Past Season and Outlook
Jarvis Landry has been the heart and soul of the offense since his rookie season. He brings a passion and energy to the offense that has not been seen in a long time. He has also been Miami’s top receiving threat in each of his three seasons in the league. Unfortunately for him that is about to change.
Landry makes his living in the slot, which unfortunately seems to be Cutlers least favorite place to throw. The one thing that is tough about receivers from a fantasy perspective is that they aren’t fully in control of how well they perform. An immensely talented receiver could have a horrible year just because of the quarterback under center.
This isn’t to say Jay Cutler is going to have a bad year, he very well may, but that’s not the point. The point is that traditionally, Cutler seems to target his slot receivers less than almost anyone else on the team. He clearly covets his big guys on the outside, which bodes well for DeVante Parker. After that the running backs see a lot of passes their way through a combination of screens, swing passes and check downs. There’s a reason Matt Forte was one of the top receiving threats out of the backfield every year when he played with Cutler, this looks great for Ajayi. Even the tight ends seem to get more love than his slot receivers, just look at Martellus Bennett.
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Fortunately for fantasy owners, Landry has been a target machine since entering the league in 2014 averaging 137 targets per year. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, it is almost inevitable that Landry will not hit that average this year. Many draft experts are even predicting him to fall short of his worst year of his career, 111 targets as a rookie, with Cutler under center.
I am a huge fan of Landry, and ultimately hope we keep him, but I do foresee a down year for him from a fantasy perspective. He was a top 10 receiver in both receptions and yards last year. Landry was trending upward with Tannehill heading into his second year in Gase’s offense prior to Tannehill’s season-ending ACL tear.
Taking the new quarterback situation into account, Landry is projected to have 88 receptions for 944 yards and 4 touchdowns this year via ESPN Fantasy. Which means roughly 124 points and 213 points in standard and PPR leagues respectively. This is a downgrade from last year. He is projected right now as the 30th (standard) and 22nd (PPR) ranked receiver for 2017. He is looking like a solid WR2 in PPR and WR2/Solid Flex option in standard leagues. In your fantasy draft, look to take him anywhere in rounds 4-6.