Instead of bringing back Terrelle Pryor, the Cleveland Browns made a splash in free agency when they opted to sign wide receiver Kenny Britt. Pryor went on to sign with the pass-happy Washington Redskins led by the improving Kirk Cousins. Both wide receivers were Fantasy-relevant last season and they should continue to be relevant this season (although one has much more value than the other). Woo!
TERRELLE PRYOR TO THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Honestly, Pryor should be given a medal, a trophy, anything. Not only is he a quarterback turned wide receiver, he also made a rather smooth transition. Heading into draft season a year ago, Pryor was nothing more than a late-round flier, even going undrafted in some leagues. For those who did draft him, the rewards were immense. He turned in a 77-1007-4 receiving line, good enough to finish as WR18 in standard and WR19 in PPR.
Another reason Pryor should receive a medal or trophy is the fact that he posted those numbers as a receiver for the Cleveland Browns. He was targeted by five different quarterbacks last season, including Kevin Hogan, Charlie Whitehurst, and Robert Griffin III. The Browns finished 28th in passing yards with just 15 passing TDs. Now Pryor is in Washington with a Redskins team that ranked second in passing yards behind only the New Orleans Saints.
So how does the Redskins’ receiving corps look heading into 2017-18? Pryor and Josh Doctson project as the outside receivers with Jamison Crowder working in the slot. Of course, the team still has Jordan Reed who will demand his targets (when he’s on the field). The Redskins also lost their two leading receivers in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. Together, those two combined for 216 targets with each of them amassing 1,000 receiving yards. That’s a ton of targets left behind for mainly Pryor, Crowder, and Reed.
I feel like I should remind you that Pryor finished as the WR2 for the Browns! Well, now that that’s over, let’s talk about the quarterback. Obviously, Kirk Cousins is a huge upgrade at quarterback. It helps that the duo has been on the same page in OTAs already as well. It’s only June but we can’t ignore what Cousins has said. The Redskins QB is on record saying he wants to get Pryor “as many touches as possible.” Who doesn’t want the first receiving option in a pass-happy offense?
To play devil’s advocate, I will say this: Pryor was a target machine for Cleveland last season. His 140 targets were nearly 25 percent of the Browns’ entire target share, which ranks Pryor among the Top-15 in the NFL. The targets could go down in Washington because Cousins does like to spread the ball around. However, Pryor’s targets will be much more efficient, which will lead to a higher catch rate and, hopefully, more red zone opportunities. Last season’s numbers are his floor with the Redskins this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes as a low-end WR1 in both standard and PPR formats. He’s currently being drafted 39th overall as WR21 behind Alshon Jeffery, which is a mistake.
KENNY BRITT TO THE CLEVELAND BROWNS
As mentioned above, Britt will be the wide receiver replacing Pryor for the Browns… or will he? In terms of personnel and size comparison, it is true Britt will fill that void. Like Pryor, Britt is a hulking man, standing at 6’3” with good size and strong hands. The problem for Britt’s Fantasy value is that he will be battling for targets with Corey Coleman. Coleman did play with Pryor last season but missed six games, meaning more targets for Pryor while he was out. Coleman averaged 7.4 targets per game, which over a 16-game schedule would total 118. If Coleman played 16 games, Pryor wouldn’t get 140 targets and would not finish as a WR2. That’s what Britt can expect heading into the season.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to draft Britt for Pryor’s numbers last season, not even close. As of right now, Britt is being drafted as WR54 at pick 119. Like Pryor, Britt turned in a career-year last season with a 68-1002-5 receiving line. He finished as WR26 in standard and WR28 in PPR. He was incredibly consistent, netting 67 yards or a touchdown in 10 of 15 games. In PPR terminology, he scored at least 10 Fantasy points in 67 percent of his games. That’s very serviceable as a WR3.
What made it even more impressive was Britt’s quarterback situation. As bad as the Browns were last year, the Rams were even worse. The team finished 31st in passing yards with a 14:20 TD:INT ratio. Between Case Keenum and Jared Goff, the QB situation was not pretty. Cody Kessler showed some glimpses as a rookie, completing 65.6 percent of his passes with a 6:2 TD:INT ratio. The problem was he threw for just 153.3 yards per game. Also, the Browns could opt to go with DeShone Kizer at some point considering the team used a high draft pick on him. Throwing another rookie into the fire doesn’t bode well for the Browns’ receivers.
Additionally, Hue Jackson will try his very best to establish the run game. Isaiah Crowell was very efficient last season, and it only makes sense to ride him early on. The team has improved its offensive line; plus, a strong run game will make life easier for their young quarterbacks. Britt put together a fine campaign in 2016-17 but it almost feels fluky. He managed a career-year, yet the Rams were 31st in passing. Britt is a very talented player but he’s not in a Fantasy-friendly situation. The Browns will be a run-first team and he’ll be competing with Coleman for targets. He’s more of a WR5 with upside if Coleman gets hurt again. Aside from that, I wouldn’t bet on him repeating last year’s performance.