The confusing run of Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker’s NFL career has taken a new turn ahead of Week 8. While the wide receiver has found himself on the trade block and riding the bench for most of this season, injuries may force him to see a larger workload on Thursday Night Football.
In turn, fantasy football players are left with questions. Can we trust the talented receiver who’s obviously fallen out of favor? Will he even produce when on the field? How about his rapport with Brock Osweiler?
It’s all fair to ask and it’s all very confusing. But on Thursday night when the Dolphins play the Houston Texans, head coach Adam Gase may have no option but to give Parker extended playing time. Miami will be without both Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson due to injuries, leaving the team with Parker, Danny Amendola and Jakeem Grant as realistic options.
With that said, let’s look at the biggest question of them all – whether to start or sit Parker in fantasy football this week.
Key Stats and DeVante Parker’s Fantasy Outlook
I’ll break down the matchup along with a few key numbers Parker and the Dolphins ahead of the Week 8 matchup with the Texans. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Houston Texans vs. wide receivers in 2018: 91 receptions, 1,029 yards, six touchdowns (No. 8 fewest fantasy points per game)
- Parker didn’t play a single offensive snap in Week 7 and has played just nine percent of the team’s snaps all season, per Football Outsiders
- In two games played, Parker has caught 2-of-4 targets for 40 yards, all of which came against the Oakland Raiders
On paper, there’s nothing appealing about playing Parker. But from just last week alone, the Dolphins have lost 63 total snaps which need to go elsewhere. And considering Amendola played 98 percent of the snaps in that game while Grant drew 70 percent, Parker will be forced to see a heavy workload.
Should You Start or Sit DeVante Parker?
Making the decision to start a player who’s completely fallen out of favor and can’t seem to get his footing with the coaching staff is a bold move. But in this spot, the Dolphins have no option but to let Parker on the field and see what he can do. At the very least, a strong game from the 25-year-old could possibly bolster his trade value.
It’s also not like Parker is a bad football player. He was a first-round pick for a reason and totaled 855 yards or more in each of his final two collegiate seasons. Over 42 games with the Louisville Cardinals, he scored 33 touchdowns, including hitting the double-digit mark in both 2012 and 2013.
I believe Parker is bound to see at least 70 percent of the snaps, and unless Gase decides to pull a fast one, the Dolphins receiver is likely worth the risk. I wouldn’t go as crazy as playing him in a 10 or 12-team league (maybe flex in a 12), but he’s in play as a WR3 or flex in 14-team leagues or larger.