It's no secret that first-round rookies come into the NFL and shock the league seemingly every year. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings comes to mind as one example from the 2020 season. He was named to the Pro Bowl after a 1,400-yard rookie season.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase may just be the next superstar to emerge as he reunites with his former college quarterback in Joe Burrow. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft enters the fall with WR2 upside in fantasy football and a player to target in every format.
Ja'Marr Chase Fantasy Outlook
It's hard to overlook the connection Chase and Burrow had while playing together at LSU. Chase racked up 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns on 84 receptions as Burrow's go-to target in the passing attack. If they can bring even a bit of that chemistry into the NFL, opposing defenses could be in big trouble.
The Bengals have already shown that their offense can produce multiple starting receivers in fantasy football. Tyler Boyd finished as the No. 29 WR in PPR leagues last season, while Higgins came in one spot higher at No. 28. They were able to produce reliable numbers despite Burrow missing six games due to injury.
Chase's talent is on a whole other level, though. His ability to make contested catches down the field and cut on a dime should allow him to take over the No. 1 receiving role sooner rather than later. The 21-year-old could easily see over 100 targets in an offense that passed on 60.48% of its snaps in 2020 (No. 13 in NFL).
The rookie wideout has an average draft position of No. 61 overall and No. 23 amongst wide receivers, according to FantasyPros. At that spot, Chase can be taken as a low-end WR2 that comes with a ton of upside. It wouldn't be surprising to see him exceed expectations this season.
Chase checks in as the WR30 in The Duel's 2021 fantasy football rankings.
SIGN UP AND GET AN INSTANT DEPOSIT BONUS UP TO 500! We'll match 20% of your first deposit on FanDuel Fantasy Sports. Max bonus $500
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.