Mike Wallace has a chance to do something he hasn't done since 2011: rack up over 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. With Steve Smith retiring and Kamar Aiken leaving Baltimore, Wallace has a clear path to playing time and targets. He proved last season he's capable of being the go-to guy for the Ravens with a 62.1 percent catch rate, 10 catches for 20-plus yards and five for 40-plus yards. The only guys in his way are third-year receiver Breshad Perriman, who the Ravens will push to be the primary target in the offense, and veteran Jeremy Maclin, who might end up as that primary target if Perriman falters. Either way, Wallace should see a lot of playing time and come up with 60 or so catches. He won't be a popular name to draft, but in a game where stats are all that matter, Wallace will provide some good depth. Round 10 is the time to consider taking him.
Wallace is expected to make his preseason debut Thursday against the Dolphins, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reports. After getting a veteran's week off for Baltimore's preseason opener, Wallace will get in on the action against his former team Thursday. However, with it being only the second week of the preseason, it's unlikely that Wallace and the rest of the Ravens' first-team offense sees significant snaps. Look for Wallace to play a handful of series against the Dolphins with Ryan Mallett as his quarterback, making him a risky option in preseason daily fantasy formats.
Wallace isn't expected to play in Thursday's preseason contest against the Redskins, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports. The Ravens aren't allowing any of their top three wideouts to take the field -- Wallace, Breshad Perriman (hamstring) and Jeremy Maclin -- providing Michael Campanaro, Chris Moore and Chris Matthews with an opportunity to impress the coaching staff. Now 31 years old, Wallace is a good bet to see action in just 1-2 outings before the regular season.
Jeremy Maclin could overtake Wallace as the Ravens' No. 1 wide receiver, ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley reports. For most of the offseason it appeared the Ravens were counting on Wallace and Breshad Perriman to soak up a huge portion of the WR targets in an offense that threw the ball 679 and 676 times the past two years. Considering the two combined for only 183 targets and 105 catches last season, the plan was highly suspect until the team signed Maclin in June. Maclin is expected to work the slot in three-wide formations, but he also figures to play in most two-wide sets, be it at the expense of Perriman or Wallace. There should still be enough snaps and targets to keep at least two of the three fantasy-relevant, as the franchise may opt not to roster a fullback for the first time in its 22-year history, and the tight ends now look much shakier than the wideouts. Even if the offense is more balanced than it was the past two seasons, the plan seemingly entails plenty of targets going to Wallace, Maclin, Perriman and RB Danny Woodhead (knee).
The Ravens have picked up Wallace's contract option for 2017. After seeing former Raven and 49er Torrey Smith choose Philadelphia over Baltimore in free agency, retaining Wallace was a no-brainer, especially with the team having bid adieu to veteran pass catcher Steve Smith. Per the Baltimore Sun, Wallace's 2017 option is for $5.75 million. The 30-year-old is coming off his first season with the team, in which he caught 72 passes (on 117 targets) for 1,017 receiving yards and four TDs in 16 contests.
Head coach John Harbaugh expects Wallace to remain with the Ravens in 2017, Ryan Mink of the team's official site reports. "But my anticipation is that Mike Wallace will be a part of our team, and I know he's working to be a part of our team, and I'm planning on having him back next year," Harbaugh said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Last offseason, Wallace landed in Baltimore on a two-year contract, which included a lofty $8 million team option for the 2017 campaign. Considering he topped all Ravens receivers with 1,017 yards, including 415 yards after catch, last season, the organization clearly deems the 30-year-old worthy of a roster spot. There's no indication whether the front office is seeking a restructured deal with a more team-friendly salary cap hit. However, after Steve Smith's retirement, quarterback Joe Flacco likely prefers to have a modicum of continuity within the passing attack, which may include Wallace in addition to wideout Breshad Perriman and tight ends Dennis Pitta and Benjamin Watson (Achilles), among other holdovers, in the fall.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|11||11/19||@Green Bay Packers||33||29.11|
|3 Year Avg||101||59||784||5||39||13.29||109|