DJ Chark Fantasy Football Outlook & Value 2020

DJ CharkDJ Chark doo doo, doo doo doo doo’d his way to a second-year breakout last year in Jacksonville. The Jaguars drafted Chark with the 61st overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, and he put together a top-20 season receiving passes from the Gardner Minshew Experience. The mustachio’d one has his number one wide receiver for the foreseeable future, and the two should be able to continue to grow together. Does Chark have another level-up in him after his sophomore season took him to the Pro Bowl?

2019 Recap

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Chark had a big-time breakout backed by a few mega games (he went over 100 yards 3 times). He performed well with both Minshew and Nick Foles at quarterback. Chark improved as the season went on and was on the field more and more for his team. There was a stretch from Weeks 9-13 when he was on the field for 94.25% of snaps on average. It was a year of massive improvement from Chark – Jacksonville QBs had a 49.7 passer rating when throwing to Chark in 2018, which went up to 108.4 in 2019. Chark only had 14 catches for 174 yards in all of his rookie season. He’s the team’s best wideout now and should only be more consistent this season with added chemistry with Minshew.

2020 Projections

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I’m not projecting another massive leap forward for Chark this season. The Jaguars aren’t some high-flying, explosive offensive unit, and as much as I love me some Gardner Minshew, I’m not sure if he’s good enough to produce much better numbers than these out of his number one wideout. While Chark is the top target, Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, Keelan Cole, Leonard Fournette, and free agency acquisition Tyler Eifert will all be involved in the passing game. I don’t see Chark matching last season’s 118 targets, but he can still produce with great stats with around 100 targets if he can continue to evolve his game.

Average Draft Position

ADP: 4.3

Auction Value: $20

Chark’s ADP currently has him ahead of guys like A.J. Brown, OBJ, DeVante Parker, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Stefon Diggs, who I think could all have more upside than him. I think Chark’s draft price will have him closer to his ceiling than his floor, and there might be more valuable ways to use that 4th-round pick than on the Jaguars’ receiver.

Floor

In Chark’s career dating back to college, he has never had any significant injuries, so there aren’t any red flags in regards to his ability to stay on the field this season. The Jaguars’ defense is going to be BAD, so they should be in a lot of garbage time scenarios where the offense will air it out late in games. One hundred targets are likely the minimal baseline for Chark this year, and with his catch percentage last year, he can probably get at minimum 65 catches for 850 yards and about six touchdowns. That would put him at about 185 PPR points – not quite worthy of a 4th-round pick, but still a serviceable fantasy asset.

Ceiling

I don’t see Chark as having top-end talent, so I’m not sure how much higher his numbers can get from what he did last year. He did show an ability to work from the perimeter or out of the slot last season, which will garner him lots of targets. If he hadn’t missed a game last season, Chark likely could have gotten to around 130 targets. If he can continue to boost his catch percentage, which is probably dependent on improvement from Minshew’s accuracy, Chark could get up to 90 catches, which could put him over 1,100 yards. His touchdown potential could be huge too, as he had a couple of multi-touchdown games last season and might be the team’s best red-zone target this season. A top-ten fantasy finish might not be totally out of the question, but I’m not that bullish on this offense as a whole.

Jacksonville Jaguars Offense

Jacksonville JaguarsSpeaking of this offense, I’m not thrilled about their potential for 2020. Per Football Outsiders, the Jaguars’ offensive line ranked 27th in run-blocking and 16th in pass-blocking, allowing an above-average number of sacks. They are in range to draft one of the elite offensive line prospects in this year’s draft class, but their line will need work beyond that. Gardner Minshew is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league per Lineups statistics, and the website has the Jags’ offense ranked 2nd-worst in the entire league. Chark isn’t a transcendent talent like D.J. Moore is from the same draft class, so I’m not sure if he’s able to repeat his performance from last year and overcome how bad this offense looks set to be. Leonard Fournette rushed for 1,152 yards last season, but he is rumored to be potentially on the move in a trade on draft night, and his departure would significantly hurt an already limited offense.

Strength Of Schedule

Luckily for the Jags, their sudden lack of defensive talent isn’t uncommon amongst their division rivals. The Texans, Colts, and Titans all ranked in the top half of the league in points allowed to wide receivers in fantasy last season, and they all ranked among the 12 worst pass defenses in the previous league year per Football Outsiders. Outside of their division, opponents pop up on the schedule with some elite pass defenses – the Ravens, Steelers, Steelers, Bears, and Chargers figure to have top-end defensive potential. The Vikings lost their top three corners from last year, so that could suddenly be an easier matchup, although their front seven is still stout. Easier matchups are there in the Browns, Dolphins, and Bengals. The real proponent for Chark’s value in 2020 will be when the Jags take on teams with elite offenses, as he figures to be a garbage time king next season.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately for DJ Chark, he’s a part of one of the worst offenses in the league, and their rapid decline defensively won’t help them stay competitive at all. Gardner Minshew is an excellent quarterback, but he’s not a lights-out passer, and Chark doesn’t have elite talent so that he will be dependent on matchups and game scripts. If you’re looking at spending a 4th-round pick on a player, you want someone who has top-ten upside at his position if everything breaks right, and I’m not sure that’s the case with Chark. He has an excellent chance to repeat his numbers from last season, as many variables haven’t changed, but I’d instead go for a higher-upside option at Chark’s draft range.

 

2020 Fantasy Football Player Outlooks
  
There are few things I love more in this world than the sweet glory of fantasy football. It's a year round sport and championships are won and lost well before the draft. When I was 15 I put together my first fantasy league and I was hooked for life.

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