The Unexpected Rookie Year of Hunter Renfrow
Hunter Renfrow is the ultimate boom-or-bust candidate to me this year in fantasy football. He’s a receiver that not that athletic, nor that tall, or that big. He didn’t wow anyone at Clemson nor the combine, resulting in a 5th round spot in the rookie draft. But for some weird reason, his numbers are jumping off the page at me.
The most eye-popping statistic to me is that he was the second-most targeted receiver on the team, yet only started four games. Now, Renfrow did play in 13 games missing only Week 13, 14, and 15. Every game he played in, he registered at least one catch (only one game), and at least three targets.
Tyrell Williams was the number one after Antonio Brown left but started Week 17 and did not register a target. That game, Renfrow put up six receptions on nine targets for 102 yards and a touchdown. As the season went on, and especially evident in Week 17, Renfrow had gained Gruden and Carr’s respect. Even with Nelson Agholor and drafting Henry Ruggs, I see Renfrow benefiting and not losing production.
Agholor Will Not Threaten Renfrow’s Production
Ruggs will get his deep threat production for sure; I’m not doubting Ruggs being number one in Las Vegas. Williams goes to name two, leaving Nelson Agholor and Hunter Renfrow to battle for number three. Whether it’s for the slot position (doubtful) or the outside and Ruggs goes to the slot, Renfrow will out-work and out-perform Agholor.
Agholor might be an excellent addition to the team, someone to fill in if they go down with an injury. But his catch percentage is subpar to Renfrow’s. Agholor had four games last year with a catch percentage at 49 or lower. Renfrow had only one game with under 30 percent catch percentage. The more athletic Agholor might get some run at the beginning of the season. Still, if the drops continue, Renfrow will get those new looks.
Renfrow already has Carr’s trust with 18 targets in the last two games, generating two games, eclipsing the century mark in yards. With a few new weapons, Carr’s will try them out, but when things get rough, he will lean on Waller and Renfrow. I guarantee that Gruden has more than a few plays drawn up for Renfrow because he’s so easy to discount.
In the last five PPR mock drafts that Take it to the Hizzy simulated, Renfrow went in the 16th (out of 17), 14th (out of 22), 11th (out of 16th), 10th (out of 16), and 14th round (out of 22). In the last five standard mocks, Renfrow went 14th (out of 22), 14th (out of 22), not drafted, not drafted, and 15th round (out of the 16th).
What those mock drafts are telling me is that in PPR, Renfrow is boom-or-bust due to his high target and catch percentage last year. He’s almost expected to be useless in standard because he doesn’t have the breakaway speed to get those yards, nor is he a red zone threat. Renfrow is a guy that will move the chains getting those PPR points, but not a priority to target in scoring situations (standard).
Wait for him to fall where you are looking for fliers to take, but don’t reach. You can get better value in earlier second half rounds, but when you are just looking to fill the roster at the end, Renfrow should be your pick.