Rashod Bateman is a Necessity in Your Fantasy Drafts
Rashod Bateman might be my Joe Mixon for 2022 — that’s how much I like the guy. I mean, what’s not to like? Bateman has the talent and the opportunity which are the two essentials any player needs for fantasy success.
I talked about Bateman last year a lot, and I probably would have been more correct had he not gotten injured in the preseason. This year though, with some NFL experience under his belt, it seems inevitable that he’ll be ready to truly breakout. All the stars have aligned for Bateman. Marquise Brown is gone, and I’d bet the Ravens front office wouldn’t have been comfortable making that trade unless they know Bateman can be their alpha.
When looking at Baltimore’s offense, I know we always think about their ground and pound playstyle preventing their pass-catchers from having any upside. We did see a shift last year though as the Ravens offense actually ranked 13th in passing offense in 2021. Although it was due in some part to the injuries in their running back room, it led to a successful offensive year. Hopefully the Ravens have realized by now they need to pass to be able to win tough games and that’s where Bateman’s opportunity comes in.
If you’re still questioning the talent, I wouldn’t. Bateman has the draft capital since he was selected in the first round and his most comparable player in terms of size, speed, and metrics is Stefon Diggs on Player Profiler. Route running is probably the most important receiver skill in the NFL and Bateman is a master of the art. Even Mark Andrews has been impressed.
The best part is you can get him for incredibly cheap in fantasy drafts. For whatever reason, people just don’t seem to care that an uber-talented wide receiver will now be the first name on the depth chart and is paired with an MVP-level quarterback. Most places have him ranked outside the top 24 at the position and I’m here to tell you that’s a grave mistake. I project Bateman finishing inside that range comfortably.
Considering how fantasy football analysts usually are about high profile sophomore receivers, I’m shocked you can draft Bateman where he’s at right now. His value will probably go up come season but I’m not sure it matters. Rashod Bateman is a lock to be really good for his fantasy owners next year.