Terrelle Pryor's Dual-Threat Skill Set Will Make Him Valuable Fantasy Asset

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2013

Before the 2013 NFL preseason commenced, Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor wasn't even guaranteed to make the roster of one of the league's worst teams.

After one week of play, though, it is blatantly obvious that Pryor is a unique player that will help the Raiders as well as your fantasy football team this season.

Pryor's natural talent has never been a question mark, but it was uncertain if the Ohio State star could translate his explosive ability to the NFL level. Based on what he did against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, however, it's difficult to deny the fact that the light finally went on.

Although Pryor's decision making still needs to improve as evidenced by the two interceptions he threw against Indy, he was very efficient otherwise.

Pryor completed over 65 percent of his passes for 217 yards and a touchdown, and he also rushed for 112 yards, which led the league prior to the Monday night games, according to SportsCenter.

It can be said that this is the era of the mobile quarterback with guys like Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and even Michael Vick taking the league by storm. If that continues to ring true, then Pryor has certainly arrived at the perfect time.

The great thing about Pryor is that he is never satisfied. For it being just his second career NFL start, Sunday's outing was a solid one. Despite that, Pryor believes that he was "awful," according to Pro Football Talk.

Pryor definitely has some work to do as a passer, but he is already one of the best running quarterbacks in the league, and that makes him a factor in fantasy football.

Based on standard scoring, a QB that runs for 100 yards in a game is the equivalent of a quarterback that throws for 250. Some leagues even award bonus points for 100-yard rushing games, so it's no secret that there is a ton of fantasy value in running quarterbacks.

While it wouldn't be advisable to regularly start Pryor in 10 or 12-team standard leagues, he'll definitely have some use moving forward. Pryor should be a solid bye week replacement, and he may even prove capable of being starter worthy in deeper leagues that employ a two-quarterback system.

One of the big hurdles that was standing in Pryor's way in terms of fantasy relevancy was Matt Flynn, who Pryor beat out to win the job. While Flynn will continue lurking, the Raiders have made it clear that Pryor is their starting quarterback, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Since Pryor won't have to look over his shoulder, he can now focus on the task at hand.

Even if Pryor continues to play well, it's hard to imagine the Raiders having much success this season. There simply isn't much proven talent on either side of the ball, so a last-place finish in the AFC West is likely, but Pryor can at least make them a tough team to play against.

With that said, the Raiders are going to be playing from behind quite often. That means Pryor will have plenty of opportunities to sling the ball around. Although that will inevitably lead to some mistakes from the 24-year-old signal caller, it will also lead to a high volume of yardage.

Since Pryor is a young, inexperienced player, he is going to rely on his legs more often than not as well. Pryor's running ability got him out of trouble constantly at Ohio State, and it will do the same thing for him with the Raiders as he is unlikely to have great pass protection this season.

While Pryor is more skilled and talented, his fantasy season could be reminiscent of what Tim Tebow did a couple years ago. Tebow's showings weren't always pretty while with the Denver Broncos, but his elite running ability was enough to make him a startable fantasy player down the stretch.

Pryor is likely to be even better since he is at least a competent passer.

In terms of his skill set, Pryor compares favorably to Newton. It would be unfair to expect Newton-esque production considering the lack of weapons surrounding Pryor, but he could at least be a poor man's Newton as far as fantasy football is concerned.

There were a lot of skeptics out there when Pryor was named Oakland's starting quarterback, but if he is still available in your fantasy league and there is room on your roster, then you shouldn't hesitate to strike while the iron is hot.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter