2017 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidate: Phillip Dorsett

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

WR Phillip Dorsett | Indianapolis Colts | 3rd Year

2016 Stats: 33 receptions, 528 yards, 2 TDs

The Indianapolis Colts ignored more glaring needs when they drafted Phillip Dorsett 29th overall in 2015, and he has not lived up to that first-round status yet. He did average 16 yards per catch in 2016, but otherwise there wasn’t much to like about Dorsett’s sophomore campaign.

Dorsett has suggested he is “a new and improved guy” physically this year. But that’s OTA talk, to be taken with a grain of salt in the same vein as a baseball player showing up to spring training in the “best shape of his life.” That said, is Dorsett in line for a breakout in his third season?

Opportunity knocked for Dorsett last year, with Donte Moncrief missing a total of seven games to injury. Let’s look at those seven games, including five straight fairly early in the season, and see how Dorsett did when Moncrief was out.

Week 3-vs. Chargers: 3 receptions for 27 yards (four targets)
Week 4-at Jaguars: 1 reception, 64 yards and a touchdown (three targets)
Week 5-vs. Bears: 2 receptions for 26 yards (three targets)
Week 6-at Texans: 2 receptions for 12 yards (five targets)
Week 7-at Titans: Out
Week 15-at Vikings: 1 reception, 50 yards and a touchdown (one target)
Week 17-vs. Jaguars: 4 receptions for 56 yards (four targets)

In six games played with Moncrief out, Dorsett never had more than five targets. And if not for two long touchdowns, the only time he would have topped even 30 yards in any of those games came in Week 17. It’s hard to take anything from a meaningless regular season finale, and even if we wanted to it’s not like Dorsett lit it up.

The Colts added Kamar Aiken in free agency, as virtually direct competition for Dorsett for who will be the Colts’ No. 3 wide receiver. As the Baltimore Ravens’ de facto No. 1 receiver in 2015, Aiken had 75 receptions for 944 yards and five touchdowns. That seems sure to stand as his career year, but he is a threat to Dorsett’s snap count.

Dorsett’s opportunity may never be greater than it was last season, and he didn’t even average four targets per game over his 15 games (59 targets). If Moncrief can stay healthy and Aiken makes a case to contribute, to say nothing of No. 2 tight end Erik Swoope possibly taking a bigger role, Dorsett could quickly become a boom-or-bust deep threat and nothing else. If he’s not one already.

Dorsett is not among the top 78 wide receivers in 12-team standard leagues, via Fantasy Football Calculator’s ADP data on Tuesday. Fantasy Pros.com’s three-source ADP aggregation does not have Dorsett on its top-90 wide receivers.

Things can and do change, with injuries and such, but it’s hard to see any path to a 2017 breakout for Dorsett. He’s a deep league dart throw late in an auction or draft, and nothing more.

2017 Projection
40 receptions, 600 yards, 3 TDs

Breakout Percentage: 2%

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Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

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