Fins Fantasy: Analyzing Jarvis Landry’s 2015 Fantasy Value
Well, the boss says it’s time for me to get up off my lazy ass and write an article. Which is funny in a cosmic sort of way, being that I am one week removed from major brain surgery. In all fairness, it’s been over three weeks since I’ve written one, and the masses have been eagerly awaiting my triumphant return. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, this article details Jarvis Landry’s 2015 fantasy football prognosis.
Jarvis Landry had a solid rookie season, gaining 758 yards on 84 receptions, also adding 5 touchdowns. He ranked 49th among wide receivers with 97.4 fantasy points.
Jarvis Landry is a very good, if not unconventional slot receiver. He has reliable hands, he runs crisp routes, and he works well within tight windows. However, he doesn’t rely upon elite short area quickness that other top slot receivers, like Randall Cobb and Julian Edelman, use to get open quickly in tight windows. Instead, he uses his rather large frame (5’11 202lbs) to box defensive backs out, and grab receptions through his physicality. Landry poses a mismatch against most inside defensive backs, as it is extremely difficult for your average 5’9 nickel cornerback to play press coverage with Jarvis opening up a can of whoop-ass on every play.
Now, you may have noticed I used the words “slot receiver” twice when describing Jarvis Landry. In the event that you are related to Mike Wallace and didn’t catch that (see what I did there? Total comedic genius) allow me to use them again in aggressive fashion: Jarvis Landry is a SLOT RECEIVER. The reason being that he struggles playing outside on the account of his being almost as slow as Peyton Manning. (He ran a 4.77 second 40 yard dash on the combine… Peyton ran a 4.8) Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Plenty of slot receivers put up huge fantasy numbers, especially in PPR formats, you handsome fool.” To which I respond with: “Yeah, sure but not ones that average 9.0 yards a catch.” Don’t get me wrong Landry’s drop rate was good for top 5 in the league which is certainly impressive. But at his current average per catch he’d need 112 catches just to crack 1,000 yards. As of right now, I view Jarvis Landry as a very skilled slot receiver, nothing more, and nothing less.
Jarvis Landry is the perfect fit as the third wide receiver (designated slot receiver) in Bill Lazor’s offense. Landry essentially is put in the position to play to his strengths, and works almost exclusively out of the slot. Here he operates as a safety blanket for Ryan Tannehill, a duty he performed well at in the second half of the year, as evidenced by his astounding 9 targets per game over that span. The vast majority of his receptions come underneath the middle of the field, so he matches Ryan Tannehill’s playing style well. Having entrenched himself as Tannehill’s go-to guy over the middle of the field, Landry doesn’t have to worry about a significant reduction in target volume either. And even when Lazor decides to ditch the 3 wide receiver sets, he will likely stay on the field as Tannehill’s aforementioned blankie, even though he will be lining up as the WR3.
The Dolphins actually have a crowded wide receiver corps, which is a good problem to have. The only one with their role set in stone is Landry so that isn’t even a factor. At this point the Dolphins know he’s a reliable WR3 who will receive the vast majority of short pass targets. I think it likely that Stills takes the WR1 position, Jennings takes the WR2, and by mid-season DeVante Parker takes over for Jennings. Either way I’m nearly certain Landry will receive the most targets and complete the most receptions.
Jarvis Landry started off his rookie year slowly, but established himself as a reliable, consistent fantasy receiver in the second half of the season. He has yet to have a 100 yard game in his career, but he still put up good numbers, especially in PPR formats. In his last 9 games of the season, he put up no fewer than 5 catches in any one game, and also added 4 TDs over that span. Landry’s lack of explosive plays is concerning, as it limits any chances of putting up 100 yard double-digit performances, but ultimately with Landry you know you’re a lock for at least 6-10 points.
Landry suffered a foot fracture in 2011 in the lead up to his freshman year. The foot issue resurfaced in 2013, and he missed a few games. Foot injuries are tricky and tend to rise again in those who suffer from them, but Landry has showed no signs of injury whatsoever in his professional career. I wouldn’t consider him an injury risk.
I think that Jarvis Landry will be the 2nd highest scoring fantasy wide receiver in Miami this year. His ceiling as a slot receiver puts a cap on his overall yardage, and limits the amount of opportunities he’s going to get downfield. That being said, the sheer number of targets he has his way, and his reliability in the short passing game make him a great option for owners who value consistency. Personally, I have him pegged for about 900 yards receiving on about 90 receptions. I think he’ll increase his TD total slightly to 6 or 7 as well. Those numbers would make him a low-end WR2 or solid WR3 option in PPR formats. In non-PPR formats I see him as a good WR3 or depth receiver. I’d say if you can get him in the 10th round in standard 10 team leagues, you’ve gotten him for a very fair price. And I know fair prices considering I was the treasurer for my high school’s Jewish Club. Or was I vice president? Damn brain surgery.