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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football 2013: Is Terrelle Pryor A Safe Option?

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

 

I love video games.

Of course, being rather young, I wasn’t around during the time of the old gaming systems. One of the most popular ones was the Konami. Everyone tries to get the upper hand, until the Konami Code was introduced, a cheat code that was used quite often. My buddy Rich Hribar from XN Sports tends to use this analogy all of the time when discussing fantasy football, but it’s accurate.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is one of fantasy football’s Konami Codes.

Pryor Passing

Coming into the season, Pryor admitted that he actually learned how to properly throw a football. He worked with Tom House, a former major league pitcher who has recently worked with the likes of Tom Brady. To start the season, Pryor clearly showed some signs of progression. He’s improved his accuracy, is making strong throws on the run and has a much better touch on his passes. If you ask me, Pryor, right now, is the most improved player in the league today, but he has been struggling a bit as of late. Over his last three games, Pryor has thrown just one touchdown compared to seven interceptions. From just watching him, he’s trying to force too many passes, and perhaps it’s because Oakland has been behind in games, and Pryor feels he needs to make a play. His passer rating has been under 56 in each game during that span, and because he hasn’t been throwing touchdown passes, many fantasy owners aren’t looking to start him anymore. That, my friends, is where you are sadly mistaken.

Pryor Running

Every single time I see Pryor take off and run with the football, the Christmas morning comes out in me. Seriously, it’s that exciting, folks. We knew right when he was named the starter over Matt Flynn that Pryor was going to have fantasy upside based off of his running ability alone. At a massive 6’4″, 233 pounds, Pryor is basically a poor man’s Cam Newton with the ball tucked under his arm. Through the air, Pryor is averaging 7.26 yards per attempt, but on the ground, he’s averaging 7.7 yards per rush. Remember how I said he has been struggling immensely to put up strong passing numbers over the last three games? Yeah, well because of his rushing volume and ability, he’s still averaging 18 fantasy points per contest during that span. Even without the elite passing numbers, Pryor clearly has a pretty high floor in fantasy. He’s making so many big plays with his feet, and it’s translating to week-to-week fantasy consistency.

Rushes of 20-plus yards

Player

Team

20-yard carries

*Terrelle Pryor Oakland 8
Alfred Morris Washington 8
Frank Gore San Francisco 7
Adrian Peterson Minnesota 5
C.J. Spiller Buffalo 5

 

In incredible stat here, but 12.7 percent of Pryor’s rushes have gone for 20 yards or more. We have seen him break massive runs, including an incredible 93-yard score two weeks ago. He is easily the leading rusher among quarterbacks this season, carrying the ball 63 times for 485 yards and a touchdown. Fantasy owners can almost guarantee 70 rushing yards per game from Pryor each week (averaging 69.3 per game). Despite what he is doing with his arm, Pryor’s rushing numbers will continue to maintain his fantasy value. Just imagine if he can become more consistent through the air? He’d be a top-12 fantasy signal caller, for sure.

If you are an Aaron Rodgers owner, or an owner of an under-performing quarterback like Matt Ryan, Pryor could be huge down the stretch. In the fantasy championship, he gets the Chargers, a team he has already shredded for 24 fantasy points. This unit is currently struggling against the pass, allowing the 10th-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Pryor will be safe, just as long as he is running with the football. And considering he is averaging nine attempts per game, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Konami Pryor is here to stay.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.