The Browns, and mostly Hue Jackson, gave Terrelle Pryor a shot to prove himself as a wide receiver, and he more than adequately did just that last year in his first full season as a wide receiver. He saw 140 targets from Cody Kessler, Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown and Charlie Whitehurst, catching 77 of those for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. That's not too bad for a receiver on a team that ranked 28th in passing yards.
Of course, it wasn't the fantasy finish we needed for a high draft pick, but it was a great start and since we aren't talking dynasty here, Pryor's age is still optimal. But the best news that has broken for Pryor is his new team. With Cleveland, Pryor had a clown car full of weak quarterbacks, but in Washington, he gets a much more accurate quarterback in Kirk Cousins. Cousins has some holes in his game, but he's also shown enough for us to expect a big bump in quality targets for Pryor. Last season, Cousins ranked third in passing yards, eighth in completion percentage, sixth in attempts, and third in yards per attempt. Those are some numbers you want your fantasy receivers to rub up against.
The bulk of those receiving stats from last season went to Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed. Now with Garcon in San Francisco and Jackson in Tampa Bay, that leaves 213 targets, 125 receptions, 2,046 yards and seven touchdowns from last year up for grabs.
Pryor will have competition for targets from Crowder, Reed and, likely, Josh Doctson. Crowder is the receiver set up with institutional knowledge and a connection with Cousins, while Reed, at tight end, could be a Top-2 tight end, but has yet to play a full season. Doctson was a miss as a rookie, but if he can stay healthy, he will get a shot. But in the end, Pryor is the most talented offensive player in Washington and will be the team's No. 1 reciever, plus he is 6-foot-4, 223 pounds and runs a 4.41 40.
But is Pryor a good receiver? I'd say he has great ability, but will always be a little lacking in fundamentals. The good news is that he can continue to get better and his freak athleticism will continue to allow him to cut through that learning curve. Pryor will also have plenty of targets in this pass-happy offense and good targets as well, as Cousins does not look like he is going anywhere for the 2017 season. Both Cousins and Pryor are on year-long "prove it" deals and must have good years to keep the gravy train running. Neither will be resting on any laurels.
Pryor's dynasty value is murkier, but I think the risk could pay off. Pryor turns 28 in June, which is a little older than most second-year wide receivers in the NFL. With Pryor, we have some hope that the wear and tear on his body has been minimal as a quarterback for much of his career and that he should have a step on other 28-year-old receivers in the league. But with wide receivers, we aren't looking at the same steep dropoff in productivity like we see in running backs. At age 28, on average, we usually start to see a slow decline in wide receiver numbers, but unlike running backs, it is slow and gradual, i.e. slow. Pryor's dynasty price might be too high, but I love his situation this year and could see going after him if your dynasty team is in win-now mode, as he also has good upside for the next 2-3 seasons.
Pryor's age and newness to the position are scary, but his natural ability and room for growth coupled with his upgrade at quarterback and offense makes for some fantasy upside that I will be looking to get in on.
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