Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III is a difficult prospect to evaluate for dynasty fantasy football leagues in 2022. He finished his collegiate career with highs in receptions (95), yards (1,142), and touchdowns (8) but tore his ACL in the 2021 SEC title game. How should dynasty fantasy managers view Metchie after the Texans traded up to draft him the second round?
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John Metchie III’s dynasty fantasy profile
Looking at Metchie’s scouting report, the Alabama WR checks in at 5’11” and 187 pounds. What are the best parts of his game, and what aspects of his profile might he need to overcome to succeed at the NFL level?
For starters, Metchie played for Alabama. As we know, Alabama has a tremendous track record for producing NFL players. Playing in Nick Saban’s pro-style offense, Metchie will be as pro-ready as any wide receiver entering the NFL in 2022.
In his junior season in 2021, Metchie averaged just 11.9 yards per reception. However, that’s actually not a negative compared to his sophomore season, where he averaged 16.7 yards per reception. If anything, it makes me like Metchie more because it illustrates his versatility.
Metchie’s premier skill has to be his route running. His excellent footwork enables him to gain separation quickly. It’s part of how Alabama was able to use Metchie as a deep threat downfield and as an underneath option.
In college, Metchie was one of the best wide receivers against single coverage, and he also excelled after the catch. In the right environment, he has the upside to be a WR1 for an NFL team.
Metchie didn’t really break out until his third collegiate season at 21 years old, posting a low dominator rating. While normally this would be a major red flag, everything must be taken into context.
With that said, Metchie was not Alabama’s leading receiver in 2021. That honor went to Jameson Williams. Nevertheless, Metchie was able to produce despite a clear first-round NFL talent opposite him. As a result, I don’t hold his lack of early production against him.
In Cam Mellor’s March 26 Mock Draft, he projected Metchie to go in Round 2. That’s a significant improvement from his third-round projected draft capital in February. With that said, Metchie’s not fast and isn’t a special athlete. He will need to land somewhere with a quarterback that can fire accurate passes.
Metchie’s injury history
Unfortunately, Metchie tore his ACL in December 2021. While he is expected to be fully recovered by the start of the 2022 season, NFL teams will always downgrade players coming off devastating knee injuries. It doesn’t mean Metchie can’t go on to have an excellent NFL career, nor does it preclude him from producing as a rookie.
By all accounts, Metchie’s recovery is going well. If teams continue to get positive reports on his knee, his draft stock will likely rise as we get closer to the end of April.
Metchie’s dynasty value with the Texans
I must admit I am not the biggest fan of Metchie’s talent. He feels very “fine.” However, the Texans clearly like him a lot as they traded up and gave him mid-second-round draft capital. That’s great news for his future prospects.
Metchie joins a barren wide receiver depth chart with very little behind Brandin Cooks. Nico Collins is currently poised to be their WR2, and the team obviously hopes he takes a step forward after a 446-yard rookie season. Given that he failed to reach the 500-receiving-yard threshold, I’m not bullish on Collins. Metchie has as good of a chance he could’ve asked for to become a WR2.
The Texans are a rebuilding organization. They will spend 2022 deciding if Davis Mills is their quarterback of the future. If not, they’ll draft someone in 2023. Dynasty managers interested in Metchie should not downgrade him at all because of the landing spot, especially not this one. The Texans’ offense could look very different in a year or two.
From a redraft standpoint, it’s difficult to imagine Mills supporting two fantasy-relevant receivers. Cooks remains the only sure thing here.
Metchie is also coming off a torn ACL. While he’s progressing well and could be ready for the start of the season, I expect him to open behind Collins. As the WR3, he’ll get a chance to play and show what he can do, but I would not expect any immediate production. At the moment, he’s not on the redraft radar at all.