Every now and then a wide receiver comes out of nowhere to go over the 1,000-yark mark. Of all the breakthrough wideouts from the 2014 fantasy football season, the most surprising was Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas.
Douglas shockingly ended the year with 85 receptions for 1,067 yards and two touchdowns. He stepped up big time when Roddy White (hamstring/knee/ankle) and Julio Jones (foot) went down last season with injuries.
As a result of Atlanta losing their two best wideouts, Douglas quickly earned the trust of QB Matt Ryan. He had five games with over 80 receiving yards, including three games with over 120 yards. The wideout played like a number one option for a brief period and quickly put himself on the fantasy map.
Hall of Fame TE Tony Gonzalez finally retired and his departure will leave the team with a need in the passing game. Obviously they will still be using tight ends, but it will be a process. Ryan is more likely to utilize more three and four wide receiver sets to move the chains, which will only keep Douglas on the field more in 2014.
With a healthy White and Jones, Douglas won’t come close to the 133 targets he saw in 2013. He also won’t record another 1,000 yards in 2014. The team is simply too loaded with talent and Douglas will relegated to a complimentary wideout again.
Douglas may have racked up a ton of yardage last season, but he only caught two touchdowns. He was consistently being held out of the end zone, which doesn’t bode well for his fantasy value in the upcoming season. If he had established himself as more of a red zone option, he could potentially be more useful this season. Since he didn’t, though, he will simply be the third option in Ryan’s progression once the team gets inside the to 20-yard-line.
Douglas will be a decent WR5 to target in the later rounds this season. He has a guaranteed a spot in the team’s high-powered passing attack and he has already proven that he can play with the big boys. Look for him to finish with 800 yards and a handful of touchdowns in 2014.
Bye Week: 9
Projected Round: 14
Auction Value: $1