How Will Mike Wallace Do in 2017? Here is a fantasy football perspective:
It is that time of the year. The NFL Draft has been and gone, no real news is circulating around the NFL and there is not much to do expect recklessly speculate. On area of football that is perfect for said reckless speculation is Fantasy Football.
A huge part of any fantasy football team is the wide receivers. In NFL.com standard leagues a team will need at least two starting wide receivers in any given week. That makes every teams’ number one receiver a potential target for fantasy football managers.
For the Ravens, the number one receiver is Mike Wallace. So how does he project in terms of fantasy for the 2017 NFL Season?
All fantasy scores are using NFL.com standard scoring.
In 2016 he had a somewhat of a fantasy bounce back. He scored 131 fantasy points on the back of his 72 receptions for 1017 yards and 4 touchdowns. Overall that was good enough to be the 25th best fantasy football wide receiver. Despite a big increase in value from 2015 (he scored just 60 points), he was not exactly a must-play player. In fact, in my leagues he was often seen on the free agent market.
Going forward I think Wallace’s value increases. Last year Wallace was competing with Steve Smith Sr. as the number one receiver and that hurt his value. He also had to deal with some pretty poor play calling, especially for his skill set. I think that will change in 2017.
In 2017 I can see Wallace’s end zone production rise, if nothing else. Going by how the draft played out I think Wallace is going to be used in a much more explosive way for the Ravens. Instead of running a lot of short-to-immediate routes or underneath routes, I think he is going to be used to stretch the field a lot more.
What does this mean for his fantasy value? It increases it.
As I mentioned earlier, he is now the number one wide receiver on the Ravens roster. That, coupled with his slightly changed role, will mean he has the potential to hit a much higher ceiling than the 25th best receiver.
Though he is the number one wide receiver, I don’t think he will be the number one receiving option in terms of targets. That role will fall on the tight ends and Danny Woodhead. That leaves Wallace to do what he does best, which is burn a defense with his speed. He demonstrated that against the Steelers last season with his 95 touchdown catch and run. When left to do that more I think he’ll be able to thrive.
His targets may drop, as may his catches, but I think his production with this targets will increase.
In terms of catches, I think he will catch around 65 balls. With those catches I think he will go for about 1000 yards and 8 touchdowns. That would be good enough for 148 fantasy points. A 17 point increase from 2016. If he did score 148 fantasy points that would be good enough for 9.25 per game, that makes him a flex option at worst.
That is nothing spectacular but it would make him a top 20 receiver in fantasy football, which makes him draftable.