Ben Roethlisberger Chase Claypool
(STEVEN M. FALK/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Making Sense Of Chase Claypool In 2021

*I shall put my Steelers fandom aside and try and help everyone out by trying to figure out Chase Claypool and his value for fantasy in 2021.*

For a lack of a better term, Chase Claypool was like a roller coaster ride in terms of fantasy in 2020. The 2nd round pick out of Notre Dame last year had his highs but boy did he have his lows. Claypool finished among the top 20 fantasy wide receivers last season, but if you take away some of his monster games, it becomes a different story (we will get to that). His inconsistency anchored with Ben Roethlisberger not getting any younger, it can be confusing to try and figure out when to draft Claypool in your drafts this season. Have no fear, let’s try and break all that down.

The Highs

Looking back on his season from a year ago, even I maybe wasn’t aware of how erratic he was. But nonetheless, we are here to talk about the highs. Let’s take a look at his three best games from a year ago:

  • Wk. 17 vs Browns: 5 rec, 101 yds, 1TD – 16.1p
  • Wk. 10 vs Bengals: 4 rec, 56 yds, 2TDs – 17.3p
  • Wk. 5 vs Eagles: 7 rec, 110 yds, 3 TDs, 1 rush td – 35.6p

Looking at his three highest games from a season ago, the evidence does point slightly towards Claypool being a big play target. His week 17 matchup averaged 20.2YPC which if sustained or somewhere close to that, he would be elite. But who can forget his breakout game against the Eagles where he basically carried the offense with 4 TDs by himself. If Claypool could find a way to develop some consistency to his game, there’s no doubt people would be looking at him as a premier wide receiver option, and someone you would look to draft early on in your drafts this year.

The Lows

But, the lows are low. And let me tell you what, Chase Claypool has himself some lows. These are his three worst games from last year:

  • Wk. 3 vs Texans: 1 rec on 4 tgs, 24 yds 1 fum – 2.4p
  • Wk. 14 vs Bills: 3 rec on 6 tgs, 15 yds – 1.5p
  • Wk. 7 vs Titans: 1 rec for -2 yds – -0.2p

The fact that a 6’4 receiver had negative yardage in a game genuinely blows my mind. It takes a special kind of talent to manage to get NEGATIVE YARDS as a receiver. The targets he gets every game and the catches he makes should concern you because this shows two things: 1) he has a dropping issue. 2) it might not be all on him, but on his Quarterback as well. Claypool also has 3 other games from last season where he had under 6 points. That’s 6 games in a 16 game season (37% of the season) where he massively underperformed.

So, What’s The Verdict?

Personally, I have Chase Claypool on one of my fantasy teams because I think the upside is great. Fellow Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson let the league in drops last season, which means that Claypool in theory should receive more targets. Also taking into consideration he is going into his second year in the league means that he SHOULD have a better grasp on the offense. But, he does have some off-the-field issues that concern some folks around the Pittsburgh media. With that being said, he is currently WR35 on Sleeper and I think that should be about where he goes. A mid-round receiver with high-end production potential, but you must take into account that with the highs, will come lows.

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