As if the Ravens weren’t bit enough by the injury bug last season on their way to a 5-11 record, it’s already hit them in the early part of OTAs. 2015 1st round pick Breshad Perriman suffered a partially torn ACL in his left knee which will force him to undergo season-ending surgery for the 2nd time in both of his NFL seasons. The Ravens were looking forward to his combination of size and speed to add an extra element to the offense this season. Perriman has yet to see the field since being drafted.
Update on newest knee injury for Ravens WR Breshad Perriman: He suffered a partially torn ACL in his left knee… https://t.co/XeLADK9ryr
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 11, 2016
After Steve Smith who also suffered a season-ending injury last season, Perriman was expected to emerge as the #2 target for Joe Flacco in the passing game. With Perriman now out, there are a few receivers who look to emerge in larger roles this season. This includes last year’s leading receiver Kamar Aiken, veteran free agent acquisition Mike Wallace, and rookie Chris Moore.
Already expected to be a viable fantasy option this season, Kamar Aiken sees his fantasy value increase with Perriman now out as he solidifies his role as the #2 WR behind Steve Smith. While he won’t repeat his production of nearly 1,000 yards with 5 TDs, Aiken will still produce a stat-line along the lines of 700 receiving yards with a handful of TDs. Should be drafted in standard leagues and will make a starting case each week during the season.
The most intriguing name after this injury is Mike Wallace. One of my free agent fantasy sleepers after signing with Baltimore, Wallace presents notable upside in this offensive system. Known for his deep threat ability during his days with Pittsburgh, Wallace now has a QB who can launch the ball downfield in Joe Flacco. His skillset suffered during his one year in Minnesota. I’m not denying that the soon-to-be 30 year old hasn’t lost a step, but I feel he can still be at least somewhat productive. I mean, last year he still caught for nearly 500 yards with a pair of TDs. He’s not going to give you anymore 1,000+ yard seasons, but Wallace presents good upside in Baltimore this season and very well could be worth a late round flyer.
Now we shift our focus to 4th round pick Chris Moore. The former Cincinnati Bearcat has seen his fantasy stock skyrocket since the Perriman injury. Moore is similar receiver to Perriman as he can stretch the field, although his speed isn’t close to that of Perriman’s. Moore’s skillset limits him as a vertical threat due to his lack of route running development, but he could prove to be Joe Flacco’s secret weapon in the vertical game. I wouldn’t draft him in standard leagues, but he’s a name to watch for on the waiver wire.
The player I feel benefitted the most from the Perriman injury is Mike Wallace. With Perriman in the lineup, he may have been an afterthought in the passing game and could’ve gotten buried on the depth chart. Now, he looks like one of Flacco’s top weapons – especially if his vertical game is anything similar to his days in Pittsburgh.