When Jay Cutler called DeVante Parker a faster Alshon Jeffery, the fantasy football world lost its got dang mind and he flew up draft boards. That makes sense, as Parker is uber-talented and the best receiving threat on the Dolphins. On paper, Parker tore up three great matchups in his first three games, but left last week with an ankle injury. If he can play this week, is he a worthy play against the Falcons?
First, there’s an issue with Parker’s per-game yardage, which has dropped literally every game this year (85, 76, 69, 6). While the six likely isn’t in the cards, the ever-decreasing production is a concern this weekend. There’s also the issue of his extreme luck leading to his touchdown in week two. The Jets nearly blanked the Dolphins before they stopped caring on the last drive of the game. Miami then marched down the field, leading to his touchdown and 52 of his 76 receiving yards. It’s been a bit of a mess in Miami, and that’s caused issues for Parker. It also inflated his numbers as the Dolphins literally called a timeout to ensure they ran the play that led to the pointless touchdown against the Jets.
There’s also the Jarvis Landry issue. By targets, Parker is the WR2 to Jarvis Landry. While Parker left after just one target last week, that does not account for the fifteen target disparity between the two. Landry is Cutler’s go-to guy, which means that every target is precious for Parker. The targets will cause problems for Parker’s upside this week. Falcons opponents mustered just two double-digit fantasy games against them this season, and both players did so with double-digit targets.
DeVante Parker is banged up and no guarantee to play this weekend against the Falcons. Even if he does play, the Dolphins offense isn’t built to give him enough opportunity to succeed. Three great matchups buoyed his stats, but he doesn’t get that benefit this week. The Falcons allow just the eighth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, and the only good games came with a bevy of targets. Parker won’t get those targets and is best left as a desperation WR3. Unless you’re desperate, do not start Parker this week, even if he plays.