Despite the ineptitude of the Baltimore Ravens passing offense, at some point a receiver other than tight end Benjamin Watson would have to emerge. While wideout Jeremy Maclin has made some clutch catches when he has been healthy, it’s clear that quarterback Joe Flacco has a favorite weapon that he loves to target with his once deadly deep ball. Although a healthy Danny Woodhead could entice Flacco to rely much more heavily on the short passing game, his value as a legitimate starting quarterback is predicated on his ability to throw the ball downfield with accuracy. Recently, Flacco appears to have rekindled his on the field rapport with wide receiver Mike Wallace, which is essential to the Ravens being slightly less predictable on offense.
Team: Baltimore Ravens
Position: Wide Receiver
Percent Owned By Fantasy Teams: (Yahoo Fantasy): 36%
Fantasy Points Total Thru Week 11 (Half PPR): Projected: 78.10 Actual: 64.72
While it has certainly been a fairly disappointing season for Wallace in terms of receiving yards (1,017 receiving yards last year, just 323 receiving yards this year), he has recently been a much more utilized scoring threat (two touchdowns in his last two games) and has still been great at going off for big yardage chunks when the ball is in his hands (13.5 yards per reception). On top of that, Wallace has almost always been on the field for the Ravens when a pass play is executed (36 pass plays per game, 18th amongst receivers), which has given him a plethora of opportunities to make crucial catches.
Of equal importance has been Wallace’s overall target shares throughout the majority of the season. Since week 5, Wallace’s target shares have dipped below 11 just once and have peaked as high as 13 this season. While his impressive target shares have not always resulted in elevated fantasy point scores, his consistent presence combined with his target volume have and will allow Wallace to score points quickly, just not as often as some fantasy owners will like.
The only thing holding Wallace back from being a reliable receiving threat is Joe Flacco. Averaging 5.5 yards per pass attempt this season, Flacco has been unusually reserved when relying on the deep ball to make plays, relegating the Ravens offense to being ineffective for the most part. With that being said, Wallace does have intriguing flex appeal due to his talent and high target volume, he just has to be downgraded from being a must-start to match up dependent this season.