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Targeted Opportunities – Week 11

A piece of burgeoning awesomeness, production in limited appearances, and momentum ramping up, in this week’s edition of Targeted Opportunities.

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Fantasy Football - Rashod Bateman

All roster figures as per NFL.com fantasy leagues.

Rashod Bateman, WR Ravens (10.7% rostered) – Bateman, the Ravens’ 2021 first round pick, was sidelined for the first five games of the season leading some to wonder how fantasy relevant he’d be this year. Well, some early results are in and the kid looks promising. In his first four professional games, Bateman has been targeted 28 times (fairly evenly across the games), yielding 18 receptions (64% reception rate) for 241 yards (13.4 ypr); that’s been good for 10.5 PPR ppg. The rook has been getting his looks, and I expect that volume to increase a bit as the Ravens’ offense continues to shy away slightly from its past run-heavy tendencies. Joined by WR Marquise Brown and TE Mark Andrews, and coupled with the continued evolution of QB Lamar Jackson as a passer, the Ravens aerial attack can no longer be ignored. Sitting at a nearly 11% rostered level, Bateman makes for a nice pickup for the stretch run, even if the TDs continue to elude him.

Sterling Shepard, WR Giants (52.3% rostered) – Shepard has been hurt a lot this season, missing four of nine games for the Giants; however, when he’s been on the field, he’s been given the opportunity to make some plays. Averaging nearly nine targets a game, Shepard’s 23/324/1 line has been good for a solid 14 PPR ppg. Being available in nearly half of the leagues on NFL.com means that there are several owners that can add a solid WR3/Flex option to their lineups this week; further, there’s the potential for a slight uptick in production if Shepard can stay on the field as some of his teammates return from their own injures (Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay) to open up the offense a bit.

Dan Arnold, TE Jaguars (10.5% rostered) – Dan Arnold began the 2021 campaign being one half of some hack writer’s bold prediction of the season “Darnold to Dan Arnold will be a thing!”, a prediction that fell apart after the Panthers let Arnold go and QB Sam Darnold reverted to his mean (a nice way of saying he stunk up the joint). But as the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Arnold caught on with the talent-starved Jaguars and made his debut in Week 4 vs. the Bengals. Since then, QB Trevor Lawrence has been finding the TE at an ever-increasing rate, to the point that over his last three games, Arnold has been targeted 24 times for 17 catches (71% catch rate) for 195 yards, or 12.3 PPR ppg. That’s a decent output for the TE position, and there’s still room for the Lawrence-Arnold connection to grow. At a 90% availability rate, Arnold is a risk worth taking if you need a serviceable TE2 on your roster.

Nerd John is a 25+year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions.

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