The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty owners, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In the Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profiles and where they fit.
Name: Alec Pierce
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Indianapolis Colts
College Team: The University of Cincinnati
Draft Status: Round two, 53rd Overall
- High-end athlete with good size
- Can go up for 50/50 balls and win
- Explosive off the line and beats press easily
- Can score from anywhere
- Great run blocker
- Drops the ball often
- Rarely breaks tackles after the catch
- Not a polished route runner
The Colts provide a great opportunity for Pierce to step into an outside receiver spot and contribute immediately. Michael Pittman had a solid rookie campaign and should take the WR1 role in the offense, but there are tons of question marks past that. Pierce’s experience in a similar offense at Cincinnati should give him a leg up as an immediate contributor.
With Zach Pascal gone, there aren’t many threats to Pierce. Obviously Pittman will get the majority of targets, but Pierce could be next in line. Parris Campbell hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy to command targets, but he will play the slot anyway.
As with most rookie WRs, expectations aren’t super high for the short-term, but Pierce does have the athleticism and ability to give a big game here and there. Due to his size and speed, expect some deep shots from new quarterback Matt Ryan to stretch the field and give Pierce a long TD or two.
There are likely to be some very quiet games when Pierce’s lack of concentration and focus catch up with him. With that being said, it is possible Pierce is the breakout rookie WR of this season with good overall production sliding in as a fantasy WR2, especially late in the year.
Pittman and Pierce give the Colts a young force of big WRs who will be good targets for whoever the QB of the future is. If Pierce can get on the field early, the sky is the limit as he develops over time.
There is WR1 upside for Pierce in the NFL, even if he isn’t the most consistent WR over the course of his career. It is even within the realm of possibility that he passes Pittman in time. Expect a few top-24 WR finishes in his career and maybe a top-12 finish at some point, even in a run-first offense like the Colts.
NFL Player Comparison
As a prospect comparison, I used former Falcons and Rams WR Laurent Robinson who had some early flashes in his career but fizzled out.
In terms of a current NFL player, Pierce could be DJ Chark. Remember that 2019 breakout Chark had in year two? He was a downfield threat who also started to flash on intermediate and shorter routes. Unfortunately, the situation and injuries held Chark down, but Pierce could hit similar heights by year two as a 70+ catch, 1,000+ yard and 7+ touchdown WR.
Projected Rookie Draft Range
In 1QB leagues, Pierce is going off the board at the 2.06 or 18th overall. This feels a bit low, especially as he is going behind other WRs like David Bell and John Metchie. Pierce should be a legit contender for the 2.01 as an athletic upside WR. Snatch him up in early round two of rookie drafts and reap the benefits.