Kamar Aiken was a bright spot for the Ravens last season, leading their receivers with 75 catches, 944 yards and five touchdowns. But Fantasy owners didn't reap quite as many rewards -- he had just four games with 10-plus Fantasy points and had 90 or more yards just twice. Where Aiken excelled was catching the ball, bringing in at least five receptions in each of the nine games he served as the No. 1 receiver with Steve Smith out. The Ravens receiving corps looks great on paper but with Smith and Breshad Perriman both coming back from injuries, there's still a chance Aiken can contribute in 2016. He's a much more productive receiver in PPR leagues, worth a very late-round pick in that format.
Aiken is still a favorite to lock down one of the starting wide receiver jobs in Baltimore, according to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. A 2011 UDFA and a career journeyman, Aiken took advantage of Baltimore's many injuries last season, catching five or more passes in each of the final nine games. To be fair, he was a starter even before all the injuries struck, yet still had just 18 receptions (on 38 targets) through the first seven games of the season. The Ravens responded to last year's struggles by adding depth in the receiving corps, with free-agent signings Mike Wallace and Ben Watson joining 2015 first-rounder Breshad Perriman and second-rounder Maxx Williams -- neither of whom had much impact as a rookie. The team also hopes to have Steve Smith (Achilles) available, though it's far from a sure thing he'll be ready by Week 1. While the competition for targets has drastically increased, Aiken proved to be a capable possession receiver and could reprise a similar role -- albeit with fewer targets -- during the upcoming campaign. Offering reliable hands at 6-2, 215 pounds, Aiken provides a nice contrast to the speedier Wallace and Perriman. It should be an interesting training camp for the Baltimore receiving corps.
Aiken signed his second-round RFA tender, the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reports. A former UDFA, the 26-year-old Aiken seemingly came out of nowhere to post a 75-944-5 receiving line (on 127 targets) in 2015 for a Ravens team that was decimated by injuries. He likely did enough to ensure that he'll have some kind of role in 2016, but he'll have to compete for playing time against Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman (knee) and possibly Steve Smith (Achilles). The Ravens could also add further competition in the upcoming draft, though wide receiver doesn't appear to be one of the team's priorities.
Aiken will receive a second-round restricted free agent tender from the Ravens, the Baltimore Sun reports. Aiken caught 50 passes over the final eight games of the 2015 season after injuries to teammates thrust him into a role as the Ravens' go-to receiver. Even after the impressive breakout, no team will part with a second-round pick for the right to sign Aiken, which means he'll be back with the Ravens next season. The Ravens hope that he'll be competing with Steve Smith (Achilles) and Breshad Perriman for targets, but with Smith trying to return from a major injury at the age of 37, Baltimore may look to the draft for help.
Aiken easily set career-high marks in every major receiving category in 2015, catching 75 passes for 944 yards and five touchdowns on 127 targets. It was a tale of two seasons for Aiken, a 26-year-old former UDFA who had just 24 career receptions (all in 2014) prior to 2015. He opened the year as Baltimore's No. 2 wide receiver, but he was largely an afterthought until Steve Smith (Achilles) suffered a season-ending injury in Week 8. Aiken then erupted for 50 receptions over the final eight games of the season, with at least five catches and seven targets in each of those contests. The production was largely due to the Ravens' lack of other options in the passing game, but with Smith (Achilles) and Breshad Perriman (knee) both facing uncertain futures, it's not entirely clear that the team will have an improved receiving corp in 2016. Aiken thus offers considerable potential for next season, though it's also quite possible he'll be bumped back to a complementary role.
Aiken caught five of 13 targets for 76 yards during Sunday's loss to the Bengals. Quarterback Ryan Mallet really struggled with his accuracy, connecting on just 30 of 56 passes, so Aiken's conversion rate isn't overly surprising. The fourth-year wideout finishes the regular season with 75 catches on 127 targets for 944 yards and five touchdowns, all career-highs by a wide margin. With Steve Smith expected to retire this offseason, Aiken is likely to be the top wideout on the depth chart next season unless the Ravens make a big move in free agency.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|6||10/16||@New York Giants||23||23.88|
|7||10/23||@New York Jets||19||22.75|
|14||12/13||@New England Patriots||22||23.78|
|3 Year Avg||80||50||606||4||34||12.12||84|