The internet is place of hyperbole, especially in the realm of fantasy football. But sometimes those exaggerated expectations are met by rookies. Coming into the season, RB Dri Archer was a hot topic with his blazing 4.28 speed, and ideas of the stout playmaker from Kent State being a viable fantasy option with the Pittsburgh Steelers were starting to roll out.
After Saturday night’s preseason matchup vs. the New York Giants, people are starting to realize that their ideas of his production may be realized. Admittedly, his performance was impressive, seeing touches through the air, ground and return game. He’s proving to be a versatile and agile threat across the field, but his role seems to be muddled.
Archer took on two receptions for 50 yards — impressive, right? Certainly, his 46 yard haul was a feat, and has many people jumping on their feet. But I’m not jumping on that bandwagon quite yet. Some people are thinking he’s going to be a constant, unknown threat that could be a very productive player this season because of that, but it’s only the first preseason game. How often he can break those long receptions?
We need to see at least four games in which he can break off those types of plays. I don’t want my fantasy players to be “breakout” players every few weeks, as there’s too much liability in starting them when my starters are sitting. Rather, Archer needs to prove consistency, and one reception for 40-plus yards coupled with a four-yard reception, along with two rushes for nine yards, is not consistent.
Can he consistently punch out over 50 yards from scrimmage? Possibly, but as much as defenses don’t know how to completely control the speedster, neither does his own organization, which scares me. If he can prove in the coming weeks that he’s a consistent advantage for his team with some breakaway plays, however, I’d start considering him in the late rounds of my draft.