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Fantasy camp battles: WR Tee Higgins vs. Ja’Marr Chase

The Cincinnati Bengals have several options at wide receiver in 2021. Who will win the camp battle between Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase?

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There’s no shortage of weapons at second-year Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s disposal and he’ll have two potential No. 1 receiver options to throw to in Tee Higgins and 2021 first-round pick Ja’Marr Chase.

Higgins established a rapport with Burrow in 2020 and had a stellar rookie season as a result, hauling in 67 passes for 908 yards and six touchdowns. Chase, w opted out of his final season at LSU last year, was brought in to be reunited with the QB who helped turn him into a top receiver prospect. During LSU’s national championship run in 2019, Chase won the Biletnikoff Award with 84 receptions for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns.

We’ll see who comes out of camp as the definitive WR1 for Cincy.

Latest camp news

Week 2 preseason recap: The rookie Chase wore the collar in the Bengals’ 17-13 loss to the Washington Football Team on Friday, dropping all three of his targets. Head coach Zac Taylor said afterwards that his first-round pick is improving in other areas and that he’ll continually look for improvement.

The second-year wideout Higgins caught one of three targets for 11 yards in the exhibition.

Week 1 preseason recap: Both receivers got some work in. Both got one catch on one target. Chase got 16 yards while Higgins got 11. If you’re looking for a differentiator here, you’re not going to find it in Week 1.

8/9/21: Chase has had early struggles in camp according to BengalsWire, perfectly indicative of a young receiver getting used to his bearings in the league. Higgins, meanwhile, has impressed so far in camp and early signs are pointing to him making a second-year leap.

Week 2 preseason game: vs. Miami Dolphins

The Bengals will host the Dolphins for their final preseason game on Sunday, August 29 at 4 p.m. ET and even with no Joe Burrow again, both receivers should get a fair amount of reps as they play their final dress rehearsal before rubber meets road in the real season. One would imagine the staff will try to get Chase’s confidence up to close camp with plenty of reps throughout the first half.

Fantasy football verdict

Heading into Week 3 preseason: Even with Chase’s camp struggles, he along with Higgins will prove to be viable options for Burrow throughout the regular season. Both could be had as solid WR2/Flex options for fantasy drafts.

Heading into Week 2 preseason: It’s an even contest right now as to who will get more targets. Chase has a pre-existing connection with the quarterback, so that probably pushes him slightly past Higgins. That doesn’t mean Joe Burrow can’t make both receivers viable fantasy options. Several teams have two receivers worthy of taking in fantasy football and there’s no reason the Bengals can’t be part of that group.