The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty owners we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In the Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profile and where they fit.
Name: Tylan Wallace
Position: Wide receiver
Pro Team: Baltimore Ravens
College Team: Oklahoma State Cowboys
Draft Status: Fourth round, 131st overall
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 194 pounds
- Age: 22 years old
- 40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds
- Bench Press: 11 reps
- Vertical: 33.0”
- Broad Jump: 112.0”
- Shuttle: 4.25s
- Three-cone: 6.97s
Wallace was never expected to put up elite athletic testing numbers. Most of his results are average or worse, but the first ten yards of his 40-yard dash (ten-yard split) place in the 71st percentile of historical wide receiver prospects. It suggests he gets to top speed quickly but then plateaus. In college, that and a 4.48-second 40-yard dash were enough to produce a record-setting number of big plays.
Based on his overall athletic testing, his set of player comparisons per Mock Draftable is mostly uninspiring, consisting of Ray-Ray McCloud, Cade Johnson and Dax Milne, but with a surprise appearance by Stefon Diggs farther down the list.
- Overall body of work
- Outstanding college production
- Elite-level profile metrics
- Ordinary size and athleticism
- Poor draft capital
- Landing spot
Wallace was a first-round devy asset in 2019 following his sophomore breakout 86-catch, 1,491-yard, and 12-touchdown season at age 19. He is not just a one-year wonder. He was a top 125 overall recruit as a Texas prep. His college dominator, target share and breakout age metrics are all within the top 15 percent of historical NFL wide receiver prospects. But his value never recovered after tearing his ACL in October 2019.
Despite his outstanding production, he always seemed a peculiar case. He is not particularly fast or elusive but was a master at ripping off big plays by creating yards after the catch. He routinely won deep 50-50 balls but is not big or strong. It led one to wonder if the good times might end against NFL defensive backs. Add to that a landing spot on the league’s lowest volume passing offense, Wallace’s weaknesses may catch up to him.
He joins an 11-win playoff team with a top ten offense. Unfortunately, we all know the Ravens do their damage on the ground. The near-term best case opportunity appears to be as the team’s WR2 behind fellow rookie and first-round pick Rashod Bateman.
Marquise Brown led the 2020 Ravens with 100 targets – only enough to make him fantasy’s WR36. Mark Andrews was second with 88 targets but missed two games. It is not hard to envision Andrews leading the team in targets, with Brown and Bateman fighting for WR1 volume.
But the biggest threat to Wallace is the Ravens offense itself. It ranked dead last in the league in passing attempts, yards and first downs but led the league in those same rushing categories. It is, for now, a one-dimensional offense with limited opportunities for the team’s receivers. At best, he appears the third, but likely fourth, option for a team that threw the ball just 25.4 times per game in 2020.
Longer-term he could rise in the pecking order, but would need to surpass a surprisingly young and talented bunch in 25-year-old Andrews and first-rounders Bateman (age 21) and Brown (age 24).
Wallace could in short order become Baltimore’s WR2. But that is only good for fantasy WR3 to WR4 status in this offense. Bateman has the profile of a WR1, so in the short-term, watch the extent Wallace can relegate Brown to a big-play, lower-volume WR3.
Longer-term, perhaps the team opens up its offensive philosophy as Lamar Jackson continues to develop as a passer and his legs gain mileage. Perhaps the team parts with Andrews as his rookie contract expires after the 2021 season, therefore making the WR2 spot more valuable. But that is a lot of “ifs” to count on.
Even if those things happen, the team is unlikely to abandon Jackson’s special skillset and become a top passing volume offense. The long-term best case scenario appears to be as a fantasy WR3 with limited upside.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON
I like the Mario Manningham comparison I have seen a few times. Both players are average athletes with similar draft capital and excellent college production metrics. One can see a similar NFL career to Manningham’s for Wallace.
PROJECTED ROOKIE DRAFT RANGE
Our superflex rookie ADP puts Wallace in the third round of rookie drafts as WR15. He sits between quarterbacks Davis Mills and Kellen Mond among receivers including D’Wayne Eskridge and Tutu Atwell. His 1QB Rookie ADP of 29 also suggests a third-round value. In this format he projects to be selected around players such as Chuba Hubbard, Josh Palmer and Rhamondre Stevenson.
Given Wallace’s limited upside, it is hard to rationalize taking him over players with similar draft capital who are also longshots but would be far more productive if they happen to hit.