2-QB Fantasy Football and Pryor Expectations

Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor
Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor
Nov 10 2013 East Rutherford NJ USA Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor 2 scrambles out of the pocket during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium Jim OConnor USA TODAY Sports

Every week I scour the Internet, researching the current fantasy football landscape, with great attention paid to the quarterback position, making sure to pass along my findings to my fellow 2-QB owners.

One name in particular that was being talked about fervently on Twitter Monday morning was Terrelle Pryor.

The name Terrelle Pryor was one that almost caused a rift in the fantasy football Twitter community this off-season, with two distinct lines drawn in the virtual sand, as to whether or not Pryor would be a viable fantasy option this year.

It’s a discussion not worth recapping now, but here we are in Week 11 of the NFL season, and it’s time to recalibrate our expectations of Pryor going forward.

I was on board the Pryor train from nearly the start in 2-QB fantasy football leagues, and was kicking myself for not getting on board earlier. Rushing quarterbacks have always drawn me in, and Pryor was a rushing quarterback specimen who looked like he would become fantasy worthy thanks to his legs. It was his passing skills that held me back.

My expectations were low for Pryor, as I saw him in the QB2 tier range, but after seeing what he could do running the ball, and how he had improved as a passer, Pryor was looking more and more like he could hang with the low-end QB1 tier. For a while he did, finishing as a top-12 standard fantasy scoring quarterback four out of his fist seven starts prior to Week 10.

No matter how well Pryor was performing, fantasy football is a weekly game, and you need to be in tune with the current surroundings of the fantasy football landscape, and it’s now fair to wonder how Pryor will fare the rest of the season.

Pryor is dealing with a sprained MCL, which should concern Pryor fantasy owners in 2-QB leagues, as it might take away from his rushing ability.

If it wasn’t for his rushing touchdown versus the Giants in Week 11, Pryor would have finished the week with 2.78 standard fantasy points. For comparison’s sake, Baltimore Ravens’ back-up quarterback Tyrod Taylor scored 1.8 fantasy points, thanks to an 18-yard end-around run.

One of the reasons Pryor has been in the fantasy QB1 discussion this year is because his rushing ability provides him with a high fantasy floor. Take away his rushing fantasy points, and you have a young, inexperienced, and oftentimes inaccurate quarterback.

While it doesn’t look like Pryor is in danger of missing Week 11’s game versus the Houston Texans because of his MCL injury, nothing is official yet. Even if Pryor does start, it’s time to start wondering if leaving him on your fantasy bench is something to consider.

We’ve been dazzled by Pryor’s rushing fantasy points, and how could you not be when he has two 100+ rushing yard games, and another game where he rushed for 94 yards? But in his last three games, Pryor has thrown five interceptions to zero touchdowns, and he hasn’t thrown a passing touchdown since Week 6.

Take a look at some of his early season passing performances versus his late season passing performances, via Twitter from XN Sports writer Rich Hribar:


The rushing stats made us forget about Pryor’s passing deficiencies, but if he lost his rushing burst due to injury, and five carries for 19 yards, and a sprained MCL versus the Giants in Week 10 indicates that might be the case, it’ll be difficult to trust Pryor going forward.

Pryor’s 1:8 passing touchdown to interception ratio in his last four games compared to his 4:2 passing touchdown to interception ratio in his first four games tells part of the story, as does his completion percentage decline, which Rich was also kind enough to point out.

One bad game in Week 10 doesn’t tell the whole story of course, and Pryor could come back rejuvenated in Week 11, making us forget all about Week 10.

Like Nick Foles did after his dud game versus the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7, which was followed by a seven passing touchdown performance in Week 9.

That happens all the time, but if Pryor’s sprained MCL has caused him to not be his 100 percent rushing best, and it negatively impacts him the rest of the season, 2-QB fantasy owners of Pryor might want to look into alternative quarterbacking options.

Take away Pryor’s 504 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns, which equals 62.4 standard fantasy points, from his 122.76 overall standard fantasy points, and that would bring him down to 60.36 fantasy points.

Without his rushing stats, Pryor goes from QB20, to QB34, which would put him outside of the QB2 tier, and right behind Case Keenum, who has only played in three games this season.

Not all of the blame can be put on Pryor of course. A passing game going nowhere, injuries, and playing behind an offensive line that has allowed a league leading 36 sacks also have to share the blame.

We have no control over any of those factors in 2-QB leagues though. The only thing we can control is whether or not to keep starting Pryor in 2-QB leagues, and right now that’s a difficult decision to make.

Stats used in this article from ESPN.com, and FantasyData.com

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Salvatore Stefanile
Salvatore Stefanile is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and believes that 2-QB fantasy football leagues will be the future of fantasy football. You can read about his 2-QB fantasy football opinions and analysis at XNSports.com.