Is Rashod Bateman Ready To Be The Hero?
By Joe Goodwin
I drove into work this morning listening to a discussion on the Baltimore Ravens offense and the target share up for grabs for the Ravens.
The theory was: Hollywood had 146 targets last year….and since Bateman runs a similar route tree to Hollywood, Bateman will just inherit those targets and will be a smashing success at his current adp of WR 37 and OVR 90.
Yes, any supposed WR 1 for a team going in the 8th or 9th round can return a ton of value. However, is Bateman ready for 146 targets? That rise in targets would be up from 68 targets from last year; a 114% percent increase in target share.
I used a few of last year’s 2nd year receivers that saw a substantial increase in role as a case study.
For this exercise, I used: (player, 2020 targets/ 2020 receptions; 2021 targets/2021 receptions)
Justin Jefferson (108/88; 167/125)
Michael Pittman (61/40; 129/88)
Darnell Mooney (98/61; 140/81)
Justin Jefferson had a 54% increase in targets from year 1 to year 2.
Michael Pittman had a 111% increase in targets from year 1 to year 2.
Darnell Mooney had a 43% increase in targets from year 1 to year 2.
Our closest comparison will be Michael Pittman’s target share increase.
Before the increase in role for Pittman, his rookie year campaign saw him grab 40 receptions for 503 yards and 1 touchdown.
After his ascension to WR 1 for the Colts, his stat line was 88 grabs, for 1,082 yards and 6 td’s.
Rashod Bateman’s rookie year saw him grab 46 catches for 515 yards and 1 touchdown.
The parallels between Bateman and Pittman are uncanny.
So, can Bateman take that huge leap to a WR 1?
Let’s compare the two to help make the decision of whether Bateman can take the next step.
Pittman is 6’4 and 223 lbs
Bateman is 6’0 and 190 lbs
In college, Pittman had 171 grabs for 2,519 yards and 19 td’s
In college, Bateman had 147 grabs for 2,395 yards and 19 td’s
Advantage: Same (which is a positive for Bateman)
After Pittman’s 1st year in the NFL, his PFF grade was a 62.8.
After Bateman’s 1st year in the NFL, his PFF grade was a 64.9.
Pittman made the jump with Carson Wentz being the signal caller.
Bateman has Lamar Jackson.
The Indianapolis Colts offensive line was the PFF 12th ranked offensive line.
The Baltimore Ravens offensive line was the PFF 21st ranked offensive line.
*The offensive line looks to be improved with Ronnie Stanely back at LT, rookie Tyler Lindenbaum at C, and Morgan Moses replacing Patrick Mekari at RT.
The setting is in place for Rashod Bateman to make a monumental leap in production in the same way Michael Pittman made last year.
At his current ADP (90th), Bateman is a huge upside pick that can yield massive results for the manager that takes him. As the summer progresses, I project Bateman’s stock to rise, so don’t be afraid to draft him in the late 7th round or early 8th to secure his services. You may draft Bateman as your 3rd or 4th receiver now, but by the end of the season, he could very well be your WR1.
Rashod is no longer the “Robin”....he is the “Bateman!”
Full time teacher, full time fantasy sports enthusiast. I love to explore and find new, and exciting fantasy football options including: dynasty, IDP, and Devy. See me on Twitter @JGoody77
Always willing to give advice, reach out via Twitter