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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: D.J. Chark No. 56

D.J. Chark comes in at 56 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

DJ Chark Jr. #17 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on before the start of a game against the Chicago Bears at TIAA Bank Field on December 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

D.J. Chark had a down 2020 compared to his breakout sophomore campaign. He did miss three games with various injuries and his quarterback situation was poor, as Gardner Minshew, Mike Glennon and Jake Luton all contributed to the team tanking for the first overall pick in the draft. That first pick landed them Trevor Lawrence, who will be a nice upgrade for Chark’s fantasy football potential.

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official and often updated fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 56, D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars, WR

Chark put up strong numbers in 2019, as he caught 73-of-118 targets for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games. Those numbers fell to 53 receptions on 93 targets for 706 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games last season. They aren’t horrible numbers, but we know he can elevate them.

Competition for touches

The Jaguars brought in veteran receivers Marvin Jones from the Lions to pair with Chark and Laviska Shenault. Jones is a good player, but Chark has the most upside of the group. And with the Jaguars defense still below average, we should see plenty of passing opportunities for Lawrence and Chark this season.

Team offensive expectations

Expectations for the offense are high, especially in comparison to last season. Lawrence is a rookie and the team is young and raw with a new head coach in Urban Meyer. Expectations aren’t up there with the best offenses in the league, but with Lawrence they won’t be able to get away from higher expectations. It would be difficult for them to be worse, so the only direction to go is up. Just how far up is the question.

What’s his upside?

Chark’s upside is to surpass his 2019 numbers with a better quarterback throwing him the ball in 2021. His best competition is Jones and both should be able to win plenty of targets this season. If Lawrence can live up to expectations from the start, Chark’s upside is going to be Top 15.

What’s his downside?

Injuries have put a damper on his overall stats, so we could see another case of him missing a few games. We could also see Lawrence get off to a slow start. Urban Meyer is also a wild card who could completely implode this young team. I don’t have a lot of faith in him making the transition from college. The good news is that Lawrence is good enough to overcome a lot of trouble and he should get planty of chances to let the ball fly in 2021.

Projection

80 receptions, 125 targets, 1100 yards, 7 touchdowns