Rashod Bateman is an enigma in the dynasty community. Drafted in the first round just two years ago, he has flashed glimpses of his immense potential over these last two seasons. However, nagging injuries have caused him to miss most of his potential games for the Baltimore Ravens. Already on a run-first team and with new additions Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers to compete with, Bateman has suddenly become the forgotten man in a Ravens offensive system that is undergoing massive changes this offseason. For this article, I want to remind our audience who Bateman is and examine if he is a buy or sell in your Dynasty leagues ahead of a make-or-break third season. Without further ado, let us take a look at Rashod Bateman.
Rashod Bateman came to the Ravens out of the University of Minnesota. He made an immediate impact on the program excelling in his first two years. His sophomore campaign was the stuff of legends for the Golden Gophers program. He and his teammate, Tyler Johnson, were named 1st Team All-Big10. With Johnson heading to the NFL, the future looked bright for Bateman heading into his Junior season.
Fate had other plans as Covid-19 robbed Bateman and countless other athletes of their collegiate careers. Bateman initially announced he would forgo his remaining eligibility due to the canceled 2020 campaign. The season would eventually be back on in an extremely brief format. Bateman struggled through this year after catching the virus himself and struggling to recover in time. You can see his career stats below.
With his poor performance being the last thing NFL teams had to evaluate, Bateman needed to test well in the pre-draft process. He did this in spades at his pro-day. The former Golden Gopher blazed a 4.43 40-yard along with his other impressive numbers. The performance was good enough to have the Baltimore Ravens spend a first-round pick on the talented receiver. You can get a glimpse of the player Baltimore thought they were getting below.
The overwhelming sense among the dynasty community is that Bateman is a down player. Not only has he blown his chance to solidify himself as the Ravens WR1 due to injuries, but he will also now face additional competition on a run-first team. They seem to be overlooking the fact that Baltimore has changed their scheme heading into the 2023 campaign.
In 2023 the Ravens intend to employ a much more pass-friendly approach under their new Offensive Coordinator. Under Greg Roman, in the last three seasons, the Ravens have ranked 30th, 22nd, and 32nd in the percentage of passing plays. Todd Monken has brought with him a new approach. You can see evidence of this in how the Ravens targeted pass catchers this off-season. The team went out and got Bateman and tight end Mark Andrews some serious help with OBJ, Zay Flowers, and Nelson Agholar. The crazy thing is that people in the dynasty community seem to think that instead of helping Bateman, the new additions make him irrelevant. His head coach, John Harbaugh, didn’t feel this way when discussing the former first-rounder ahead of mini-camp.
The Rashod Bateman breakout🍿 pic.twitter.com/t0vAaPcSBf— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) May 10, 2023
While it is true that Bateman has missed a healthy amount of game action, he has flashed big-time potential when he has played. He had back-to-back big games out the gates last season before injuries robbed him of his season. You can see examples of the big plays he can contribute to this team below.
Lamar Jackson with a perfect 55-yard TD to Rashod Bateman.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 11, 2022
Not great for the "he can't throw" crowd.pic.twitter.com/eC060hakpI
Lamar Jackson gets the ball to Rashod Bateman and he does the rest for a 75-yard TD.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 18, 2022
This game has been good.pic.twitter.com/QwKOX8Xh8f
At 6’2″, 210 lbs, Rashod Bateman brings a skill set that no other Ravens receiver has. His size and speed make him uniquely qualified to play on the outside. Odell Beckham is past his prime at this stage of his career. He is coming off his second ACL tear in his left knee. Zay Flowers will be a rookie only just now acclimating to the NFL game. For my money, Bateman is an extremely affordable value buy. I could easily see him flirt with the 91/1,008/6 stat line Hollywood Brown left in his wake when he was traded to Arizona.
The absolute best part about gambling on Rashod Bateman is his price. When looking through the Dynasty GM tool, you will see the third-year wide receiver going for peanuts. I have seen numerous trades where he is valued as little more than a throw-in. You can see a couple of such examples below.
At prices so low, why would anyone not be interested in taking a shot on the former Ravens first-round pick? Bateman took some flack from the media and team brass for speaking out about how the roster has been managed over the last couple of seasons. However, his rhetoric can be seen as sticking up for his team and quarterback. Lamar Jackson has consistently named Bateman when talking about his excitement for the upcoming campaign.
Rashod Bateman is one of my favorite stash players heading into the 2023 campaign. He offers immense upside as Lamar Jackson’s top weapon on the outside. His 6’2″ height and long speed make him an ideal candidate for play-action shots down the field. He could fill an old-school DeSean Jackson role for Baltimore. If new offensive coordinator Todd Monken opens up the passing attack, I could see Bateman finishing as a back-end WR2 who is prone to big weeks when placed up against juicy matchups.
Do yourself a favor and get some shares of this player while he is still on the cheap. It wasn’t that long ago that we considered the third season critical for receivers’ development. Well, don’t look now, folks; Bateman is about to enter that all-important season.
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