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Second-Year Breakout Candidates: Rashod Bateman (2022 Fantasy Football)

Jun 22, 2022
Rashod Bateman

While rookies are the hot topic this time of year, there are always plenty of second-year NFL players ready to either break out or continue the hot start to their professional career. Let’s take a look at notable second-year fantasy football players with a chance to break out in 2022. We’ll get started with wide receiver Rashod Bateman.

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Second-Year Breakout Candidates: Rashod Bateman (2022 Fantasy Football)

The Baltimore Ravens traded Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, opening the WR1 role on offense. Bateman has the opportunity to step in and be the true No. 1 wide receiver for Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL) in 2022 and beyond.

With Brown’s 23% target share departure, Bateman can seize a massive role for fantasy as a high-end WR2. 2022 is Shoddy B breakout SZN.
– Andrew Erickson

My favorite second-year wide receiver that I think breaks out this season is Baltimore Ravens wideout, Rashod Bateman. The former first-round pick has the prototypical WR1 body and athleticism to be great in the NFL, along with great route running and footwork to create separation. The numbers last season may not jump out at you (46 receptions, 515 yards, and one touchdown), but remember Bateman didn’t play an NFL snap until Week 6 in 2021 and didn’t receive over 70% of the snaps in the offense until Week 15, which was after Lamar Jackson had already been ruled out for the season. In the last three games, it didn’t get below 84%. Overall in Bateman’s 12 games, he saw 68 targets, including six or more targets in seven different games.

The other piece of this equation is the departure of the old No. 1 wide receiver in this offense, Marquise Brown, along with Sammy Watkins and Devonta Freeman. These three leaving creates 237 vacated targets for the Ravens going into 2022, with Bateman seemingly a good bet to potentially receive 100 or more targets in this offense. A rookie experiencing highs and lows in his first NFL season is expected, but Bateman was able to still put up respectable numbers despite missing significant time with injury and playing a lot of his games with a backup QB in Tyler Huntley.

The question this year will be what to expect from this Ravens offense in terms of whether it goes back to the run-heavy approach with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards healthy, or if they’ll look to put the ball in the air more than in years past. Lamar Jackson had an average depth of target of 10 last season, which was third-best among quarterbacks and the highest of his career. Those explosive throws downfield are going to benefit someone like Bateman, who is very much a vertical threat that can go up and get balls as well as anyone in this league. Assuming the Ravens don’t bring in any more receivers, I think Bateman is ready to take off in 2022.
– David Mendelson

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