Team: LSU Tigers
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 6’1″ and 200 lbs
The purpose of this series is to provide a ceiling and a floor for devy prospects. We also provide an example of a player in which the prospect could reach their level of production. This is not a player comparison in regards to style of play, but more so used for what we think the high or low end of production could be for fantasy purposes.
When discussing the ceiling for the 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner, it is easy to get carried away. I value early break-out ages and as a 19-year-old, he broke out in a big way during his sophomore campaign. His season stats which include the SEC Title Game against UGA, Chase snagged 73 receptions for 1,498 yards and 18 TDs. It admittedly helps when you have a Heisman QB throwing you the football, but a stellar season nonetheless. The Alabama vs. LSU game showcased several attributes against high-level competition that I believe will make him successful at the next level. The first thing that stands out is his physicality when the DB is at or near the line of scrimmage. He is able to beat DBs by overpowering them, and then has the speed to create separation after he wins the LOS battle. Secondly, he has excellent footwork which allows him to have an extended route tree for a young WR. And finally, what stands out most after watching his snaps over the 2019 season are his reliable hands. He can make the highlight reel grabs, but more importantly, he is going to catch nearly everything thrown his way. In regards to his ceiling, I think at this point I say he has true alpha WR1 upside.
Upside Projection: AJ Green
We, as fantasy players, have been spoiled with WRs coming in and immediately producing results. Most players will need to take a few years to make an adjustment to playing at the NFL level. This includes college all-stars who performed above and beyond the norm. I wouldn’t be completely shocked to see Chase struggle in his 1st or 2nd year like many before him. After watching Ja’Marr Chase, it’s really difficult to not get excited. It is hard to point out areas of his game that need attention and not feel like I’m nit-picking. At times, Chase appears to take a ‘breather’ on plays if they aren’t designed for him. He doesn’t run the route as hard or as clean. At the next level, he cannot afford that lapse as any play could go his way. He also doesn’t block as well as he should either. There are numerous plays throughout this year that he either missed his assignment or gave up on the block. Those missed blocks can be the difference between sustaining a drive and bringing on the punt team. There is no doubt Ja’Marr Chase is very talented and polished, but there are a few areas that he needs to perform better. He will have a lot of NFL draft capital and that team will want him on the field as much as possible. With some coaching and maturity these inadequacies will vanish and Chase will be a fun player to watch for many years to come.
Floor Projection: Doug Baldwin
Ja’Marr Chase has the early looks of a top 5 dynasty rookie pick and an early round 1 selection in devy formats. He could be a transcendent talent at WR due to his impeccable route running and elite production at LSU thus far. Depending on league format, Chase should be prioritized as one of the first few selections in your drafts at this time. A lot can change during the evaluation process over the next 1.5 years, but he has the early signs of an emerging NFL star.