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It’s Time to Buy Kenny Stills

The Cleveland Browns front office broke the internet on Friday with a flurry of trades that resulted in the acquisitions of wide receiver Jarvis Landry and quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The fallout resulted in former Browns second-round pick Deshone Kizer being traded to the Green Bay Packers for cornerback Damarious Randall.

The teams also swapped picks. The focus  has been on the Browns, but what about the Dolphins? I know what you are thinking — DeVante Parker is in a prime position to finally have his fantasy breakout in 2018. But Kenny Stills is the likely to the cheaper – and better – Dolphins WR to own this season.

Outperforming Parker

Parker was highly touted coming out of Louisville and one of the top WR prospects heading into the 2015 NFL Draft. In his three-year career, those lofty expectations have not been met. Parker finds himself about to head into his fourth season in the NFL with a fifth-year option on the horizon. He’s been unable to replicate the breakouts tall WRs like Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall.

Stills, on the other hand, was drafted in the 2013 fifth round out of Oklahoma. He played the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the New Orleans Saint before joining the Dolphins in 2015. Since then, Stills has outperformed Parker in multiple areas including receiving fantasy points over expectation.

Kenny Stills vs Devante ParkerStills also has the advantage in air yards, a metric that refers to the total distance that a football is thrown beyond the line of scrimmage to the point of reception. It also allows you to better understand how Parker and Stills produced their receiving yards.

SeasonPlayer NameTeamAir YardsPPR Fantasy Points
2017Kenny StillsDolphins1,574178.7
2017DeVante ParkerDolphins1,206130
2016Kenny StillsDolphins1,161168.6
2016DeVante ParkerDolphins1,047154.4
2015Kenny StillsDolphins1,05089
2015DeVante ParkerDolphins69293.4

Stills has finished with more PPR fantasy points than Parker in two out of the last three seasons. The one season where Parker finished with more fantasy points the difference was only 4.4. This is substantial considering their average draft position over this time.

STILLS IS UNDERVALUED

Kenny Stills Dynasty ADPIt is easy for fantasy owners to become enamored with certain players. Parker has been one of those players in dynasty formats, but Stills has flown under the radar while outproducing him. Meanwhile, Stills has been much cheaper, if not free, in terms of ADP over that time, a trend that has held early in 2018.

Kenny Stills-DeVante Parker ADP FFC

Parker’s Injury Risk

Sports Injury Predictor does an excellent job of assembling a player’s medical history, providing a framework to determine whether a player’s injury risk is low, medium, or high. Parker has a an injury history going back to his time at Louisville, which classifies him as a medium risk. His durability rating is also on the lower end of the spectrum.

DateLeagueInjury
Oct 8, 2017NFLPedal Ankle Sprain Grade 2
Nov 27, 2016NFLBack Lower Lumbar Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1
Aug 30, 2016NFLThigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1
Aug 1, 2016NFLThigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1
Oct 29, 2015NFLPedal Foot
Jun 5, 2015NFLPedal Foot
Aug 22, 2014Non-NFLPedal Foot Fracture
Oct 5, 2013Non-NFLShoulder A/C Joint Sprain

Stills has only missed one game in the last four seasons.

A Perfect Storm for Stills

Landry has averaged 9.6 targets per game over the last three seasons. His departure creates an opportunity for Stills to be more involved in the Dolphins offense. Parker’s injury history could also provide Stills even more upside. Age, durability, and athleticism are critical variables when evaluating the WR position. The prime of a WR’s career is from 25 to 29 years of age with 59.4 percent of peak seasons occur in this window.1

Both Parker and Stills are currently 25-years old and about to enter their primes of their career. However, a player can’t breakout if he can’t stay on the field. Who do you trust more based on what you’ve seen so far?

Buy Kenny Stills Before the Market Adjusts

The contrarian play is to target Stills. He could provide a tremendous return on investment in best ball, redraft, and dynasty formats. Stills’ four-year, $32 million contract with the Dolphins in March 2017 suggests he will continue to be a key offensive contributor moving forward. He received $18.95 million in guarantees, $16.95 million of which was guaranteed upon signing. Stills will have an opportunity to greatly outperform his ADP.

I recommend you acquire shares sooner rather than later.

What was most useful for you? Please leave a comment below or better yet reach out to me via Twitter @EricNMoody.

  1. Per Mike Braude.  (back)

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