A lot of people look a little silly right now, after the national media, football fans, and rivals of the Bengals mocked Ja’Marr Chase for his pre season drops… fast forward a few weeks, and he’s the offensive rookie of the month for his first month in the league, and is second in the league in touchdowns (4), only to fellow player of the month Cooper Kupp (5).
Tonight, on Thursday Night Football, Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow face Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars, and I really believe that Chase might have one of those multi touchdown, 200 yard games for the ages, that puts him on the map in a major way. Why? Here’s why:
Tee Higgins was ruled out on Sunday, and won’t play again tonight. Why is this important? Because in week 2, Higgins saw 10 targets against the Bears, to Ja’Marr Chase’s 4. Opportunity for both Chase and Tyler Boyd is going to be increased in tonight’s game. Heavily increased. So far we’ve seen Chase only really targeted on deep go routes and a couple of shorter bits and pieces. But he could run riot against a weak Jacksonville Jaguars tonight.
And that’s point number two. Jacksonville are one of the worst teams in coverage so far this season, with a very inexperienced secondary barring Shaquill Griffin formerly of the Seahawks. Chase has already showed excellent route running and defeated press coverage against the likes of Joe Haden of the Steelers, and Jaylon Johnson of the Chicago Bears. Those are good corners, and he goes into tonight’s game off the back of a 2 touchdown performance against the Steelers. Confidence will be high, and Burrow will be feeding him the ball even more than last week.
Let’s not forget, this is a Jags team rebuilding itself from the ground. Lacking identity on defence and giving up 37 points on opening weekend against the Houston Texans of all teams. Okay, maybe Houston is better than we thought this year with Tyrod Taylor under centre, but even still.
So, I encourage you to bet the over on Ja’Marr Chase targets (over 4.5), and if you’re feeling extra spicy, throw a TD in there too. Oh and start him in absolutely all of your fantasy teams this week, and if you don’t have him, trade for him. I’m all in.