Fearless Forecast: 1081 TOTAL YDS, 84 REC, 6 TD
Projected Rank: 26
MATT HARMON: Rashod Bateman I think is the most obvious breakout player in fantasy this year. And I also think he's one of the biggest offseason winners. I mean, Marquise Brown being traded-- Marquise Brown-- people don't like Marquise Brown as a player. But he's been a huge target share guy in his career for Baltimore. Having Marquise Brown exit Baltimore and putting Rashod Bateman clearly as the top receiver on the depth chart-- I mean, you look at Rashod Bateman, the next guy on the depth chart like Devin DuVernay, James Proche. They don't have a lot going on at that wide receiver position in Baltimore.
And I love Rashod Bateman as a player. I mean, coming into the NFL-- this is a guy the Ravens certainly have never had in the Lamar Jackson era. But they, honestly, haven't had a guy like this in the last 10 years. I mean, he's a true X receiver, can win against press coverage, can separate on in breaking and out breaking routes, can win contested, can win after the catch. I mean, check, check, check.
I think as a player, Rashod Bateman is just exactly what you want to see from a starting receiver. I kind of liken him to a poor man's Justin Jefferson. And you can explain the lack of involvement as a rookie due to an offseason injury that he suffered in training camp. And then once he was kind of fully ramped up, Lamar Jackson wasn't really involved because of an injury as well.
Jackson is back. He's healthy. Bateman is healthy. I know there are questions about Baltimore's overall passing volume. But I think you can project him and Mark Andrews for over 50% of the passing targets. Even if the overall passing volume is low, their target shares should be strong. Two great receivers. I'm very excited about Rashod Bateman this year. I definitely have him green lighted as a pick this year. I've got him for like over 80 catches, over 1,000 yards. Right now, I'm telling you to draft him ahead of ADP as my wide receiver 26.