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In this article series, we look back at an individual player from 2014, and try to re-watch every play they were involved in. Using this isolation with a fresh perspective, I am re-charting plays, making notes, and trying to get a feel for if we are missing or confirming a potential Fantasy star in the making…or we try to confirm whether our fading memories, hype, and surface numbers from last season are leading to a twisted perception?
Today’s study: WR Kamar Aiken, Baltimore
Boy, am I glad I chose to do a Kamar Aiken ‘Rewind’ right now. I have never even given Aiken a second FF-thought over his brief NFL career. Honestly, I didn’t know why he was on an active roster, much less seeing targets for the Ravens in 2014. When people started talking him up as a Ravens starter for this season, I wondered, “What I was missing?” I thought I had better take a specific look back at all his targets from last season just to be sure.
I am glad I did.
Watching back Aiken’s 2014 re-confirmed what The Computer said all along: Kamar Aiken is a mediocre NFL talent on his best day. Actually, my prevailing note from the sessions of Kamar-watching: This is the dullest ‘Rewind’ study I have done in 2015. The reason that I’m so glad I did this ‘Rewind’ now is because I am healing slowly from surgery this week—and this report didn’t long for me to craft. I need to get back on to my sweet meds. Aiken’s dull tape helps me get there quicker.
Aiken is a lesser-talented Anquan Boldin…at best. He lacks quality NFL speed and agility. He has pretty good hands displayed on most of his catches, but he drops too many easy passes (or did in 2014). He was officially credited with only one drop in 24 catches in 2014—someone keeping these official stats was very generous. Let’s just say there were a few catches he could have made, but didn’t. Aiken is not physically imposing, nor super-tall, nor leaps buildings, nor has burner speed or shifty feet…he’s just likely to make a catch if you throw it to him when he’s open. Big deal.
**Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics IDP Dynasty (three-year) projections now exist on the Fantasy Football Management technology: “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here (link): The Machine via FFM
If I were ranking the most talented Ravens’ WRs for the NFL (not FF) in 2015, I would rank them as follows:
Steve Smith, Breshad Perriman, Michael Campanaro, Marlon Brown, DeAndre Carter, Jeremy Butler, Kamar Aiken. In the #1-6 group, you could see guys move up or down 2-3 slots at any moment–they are all talented. However, Aiken will always be #7.
Unless the Ravens trade someone or fake an injury reserve season on DeAndre Carter, Aiken is going to be hard-pressed to make this team—or at least he should be ‘in question’ to make the squad. If for some reason, Aiken’s ‘reliability’ pushes him as a #3 WR to start the 2015 season (because there is a lot of youth after Steve Smith), it won’t be long before his spot is overtaken by a youngster. Kamar Aiken is the 2015 equivalent of Jarrett Boykin from last year—a WR people heard all the good beat-writer reports on, and figured he’s starting #3 WR for the Packers, so it had to be FF-good, right?. How’d that work out?
I’m not sure any Ravens’ receiver matters all that much for FF-2015, because they all tend to split into each other and/or have up and down Fantasy output week-to-week. Smith had a blazing start in 2014, and then died. Torrey was dead early, like going onto waivers ‘dead’ in a few 12-team PPRs, and then had a sweet ‘run’ of TDs in a short span to save his FF-bacon. If the odds of any Ravens WR really mattering for FF-2015 is sketchy, but if I knew one of them WAS going to break through, I’d bet most of my house on the fact that it WOULDN’T be Aiken.
I watched all Aiken’s 2014 plays, and I walked away thinking he’s basically got one move—a slant to the middle, and Flacco hits him cutting across. If he makes the catch, he’s quickly tackled and that’s that…maybe a dull catch or two a game. Every so often, he might start off on a slant, but then slice it deep and catch defenders napping up the middle…because they don’t care that much about Kamar Aiken either