Every season fantasy owners look for a late round sleeper at every position. This season, at wide receiver, two candidates that fit that role are Baltimore Ravens’ Breshad Perriman and Washington Redskins’ Josh Doctson. Both are former first round draft picks, but so far have had very little production during their pro careers. For either player to have a major impact this season they will have to stay healthy first and foremost.
Perriman is entering his third season in the league but missed all of his rookie season recovering from a knee injury. Last season Perriman had 33 catches on 66 targets for 499 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games played.
Going into his second season, Doctson missed most of his rookie season dealing with a lingering Achilles injury he suffered while at TCU. In two games, Doctson only manged to have two catches on seven targets for 66 yards and no touchdowns.
Before the Ravens signed Jeremy Maclin, Perriman was set to start opposite of Mike Wallace. However, now Maclin and Wallace are expected to start pushing Perriman into the number three spot. The Ravens had the second most pass attempts in the league last season and many of those targets are no longer on the team. Maclin will take a huge number of those targets but Perriman is still in-line for a boost in targets this season.
During free agency the Redskins became the first team in NFL history to lose two receivers coming off 1,000 plus yards in the same offseason. The team had planned for this last year when they drafted Doctson in the first round of the 2016 draft instead of address one of their many needs.
Currently Doctson has a firm hold as the team’s third wide receiver spot on the depth chart. The Redskins use a three-receiver set very often so Doctson will see plenty of snaps. Perriman is also currently listed as the third receiver on the Ravens depth chart. However, the Ravens don’t use three-receiver sets as often as the Redskins.
During the 2016 season Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco had 436 completions on 672 attempts for 4,317 yards while Redskins’ quarterback Kirk Cousins had 406 completions on 606 attempts for 4917 yards. Flacco was second in the league in attempts and Cousins was sixth. Flacco held a slight edge with completions and attempts but Cousins had a solid lead in yards.
During the offseason the Ravens lost Steve Smith and Dennis Pitta to retirement. In total there are 352 targets from last year’s team that are no longer on the roster. Meanwhile, the Redskins lost Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in free agency. In total there are 224 targets from last year’s team that are no longer on the roster.
Based off last year’s numbers the Ravens have 128 more available targets but the team also added two new weapons while the Redskins only added one. In 2016 the Ravens targeted a running back 156 times while the Redskins targeted a running back only 89 times. Expect that gap to increase with the addition of Danny Woodhead and the emergence of Kenneth Dixon for the Ravens.
In 2016 Perriman had 66 targets and Doctson had only seven. Clearly both have plenty of opportunity to increase those numbers. However, both are limited due to new additions each team made in the offseason. The Ravens added Maclin and Woodhead, one of the best catching running backs in the league, while the Redskins added Terrelle Pryor.
My favorite current dynasty value buys: Doug Martin, Jimmy Graham, Michael Crabtree, Chris Conley, Josh Doctson, Treadwell and Meredith
— Nick Whalen (@_NickWhalen) June 27, 2017
Don’t expect either receiver to turn into a stud player for you this season. Both are currently the fourth receiving option for their respective teams and face a tough road to move up in the passing order. Perriman sits behind Wallace, Maclin and Woodhead while Doctson is behind Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder and Pryor. However, Perriman faces a harder time moving up in the pecking order as Wallace and Maclin are more proven receivers then Crowder and Pryor.
Defensively the Ravens and Redskins are on two different planets. In 2016 the Ravens finished ahead of the Redskins in almost every major defensive statistic. That matters because the Ravens’ offense doesn’t face the same pressure as the Redskins’ offense to score points to keep them in the game. When an offense faces more pressure to score points that leads to more passing attempts.
In conclusion both Perriman and Doctson face a few hurdles in order to make a fantasy impact this season. Between injury history and more proven weapons ahead of them neither receiver should be excepted to turn into a WR1 this season. However, both are solid late round picks with upside. Between the two it is a close call but I believe Doctson has a better shot of turning into a solid FLEX option this season.