2016 Fantasy Football: Why Jarvis Landry should be your top WR pick

His teammates think so.
By Alex Butler  |  Aug. 8, 2016 at 1:47 PM
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DAVIE, Fla., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- If you're looking to add some juice to your fantasy football team this season, don't skip past Jarvis Landry.

The Miami Dolphins wide receiver has averaged 97 receptions for 987 yards and 4.5 touchdowns in his first two seasons in the NFL. Landry has started 25 of 32 games. Last season he piled up 166 targets and 110 receptions to earn his first Pro Bowl nod.

Look for Landry's stock to keep ascending.

"I feel myself getting better," Landry said Monday at Dolphins training camp. "[Receivers] Coach [Shawn] Jefferson and these receivers, they push me everyday. Not only that, but the defensive backs...these guys push me everyday. We compete at a high level and that's what coach Adam [Gase] wants. In that environment, the level rises."

Even though teammate Kenny Stills doesn't play fantasy football, he said he would take Landry as his top wide receiver.

"Jarvis can just do it all," Stills said. "He gets a ton of targets and what he does with the ball in his hands after the catch is amazing. It's something I get to watch everyday and I'm looking at in my game."

"Jarvis can be as good as he wants to be just like everyone else," Stills said. "He's a hard worker and I think the sky is the limit for him and I think he knows that. We are pushing each other every day to reach our full potential and we want to see where that takes us."

While his former LSU teammate and roommate Odell Beckham Jr. ranked No. 1 in UPI's top 150 fantasy players, Landry is typically seen as a third or fourth round option.

Landry actually surpassed Beckham's 2013 season while both played for the Tigers. Landry piled up 77 catches, for 1,193 yards, and 10 touchdowns in his junior season at LSU. Beckham had 59 receptions, for 1,152 yards, and eight touchdowns that same year.

Yes, drafting Landry in the fourth round would be a steal. But you should target him earlier, otherwise he will be the player that someone steals right before your pick. With his style of play and pure grit, there is no doubt you will enjoy watching him produce for you this season.

Landry has a lot going for him in 2016. Not only have the Dolphins added the quarterback guru Gase as a head coach, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill is growing, at least from a fantasy perspective.

Last season, Tannehill passed for a career-high 4,208 yards and increased his yards per attempt from 6.9 yards to 7.1 yards. The quarterback regressed from a 66.4 percent completion percentage to 61.9 percent, but threw just 12 interceptions against 24 touchdowns. It's a make or break year for the fourth-year gunslinger in the real world and fantasy world, alike.

"This group is special in a sense that we have a ton of different guys with different skill sets," Stills said. "From big guys, small guys, fast guys, guys that make big plays. It's a very special group and we are young. I think that's the exciting part about us. We are young and hungry and come to work with the right attitude and know that we have the opportunity to be special we just got to keep on going toward that."

Landry's fellow wide receivers will also benefit from another year with the young quarterback. When the Dolphins released its first depth chart Monday, Stills and DaVante Parker were listed as starters along with Landry.

"Kenny's speed [compliments my skillset]," Landry said. "He's a guy who's generally known for his speed and being able to stretch the field. That's something that he can do well."

Another wrinkle for the Dolphins offense this season: The addition of veteran running back Arian Foster. Foster knows a thing or two about a productive offense. He will take heat off of the wide receivers when plays break down by his ability to catch passes out of the backfield.

The first-year head coach Gase said that he didn't look to compare the Dolphins' wide receivers from last year to this new group before he arrived in Miami.

"It's hard, because I didn't evaluate like that," Gase said. "I really came in here with a clean slate. [I] kind of went off of some of the things I knew about these guys coming out of college."

"Kenny Stills is a good example," Gase said. "I know I've said it before, [but] we tried to trade for him in Chicago, so I had watched enough film of him in New Orleans. Last year, I didn't really pay much attention to it. I wanted to see these guys practice live. Sometimes when you watch tape, you can't get the best feel for things. I like seeing things live, and we've moved off of that."

Gase's offensives have typically prioritized a dual-threat running back that can run and receive. Last year in Chicago, Matt Forte had 44 receptions for 389 yards, while Alshon Jeffrey led Bears wide receivers with 807 yards and four scores on 54 catches.

"In our room we try and be able to do everything," Stills said. "We never want anyone to tell you, 'you can only do one thing,' so all of our guys try to do everything so that's why were are focusing on continuing to grow and becoming a better receiver each and every day."

In 2014 with the Denver Broncos, running backs C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman tallied 55 receptions for three scores under Gase.

The kicker came in 2013, when Gase was the offensive coordinator for the Broncos. That season, Peyton Manning threw for an NFL-record 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards against just 10 interceptions. Former Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno hauled in 60 receptions and four wide receivers scored 10 touchdowns or more. Three of those wide receivers also had 73 or more receptions.

In 2010, Gase did a phenomenal job as the Broncos' wide receivers coach. With quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow under center, Brandon Lloyd made the Pro-Bowl by raking in 77 receptions, for 1,448 yards, and 11 touchdowns.

"I've been one of those guy who leads by example," Landry said. "I've never been too much of a vocal guy, just kind of go out and play as hard as I can possibly play and let guys feed off of me that way and lead that way."

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