Fantasy impact of Breshad Perriman's reported ACL tear
The injury bug strikes again, as it’s being reported that Ravens WR Breshad Perriman suffered a partially torn ACL in his left knee. Perriman missed all of his rookie season with a partial tear in his right PCL. While season-ending surgery has yet to be confirmed, that seems the most likely course of action for this particular injury.
A popular breakout candidate, Perriman figured to be in the mix for a starting job on the outside. His loss all but cements Mike Wallace into that role along with veteran Steve Smith, who is returning from a torn Achilles and is entering his age-37 season.
Much maligned for his 2015 campaign, Wallace has actually been one of the better fantasy producers at wide receiver over the last half-decade. He was a top 10 fantasy receiver in 2010 and 2011, and though his numbers declined in Miami, Wallace was still a top 25 receiver from 2012-2014. But then last year happened. With the Vikings, Wallace’s production took a nosedive and he finished 74th among wide receivers in standard fantasy scoring.
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However, it’s important to put his performance into perspective. Wallace is a deep ball receiver, and that sort of skill set just doesn’t mesh well with Teddy Bridgewater’s game. On the other hand, it’s a strong match for what Joe Flacco can do. With one of the biggest arms in the league, Flacco has the whip to get the ball downfield to Wallace. And at 30 years old, Wallace still has something left in the tank. In the wake of Perriman’s injury, Wallace is now in the borderline WR3 conversation.
The other major beneficiary here is Kamar Aiken. Likely the odd man out before Perriman’s injury, Aiken is now the clear No. 3 receiver. For fantasy purposes, there likely won’t be enough balls to go around in the Ravens’ offense to make Aiken fantasy viable, but we saw last year that he has the ability to play well in an expanded role. Unfortunately, he won’t see a significant target share unless Smith suffers a setback or another injury hits this wide receiver corps.
For Perriman’s sake, it isn’t unprecedented to see players have good professional careers after suffering multiple knee injuries. Panthers LB Thomas Davis is a prime example. He’s been one of the league’s best linebackers over the last several season despite sustaining three torn ACLs earlier in his career. For dynasty purposes, Perriman is a hold. Owners with high risk tolerance might even want to buy low on Perriman. He has explosive upside. That is, if he ever makes it onto the field.