The Cincinnati Bengals are set to hit the field for the first time this season on Sunday when hosting the Minnesota Vikings for the opener.
This will mark the pro debut of rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. While highly skilled, the wideout had a rough time finding his footing in the preseason so we’ll see what his fantasy value is to start the new year.
Fantasy Football analysis: Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase
After exploding for 84 receptions, 1,780 yards, and 20 touchdowns for LSU during their 2019 national championship run, Chase opted out of the 2020 season to focus on the draft. There, he was ultimately reunited with the man who he caught all of those touchdowns from, Joe Burrow.
Upon his arrival and first taste of NFL action in the preseason however, he struggled. Chase had numerous dropped passes and ultimately caught just one pass in Cincinnati’s exhibitions. He admitted a lack of concentration being the reasoning behind the drops, so it remains to be seen if this will be cleaned up upon his pro debut.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Even without the preseason struggles, I’d still sit Chase for Week 1. The Bengals are going to be carried by Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon as the lead skill position players to start, so Chase will have to prove something before he gets the nod in your lineup.