Ja’Marr Chase was on pace for a monstrous season with 17-game averages of 1,482 yards, 189 targets, and 123 receptions. Unfortunately for the NFL, Bengals, and fantasy owners, Chase injured his hip and wound up missing five games. This was a huge setback that made many people wonder if he was truly the dynasty WR1 over Justin Jefferson. Jefferson is currently the WR1, but Chase is ready to fight for the crown this year as he’s healthy and will set out for a career-best season. Your dynasty shares of Chase are going to make you quite healthy come Week 18.
2022 Season Recap
As mentioned above, Chase missed five games due to injury. That limited him to just 12 games in which he was the clear WR1 of the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s as clear as the sky is blue that Chase is Joe Burrow’s favorite target to throw to. Otherwise, Chase wouldn’t have been on pace for an absurd season. Regardless, the advanced metrics are in love with Chase. He still saw a 29.3% target share, played nearly every snap (93.1%), had 26 red zone targets (massive for fantasy implication), and was #1 in expected fantasy points per game (19.9). Chase had a strong 0.51 points per route run and was just a machine versus man coverage.
Last year’s stats were still amazing for Chase despite the fact it was only 12 games. In only 12 games, he had 87 catches on 134 targets for 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns. Plus, he had five rushing attempts. That’s better than like 90% of the rest of the NFL wide receivers, if not 95%. The fact that he was that productive speaks to his dominant ability and Burrow’s lethal quarterback skills. Jefferson might have some competition for the title of best wide receiver in dynasty fantasy football to own.
2023 Season Projection
As you probably expected, the 2023 season should be a massive one for star wideout Chase. The Bengals are a prolific passing offense, and so long as Burrow is healthy, they will continue to rely on the passing game. That’s music to Chase and his dynasty owners, as that means they can safely expect a top-two wide receiver season. I have him fully healthy for the 2023 season. He was at a pace of 11.16 targets per game last year. I am dropping him slightly down to 10.29 targets a game. This is due to Tee Higgins being healthy and just the overall variance from season to season.
However, I still project him to have 6.71 catches per game and rack up yardage by the dozens. When you factor in his massive red zone target share, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see him potentially get 15 touchdowns. He’s able to score from anywhere on the field. Chase will be fighting it out with Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, and Cooper Kupp for overall WR1 this year. Don’t be shocked if Chase claws his way to the top. After all, he wants that big-money extension come next off-season.
Long-Term Dynasty Outlook
Right now, there’s really no argument that can be made to say Chase isn’t at least the WR2 to own in dynasty. If, for some reason, a team makes him available, I’d text as fast as I can and offer three first-round picks. He’s worth more than arguably, as he’s only entering his age-23 season! That’s insane! You can have him for the next seven-plus seasons, and he would still only be 30! Chase is a guaranteed cheat code for your contending or rebuilding roster. He’s suitable to rebuild around or to win right now with. He’s just a generational talent that you can’t easily replace. Thus, you need to hold him. His price isn’t even near the top yet, as he’s coming off an injury-plagued season.
If he hits my projections or blows past them, he might be worth four firsts a year from now. Even if he were to only play 12 games this year, he’s still worth three firsts. Thus, even if you want to rebuild, hold onto him. Chase is young enough to still be a prime receiver for your dynasty team two-to-three years from now.
This year will likely determine if he can top Jefferson for the top wide receiver in the NFL. It’s going to be a fun dogfight between two amazing players. It’s truly 1a/1b, but everyone wants to be the 1a. Jefferson is primed for a massive year, and so is Chase. Truly, you can’t go wrong with either of them. Yet, my money is on Chase outdoing Jefferson this year and getting the crown as the dynasty WR1. At least until Marvin Harrison Jr. plays his rookie year.
Do you want to become the best dynasty player you can be? Be sure to use my promo code “Darth” for 15% OFF your subscription to Dynasty Nerds! It makes it only three dollars or so! Connect with me on Twitter @DarthDbacks. I love to talk football, baseball, movies, shows, Star Wars, and Marvel, and interact with the fantasy football community. For more articles of mine, click here.
As always, May the Force be with You…