If you were shocked by the accomplishments of Terrelle Pryor in Week 1, do not judge yourself too harshly. Raiders’ General Manager Reggie McKenzie and Head Coach Dennis Allen certainly did not demonstrate much confidence in Pryor before he seized the starting QB slot with an impressive performance against Chicago during the preseason. He was originally selected in the third round of the 2011 Supplemental Draft, but only entered the field for a smattering of snaps until cracked ribs sidelined Carson Palmer for Oakland’s 2012 regular season finale.
That thrust Pryor into the starting lineup, and he responded by passing for two TDs and running for another. Still, it did not appear as though Pryor would be a topic of conversation among the fantasy community this season, after McKenzie jettisoned two draft picks to Seattle in exchange for Matt Flynn last March. But despite essentially being handed the starting role, Flynn was an unequivocal disaster behind center, which created a gargantuan opportunity for Pryor to seize the QB1 slot.
He has now firmly cemented himself into that role, after completing 19 passes for 217 yards and a TD in Indianapolis, while accumulating 112 additional yards on the ground. Those achievements become even more impressive, when you consider the deficiencies within his own offense that Pryor is being asked to overcome. He is currently performing behind an offensive line that possesses glaring weaknesses, and has been further depleted by multiple injuries at tackle. Plus, he is devoid of a proven possession receiver, and does not have the benefit of a reliable veteran presence at TE. All of which leaves Pryor with an undeniable dearth of targets, and the potential need to frequently vacate a collapsing pocket.
Still, he is a highly recommended roster addition, as several attributes should merge to keep Pryor fantasy relevant this season. Not only is he an extremely athletic signal caller who can quickly amass yardage on the ground, but he is also displaying steady improvement as a passer. His instinctiveness enables him to generate big plays, and has elevated him into the position of being Oakland’s most dangerous weapon offensively. Somewhat amazingly, he will also enter Week 2 as the NFL’s second leading rusher. And even though he may not always attain 100 yards with his legs, it is a virtual guarantee that he will generate a sizable amount.
Pryor has certainly soared into legitimate consideration as a QB2. Plus, he can also provide a temporary solution as a low end QB1 if your normal starter is facing a sturdy defensive unit. Just make sure that Pryor himself will not encounter a daunting matchup in his own right.