A contested-catch specialist, Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace is still somehow flying under the radar compared to what he likely deserves. In a loaded rookie WR class, where should fantasy football managers value Wallace in dynasty leagues?
Tylan Wallace’s dynasty value for 2021
One of the best receivers in the Big 12 over the last three years, Wallace is a fascinating prospect. He is also someone that feels like we have been talking about for a while despite his age. Wallace was a candidate to enter the 2020 NFL Draft, but an ACL tear ended his 2019 season, leading to his decision to return to college.
While in Stillwater, Wallace earned a spot among the best and most feared receivers in college football. With track speed and an uncanny ability to track the ball, he was a big-play receiver who could threaten a defense on any given target. Although not the biggest in stature, Wallace played with a physicality that could surprise corners.
The 2021 rookie class is loaded at wide receiver. While Wallace might never reach “elite” dynasty value, he is still one of the more talented receivers in this class even though he received Day 3 draft capital.
Tylan Wallace selected by the Baltimore Ravens
Ugh. Honestly, I want to just leave any analysis there and move one. This is not great for fantasy. Not only do the Baltimore Ravens add Wallace, but they spent one of their first-round picks on Rashod Bateman out of Minnesota at pick No. 27. One wide receiver would have been fine, but there is not enough volume to support both rookie receivers plus Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews. Baltimore attempted the fewest passes (406) last season and have led the NFL in rushing attempts for the previous four seasons. The main question is if Wallace could still be a Week 1 starter? Outside of Brown and presumably Bateman, the rest of the depth chart is up in the air. I believe we will likely see Wallace splitting time with Sammy Watkins on the perimeter for the Ravens.
Volume is going to be a significant issue moving forward so long as this offense remains the same. Given their success, it is not changing anytime soon. I always say draft the talent, not the landing spot, but this is hard to ignore. Wallace takes a hit in his value moving forward and has exited the draft as my rookie WR13.
Wallace burst on the fantasy radar early in his collegiate career
After a virtually non-existent freshman year, Wallace made up for it the following year, showing why he was highly recruited. Wallace burst onto the scene as a sophomore in 2018, logging 86 receptions for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had seven games of 100+ receiving yards during that season, including two games with 200 or more receiving yards. As a result, Wallace was a Biletnikoff Award finalist, first-team All-Big 12, and second-team All-American.
Wallace came into his junior season with the eyes of many NFL teams and scouts on him. Unfortunately, he saw his season come to an end in October. In nine games, Wallace recorded 53 receptions for 903 yards and 8 touchdowns — not bad for a partial season.
At the time of his injury, he was second in the Big 12 in touchdowns and led the conference in yards. Additionally, his 17.0 yards per reception had led the nation (minimum 45 receptions).
Wallace returned for his senior season, but the deck was stacked against him. First, there was this thing called a pandemic. Furthermore, Wallace was less than a year removed from his ACL tear, and the OSU QB play was, well, lacking at best. Despite all of this, Wallace recorded 59 receptions for 922 yards and 6 touchdowns in 10 games. He went on to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors.
Where should you draft Wallace in dynasty rookie drafts?
Wallace’s dynasty value is fascinating to me. If you watch the film, you see a guy who excelled in jump balls. Then on paper, you see a wide receiver listed at 5’11” with a vertical jump of just 34-inches. He routinely could stack a CB and burn them, but then he ran a 4.58 40-yard dash. But will he be about to display this with any consistency with the Ravens?
He is one of the reasons why I say you cannot just be a spreadsheet scout. Watch the film and see what your eyes tell you. Should data and even pro day numbers come into play? Yes, unequivocally, yes. But use them as an extra tool in the belt and in conjunction with the film. Sorry, I’m off my soapbox.
One of the key things that jump out is that Wallace exclusively played on the right side of the field. This raises questions on if he can play in the slot or on the left. I absolutely think he can, but there will be some growing pains. The routes are flipped, and once inside, it’s a different tree entirely. Wallace is not someone you would call a nuanced route runner, but he is athletic enough to get the job done.
In dynasty rookie drafts, more polished receivers with better landing spots should go ahead of Wallace. Wallace is a late-second to early-third-round pick in 1QB drafts. Once you flip the switch to Superflex, it moves to a mid-third-round pick as the five QBs would vault him in rankings.
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