Who are this year's fantasy 'one-hit wonders'?
We see it every year. A fantasy asset is selected with a premium or mid-round draft pick based on what he did the season before. Some call it recency bias, while others say “Hey, look at the stats,” to justify the selection. More times than not, these assets decline. In the fantasy industry we call this regression and there are some excellent statistics that back up touchdowns as the key stat most likely to regress. But it’s not the only one. A player’s new supporting cast, advanced stats and other factors can play a role in his regression.
Today, we’ll be looking at eight players who could earn the “one-hit wonder” tag following the conclusion of the 2017 fantasy season. Sure, they may look like solid fantasy assets now based on their 2016 success, but for a variety of reasons, that could change. Let’s jump right in.
Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens
West was one of the oddest stories of the 2016 preseason. Although he kept rising up the Ravens’ depth chart and total touches totem pole, no one seemed to want to buy in come draft time. Season-long drafts lasting into the final days of August still saw at least 30 running backs go ahead of West. Then, West held on to the job and even operated in a lead role until talented rookie Kenneth Dixon got healthy. He finished as the RB23 in both standard and PPR scoring — a back-end RB2. But it was clear from the moment Dixon got healthy, West’s role was on the decline.
In 2017, you can expect a further decline in role from West. Although Dixon is now facing a four-game suspension, the Ravens also added Danny Woodhead to the mix. We’ve seen the kind of effect Woodhead can have on a player’s fantasy value — see Melvin Gordon’s rookie season. West scored six touchdowns in 2016 and a lot of his value came from red-zone touches. Those could be gone if the Ravens choose to utilize Woodhead as a red-zone threat (like we’ve seen the Chargers do with him).
West could end up right back on fantasy waiver wires just a few short weeks after the regular season opener when Dixon returns… or sooner if the Ravens draft another running back.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins
Pryor’s emergence as a fantasy asset came abruptly unless you were watching how Browns head coach Hue Jackson was utilizing him during the preseason — bombs away with Robert Griffin III. Pryor finished as the WR21 in PPR and the WR22 in standard and he didn’t do it just with the long ball. Jackson utilized the 6-foot-4, 225-pound athlete in various areas of the field. One area Pryor didn’t dominate, in spite of his size, was the red zone. He finished with just four touchdowns despite the fact that Brown rookie first-round wide receiver Corey Coleman missed a large chunk of the season with an injury.