75 2 Kessler
7 CIN 4 2 18 0 Hogan
8 NYJ 12 6 101 0 McCown
9 DAL 7 5 47 1 Kessler
10 BAL 9 5 48 0 Kessler
11 PIT 10 5 97 0 McCown
12 NYG 12 6 131 0 McCown
13 CIN 3 1 3 0 Griffin
14 BUF 8 4 19 0 Griffin
15 SDG 5 3 36 0 Griffin
16 PIT 11 7 94 0 Griffin
Total 140 77 1007 4
Average 8.75 4.8 62.9 0.25

I included the quarterback with the most attempted passes in each game to illustrate just what Pryor was dealing with as far as consistency – or in this case, inconsistency – at the quarterback position.

Even dealing with five different quarterbacks, his production in the first 12 games – 5.2 catches for 71 yards and 0.33 TD, #11 fantasy WR (#16 on a per game basis) – is very encouraging. His swoon in December coincided with Robert Griffin’s return to the lineup, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Pryor and Griffin never really got on the same page.

The Quarterback Effect

Here’s a look at how each quarterback fared when throwing the ball to Pryor, and what sort of target share he saw from each passer:

Quarterbacks Throwing to Terrelle Pryor (2016)
QB Target Share PA PC Yds YPA
Griffin 14% 33 17 220 6.67
McCown 23% 43 19 317 7.37
Kessler 29% 57 36 427 7.49
Whitehurst 17% 4 4 38 9.50
Hogan 8% 2 1 5 2.50
Totals 25.0% 139 77 1007 7.24

Clearly, he had his best rapport with Cody Kessler, and to a lesser extent Josh McCown. All four of Pryor’s receiving touchdowns were thrown by Kessler, who averaged 7.49 YPA when targeting Pryor, and just 6.90 YPA when targeting all other receivers.

A Change In Scenery

Here are all the players who saw more than 20 targets for the Redskins in 2016:

Washington Redskins Targets (2016)
Player Pos G TGTs TGTs/G Target Rate
Pierre Garcon WR 16 114 7.1 14.1%
DeSean Jackson WR 15 100 6.7 14.1%
Jamison Crowder WR 16 99 6.2 12.6%
Jordan Reed TE 12 89 7.4 15.7%
Chris Thompson RB 16 62 3.9 12.7%
Vernon Davis TE 16 59 3.7 8.8%

Pierre Garcon (SF) and DeSean Jackson (TB) are no longer there, so there are 214 targets up for grabs in Washington. Former 1st round pick Josh Doctson is expected to pick up some of the slack, and if Jordan Reed can play a full season he’ll likely lead the team in targets. Even so, if Reed plays 16 games at 7.4 T/G (118 targets) and Doctson turns into a 90-target player, that still leaves 95 or so targets for Pryor, more if Vernon Davis gives up a few of his targets to Reed, if healthy.

Note: If you’re wondering, Pryor’s target rate (Targets/Snaps) was 15.7% last year.

Pryor averaged about 1.43 FP/target last year. Jackson, a similar deep threat, scored 180.5 FP on 100 targets, or 1.81 FP/target. From a receiving standpoint, a Kirk Cousins target was worth 1.73 FP. Collectively, the Cleveland passing game averaged about 1.41 FP/target, so Pryor is definitely seeing a big upgrade (+23%) in the quality of his targets. This should offset a good portion of a potential loss in targets, so Pryor could conceivably produce the same number of fantasy points on 20-30 fewer targets.

What’s His Upside?

I suspect Pryor will settle in as the second most-targeted Washington receiver behind Jordan Reed. If Reed can’t stay healthy, and/or Pryor asserts himself and starts to see 8.0-plus targets per game, we could be looking at a fantasy finish in the mid-teens. This doesn’t include any rushing or passing that Pryor might see given his versatility. Last year, Pryor scored an additional 8.1 points as a rusher and another 1.6 points as a passer, which would put him in low-end WR1 territory (assuming the 8.0 targets per game in the aforementioned example).

The Bottom Line

Early MFL10 ADP has Pryor as the 23rd receiver off the board near the 4/5 turn. I originally ranked him 29th in my Never Too Early rankings, but I think I’ll move him up 8-10 spots after studying his situation and hearing that he and Cousins are already working out together to build some much-needed chemistry.

I’m a bit worried about how engaged Cousins will be with the franchise given all that’s going on with his contract, but he’s certainly motivated to have a good year. If he remains in Washington in 2017 (which looks likely), it will obviously benefit Pryor.

Editor's Note: Subscribe now and get an an early-bird discount on 4for4's 2017 Classic, Pro, or DFS products!


Related Articles

Listen to the Most Accurate Podcast's Big Free Agency Pod with John Paulsen:

About Author
'