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Fantasy football season is just around the corner, which means drafts have begun, mock drafts are in full effect, and degenerates everywhere are preparing for the season. Every year, there are a few rookies that have fantasy value, not just in dynasty leagues, but in redraft as well. Last year, we saw Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, and even guys like Cordarrelle Patterson and DeAndre Hopkins contribute in year one. Who will it be this year?
This is part three of a 32-part series, where one offensive rookie from each team will be analyzed, and their fantasy value will be determined. Each player’s ADP, college statistics, depth chart status, and more will be broken down, and a proper value will be placed on each player.
Without further ado, part three of Rookie Profiles. Meet Michael Campanaro, wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens.
Weight: 192 pounds
Usually, it is a stretch for a seventh-round pick to find the field in his first year, let alone be a relevant fantasy option. But, Campanaro could be on the fast track to making it happen.
Campanaro will not be drafted in most redraft leagues this year, unless you happen to be in a really deep league that has three or more flex spots. But keep an eye on the Ravens depth chart during the preseason, because he could become a good slot option for Joe Flacco by the end of the season.
At Wake Forest, Campanaro caught 67 passes for 803 yards and six touchdowns in his final season, but only played eight games. Considering he played most of his snaps out of the slot, that is good production for a small receiver. On a per game average, Campanaro had over eight catches and over 100 yards per game, so he has been able to produce, albeit in the college ranks.
Currently, Campanaro ranks towards the bottom of the depth chart at wide receiver, but that is normal for a seventh round rookie, so expect him to rise through the ranks during training camp and the preseason. While watching the film of Campanaro’s senior season, there were not many players who ran better routes. Campanaro toys with most zone defenses, exploiting holes and finding his way open. That trait directly corresponds to the NFL, and he has an understanding of the zone defense in similar ways to Wes Welker. Considering he will probably end up as WR4 or WR5 on the Ravens depth chart, he will almost exclusively be playing on passing downs, which will give him opportunities to find holes in the opponent’s coverage. Ahead of him in Baltimore is Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Marlon Brown, and Jacoby Jones. Smith is getting older, and Jacoby Jones struggles at times, so expect the former Wake Forest star to find the field in 2014.
What do the numbers say? Obviously Campanaro’s height and weight will cause most to shy away from him at 5-foot-9 and 192 pounds, but his ability to score six touchdowns in eight games will cause a few players to look twice. A friend of XNSports in Davis Mattek outlined Campanaro here, explaining that he could be an outlier when it comes to the size concerns. Campanaro ran a 4.46 40-yard dash, jumped 39 inches in the vertical leap, and put up an impressive 20 reps of 225 on the bench. He also showed very good explosiveness with a 122 inch broad jump.
In dynasty formats, Campanaro is certainly worth a roster spot, as he is the future slot receiver for the Ravens. But do not be afraid to take a late flier on him in deeper leagues this season if he proves to have climbed the depth charts.
Projection: 37 catches 475 yards and one touchdown
Statistics via College Football Reference, NFL.com, RotoViz
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