Rookie Wide Receiver Redux

by Ray Marzarella ·

Fantasy owners are always looking for the next Odell Beckham.  We all want that next waiver wire folk hero that helped us dominate our league because we were savvy and either drafted him late (and stashed him) or were able to grab him off the wire before he blew up (or maybe you were lucky and were able to get him with a high priority waiver claim).

If this all sounds familiar, it’s exactly how I started an early September piece focusing on three rookie receivers who fit the mold of a potential league-winning fantasy player in one way or another.  We’re now entering Week 6 and all three of those players are still owned in less than 20-percent of leagues on both ESPN and Yahoo.  And while some rookie receivers may be conceding that 2015 is a lost season (sorry, Breshad Perriman), the receivers profile in the original piece continue to deserve stash consideration.  Even rosters navigating bye weeks or an inordinate number of injured players should reserve a roster slot or two for high upside stashes to maximize their team’s potential in the fantasy playoffs.

Before reviewing DeVante ParkerDorial Green-Beckham, and Phillip Dorsett, note that Jaelen Strong should be stashed in all leagues headed into week 6.  Week 5 saw Strong record the first 41 snaps, two targets, two catches and two touchdowns of his NFL career while Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts sat out with injuries.  Provided Bill O’Brien finally realizes that Strong gives the Texans the best chance to score touchdowns, Strong is poised to become the No. 2 wide receiver in Houston’s passing game with an exciting combination of size, speed, and burst to compliment DeAndre Hopkins.

Now, let’s revisit last month’s stash recommendations.

DeVante Parker

Slow-playing a future number one receiver, especially when he receiver has the highest probability of missing time in 2015 due to injury per Sports Injury Predictor, makes some sense.  However, limiting DeVante Parker to 82 snaps in four games contributed to Joe Philbin losing his job.

[DeVanteParker]-Wide Receiver-Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker Advanced Metrics Profile

The fact that DeVante Parker only played one snap in Week 1 went largely overlooked due to the fact that the Dolphins won that game.  But they’ve dropped three in a row since then and the offense has not been as good as advertised.  We don’t yet know how the offensive weaponry is going to be deployed under a former NFL tight end-turned tight ends coach-turned interim head coach in Dan Campbell.  But at 1-3 with a currently undefeated Patriots team in their division, it’s time for the Dolphins to push the Parker panic button. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor seems to agree.

Advice: stash DeVante Parker in hopes that the new Miami coaching staff features him in read progressions moving forward.

Dorial Green-Beckham

Of this wide receiver trio, Dorial Green-Beckham‘s underutilization is the most difficult to explain and has undoubtedly contributed to Tennessee’s 1-3 start.

[DorialGreenBeckham]-Wide Receiver-Tennessee Titans

Dorial Green-Beckham Advanced Metrics Profile

Behind Kendall WrightHarry Douglas is second among Titans receivers with 196 snaps played, and Justin Hunter is third with 153.  Meanwhile, Dorial Green-Beckham has logged a mere 54 snaps.  Despite receiving starter snaps, Douglas has managed 70 yards and a touchdown on 19 targets, and Hunter has 112 yards and zero touchdowns on 12 targets.  Green-Beckham has  three catches for 35 yards and two touchdowns.  The touchdowns came against two of the NFL’s top cornerbacks in Joe Haden and Vontae Davis.

The case against stashing Dorial Green-Beckham: he is buried on the depth chart of a lower-volume passing team and that Harry Douglas is a veteran receiver who wasn’t signed to sit at the end of the bench in the early part of the season.

The case against stashing Green-Beckham: Harry Douglas and Justin Hunter are below replacement NFL wide receivers.  On the other hand, DGB has produced when given snaps and targets and is the only Titans receiver with league-winning fantasy upside.  The Titans are only two games behind the Colts in the AFC South and will likely shake up the roster in hope of making up ground in the standings.

Advice: continue to stash Dorial Green-Beckham in hopes that the Titans ramp up his usage.

Phillip Dorsett

Through the first three weeks of his NFL career, Phillip Dorsett managed 12 targets on 45 snaps.  Then, Andrew Luck suffered a shoulder injury and missed Weeks 4 and 5.  While Dorsett’s usage fell victim to the Andre Johnson revenge game and a more conservative game plan in Week 5, he still managed two targets on a meager six snaps.  Through five weeks, Dorsett’s Hog Rate, targets per snap, has exceeded 20-percent, the early signature of a future featured weapon.

[PhillipDorsett]-Wide Receiver-Indianapolis Colts

Phillip Dorsett Advanced Metrics Profile

Hog Rate aside, Phillip Dorsett needs more snaps to translate his 4.33 (99th-percentile) straight line speed and 10.81 (88th-percentile) agility into consistent fantasy production.  A look at Andrew Luck‘s last game played offers a ray of hope for Dorsett’s future role and corresponding usage.

Week 3 Colts-Titans Game Log

Week 3 Colts-Titans Game Log

All three of Phillip Dorsett‘s week 3 targets came in the fourth quarter of a competitive game that the Colts were losing.  Clearly Andrew Luck already has a great amount of faith in the first round rookie.  Indeed, in high leverage situations, Luck often looks away from the plodding Andre Johnson and locks in on more explosive playmakers Dorsett and Donte Moncrief.  Moreover, 11 of Dorsett’s 17 targets this season were deep targets, and nine of those came with Andrew Luck under center.

Advice: continue to stash Phillip Dorsett as long as Andrew Luck is quarterbacking the Indianapolis Colts.


DeVante Parker, Dorial Green-Beckham and Phillip Dorsett have 54 fantasy points on 30 combined targets to this point in the 2015 season.  That’s 25 fewer points and 14 fewer targets than Amari Cooper, fantasy football’s top rookie WR and the No. 18 overall wide receiver.  And it’s only 10 more points and two more targets than Jamison Crowder, fantasy football’s second-highest scoring rookie receiver to-date and the No. 51 wide receiver overall.  Yet, DeVante Parker, Dorial Green-Beckham and Phillip Dorsett could be the difference between winning and losing a fantasy league.

Ray Marzarella is a professional wrestler on the independent circuit and a lifelong New York Giants fan. You can follow him on the Twitter: @rayraymarz