After such a dominant rookie year, it’s hard to imagine how much higher Ja’Marr Chase can go. Yet, it’s entirely possible he could do even better than an offensive rookie of the year award, All-Pro 2, and a Pro Bowler. With him sticking in the same offense with an improved offensive line, one can dream of the plays the Bengals could give Chase. Chase is easily the WR2 in dynasty right now. Justin Jefferson is the WR1, but could Chase wind up as the WR1 in dynasty after the 2022 season?
2021 Season Recap
During the preseason, so many people were worried about Chase after he got selected fifth overall by the Bengals. He was “dropping” too many passes as if training camp woes truly mattered. He was a rookie getting used to playing with Burrow again after a year apart. Chase didn’t play any team football for that entire year as he skipped the 2020 season.
In the end, those drops didn’t matter. Chase started all 17 games. He had 128 targets, 1,455 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He added on 21 rushing yards over seven carries. On a per-game basis, Chase averaged 85.6 yards per game. That’s just insane. He finished as the WR3 on the season in PPR leagues.
2022 Season Projection
Chase will be an elite fantasy WR this year. Don’t be shocked if he pushes to finish #1 overall. Chase is just too dominant a WR in an explosive offense with two other extremely talented wide receivers. Defenses can’t sell out to stop Chase. This allows him to get a ton of single coverage that he can easily beat. The Bengals will be playing for the playoffs, which means tons of passing. In a tough division, the Bengals will have to out-throw their rivals. I have Chase projected for an even bigger season than last year.
Chase is projected to score 311.8 fantasy points which equals 18.8 points per game over a 17-game schedule. I might be undershooting him, too, since the Bengals could easily throw him the ball even more. Chase is showing the NFL that he will be a menace for a long-time. Joe Burrow is fully healthy. If Burrow gets hurt, that might be the only thing that slows Chase down. Chase seems to be setting up a 1A/1B competition with fellow LSU teammate Jefferson as to who the best WR is in the NFL.
Chase is a deep threat that had the third most deep targets last year. He makes defenders look silly with his juke rate (21%). Meanwhile, we want guys that can score fantasy points on every target or route run. Chase casually finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in those categories (2.38, 0.57).
Keep Forever? Long-term Dynasty Outlook
If you’re in a league with a Chase owner willing to sell him for something other than a QB, please let me know. I have an invitation for that person in my league. I frankly don’t care if you’re contending or rebuilding; Chase fits your timeline. He is only 22! Seriously! He hasn’t even hit his prime yet! If you’re telling me that you won’t be contending at any point in the next eight or more years, then maybe dynasty isn’t right for you.
Chase could very well be the WR1 at the end of the season. I doubt it just because Jefferson has proven his worth over two years. They are essentially equal. Both are young, dominant, and talented wide receivers that are must-haves in dynasty. If you have a chance to acquire Chase, I’d consider it. Then, I would trade for him. The opportunity to get the best WR in dynasty doesn’t come often. That’s why you have to do it if you can. He should be with the Bengals and Joe Burrow for at least the next four or more years. That’s at least four WR1-tier finishes, provided he’s healthy.
As I said above, you must acquire Chase if you have a chance to. He’s too talented to let someone else get. In dynasty leagues, I have seen him go above every player but the top four or so QBs in drafts. Chase could be the WR1 already for many people. After another terrific season in 2022, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ranked him #1 for the Nerds in my dynasty rankings. Chase is a generational talent that can win you leagues as a WR. Not many WRs can win you leagues, but Chase absolutely can. He will outperform expectations once again this year.
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As always, May the Force be with You…