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DeVante Parker Deserves Strong Consideration in 2020 Drafts

By Kevin English 7:07am EDT 7/8/20

What You Need To Know:

  • Parker’s splits pre- and post Preston Williams ACL tear were drastic. Over the final half of the year, Parker ranked as a top-5 WR; a WR4 before that.
  • Overall, Parker set career highs across the board in his first ever 16-game season.
  • Only 27, Parker's set to see big volume again in a thin passing game, supplying low-end WR1 upside.

Surprise, surprise

Well… it finally happened. DeVante Parker played all 16 games. And he dominated like the guy we saw at Louisville years ago.

Parker’s 128 targets, 72 catches, 1,202 yards and 9 TDs blew away previous career highs. Awesome, right? There’s just no question he got there with help from a key injury.

Rookie Preston Williams was emerging as a go-to option. From Weeks 1-8, he tallied 32-428-3 on 60 targets. Then in his final game — Week 8 — he suffered a torn ACL.

Check out these per game splits from Parker with and without Williams:

With: 5.75 targets, 3 catches, 42.8 yards, .37 TDs

Without: 11.25 targets, 6.75 catches, 114.75 yards, .75 TDs

Essentially, Parker was a WR4 with Williams; a dynamic WR1 without him. Parker reached 10 targets 6 times and 100 yards 4 times with his teammate sidelined.

It’s also worth noting that Josh Rosen entered the lineup for 3 games with a healthy Williams. His play clearly fell short of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s.

Parker meshed well with Fitzpatrick’s attacking style. He finished with a big 14.73-yard average depth of target, helping produce 10.1 yards per target. The latter mark ranked 5th among 26 WRs with 100+ targets last year.

Parker tied to Miami

The Fins liked what they saw enough to ink Parker to a 4-year extension in December. He’s under contract through the 2023 season.

Handing him nearly $22 million in guaranteed money signals their #1 WR expectations. The front office didn’t even add any target competition, as the Fins return Williams, Albert Wilson, Allen Hurns and Jakeem Grant.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the likely Week 1 starter. Tua Tagovailoa brings promise for the future, but his recovery from hip surgery — and Miami’s transitioning O-line — are reasons to proceed slowly.

A true wildcard is the arrival of OC Chan Gailey. We like his familiarity with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who he coached for 5 seasons in Buffalo. Gailey’s results, overall, simply haven’t inspired confidence. In 14 stops as a HC or OC, his offenses have finished top-20 in pass attempts only 5 times; top-20 in yards 6 times.

He’s generally orchestrated a spread attack with the goal of attacking defenses downfield. Parker fits that mold well, so don’t expect a drastic change from his 2019 usage.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Parker’s put together one complete season in 5 chances as a pro. So he’s not the safest fantasy pick.

Still, it’s clear the Dolphins want him to remain in the #1 role. The front office didn’t upgrade the WR corps. And projected #2 target Preston Williams is coming off mid-season ACL surgery. While Parker’s play was just average with Williams active, we’d bet on his production falling near the middle of his pre- and post-Williams splits.

Barring injury, Parker should at least supply WR3 production — with the upside to approach WR1 territory.

In This Article

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