The Baltimore Ravens came into the off-season looking to boost options in the passing game and added the first big piece this week when veteran Sammy Watkins signed a one-year, $5 million deal. The move gives the Ravens another weapon for Lamar Jackson.
Watkins was once a top pick, going No. 4 overall to the Buffalo Bills in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s played with three teams, including the Bills, Rams and, most recently, the Kansas City Chiefs. In seven seasons he’s caught 321 passes for 4,665 yards and 33 TDs, giving veteran experience and a weapon to the Ravens’ passing game.
The biggest question for fantasy, and the Ravens, is if Watkins can stay on the field and produce. In three seasons in Kansas City—a high volume pass offense—Watkins produced 129 receptions for 1,613 yards and eight TDs. He was limited to just 34 games, including only playing 10 games in 2020.
The Ravens’ top receiver in 2020 was Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, who saw 100 targets and snagged 58 for 769 yards and eight TDs. That was good enough to be WR36. Signing Watkins doesn’t scare me away from Brown, but it would still make sense for the Ravens to grab a receiver in the draft. That could potentially hurt Brown’s value.
For now, Brown remains the best bet at wide receiver, likely a borderline WR3, more likely a WR4 with boom games, as he was in 2020.
Breida joins running back group in Buffalo
Veteran running back Matt Breida agreed to terms with the Buffalo Bills on a one-year deal. The addition of Breida to young running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss further complicates the position for fantasy players. It’s also possible the Bills aren’t done and could add competition to the unit in the draft.
Breida showed flashes while with the San Francisco 49ers, but struggled to stay on the field. He rushed for 1,902 yards and six TDs in three seasons with the 49ers, including 814 yards and three TDs in 2018. Prior to the 2020 season Breida was dealt to Miami and figured to get a chance to be a lead back, but it never materialized. He appeared in 12 games, starting one, and rushed for 254 yards on 59 carries, adding nine receptions for 96 yards. Now he gets another chance to show is skills with Buffalo.
He joins two young running backs with Singletary starting year three and Moss returning for his second year. Singletary was the lead back for the Bills in 2020 with 687 yards and two TDs in 16 games, while Moss rushed for 481 and four TDs in 13 games. Quarterback Josh Allen added 421 yards and eight TDs. For the Bills, who made the AFC Championship Game, getting better in the running game figured to be a priority.
For fantasy, Allen is always going to take goal line carries away from the running backs. He’s added 25 rushing TDs in three seasons. For fantasy, the split among Moss, Singletary and Breida will help determine value. As the lead back, Singletary was RB31 in 2020, with Moss finishing as RB46. Breida has also shown RB3 ability with a lead share, finishing as RB26 for the 49ers in 2018. As far as the Bills go, for the time being I’m still betting on Moss, especially in dynasty. He’s an RB3 with Singletary as an RB4. Breida is more of a lottery ticket at this point. With a healthy share of the work, he could return great value but after a down year with the Dolphins and a short-term contract, I’m not betting on it.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.