You shouldn't count on 11 touchdowns on 72 touches again in 2021 from Chase Claypool. And with JuJu Smith-Schuster back, you may not get a big touch increase either. That makes Claypool a No. 3 receiver best avoided until Round 7 at the earliest. As long as he retains his red zone role he'll have big weekly upside, but he'll be more valuable where catches don't count and most valuable in Best Ball leagues. The future is still bright for the young receiver and he's a solid No. 2 receiver in Dynasty.
Claypool says "things are getting easier" for him in the NFL, Teresa Varley of steelers.com reports. Claypool opened his rookie season on the bench before scoring four touchdowns in his first NFL start Week 5 against Philadelphia. He had just one more 100-yard game the rest of the year, but he finished with nine receiving TDs and two rushing TDs, later adding two more scores in the playoff loss to Cleveland. The 23-year-old enters his second pro season listed as a starter on the Pittsburgh depth chart, alongside fellow wide receivers Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Each of the three is a viable candidate to lead the team in targets, with Claypool standing to benefit most if Ben Roethlisberger rediscovers his deep ball. Either way, the young wideout is confident he'll improve his route running and releases, making him a factor on short and intermediate routes in addition to the more valuable downfield and red-zone work.
Claypool had five receptions for 59 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 48-37 loss to Cleveland. The Steelers were unable to take care of business against a fierce division rival, but Claypool was able to reward those still relying on him in alternate and DFS formats with another multi-score game. The 2020 second-round pick exploded onto the scene with a seven-catch, 110-yard performance to go along with three touchdowns way back in Week 5 of the regular season. The Notre Dame product earned a regular rotation spot in the Steelers' deep receiver corps, finishing his rookie regular season with 62 receptions for 873 yards and nine touchdowns, also adding two more scores on 10 rushing attempts. Claypool checks in a 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds, making him an ideal starting wideout when factoring in the athleticism he displayed in just his first taste of pro action. With Juju Smith-Schuster set to become an unrestricted free agent this upcoming offseason, Claypool is in a prime position to split starting duties with Dionte Johnson and form a dynamic fantasy duo. Even if Smith-Schuster sticks around, he is likely to occupy the slot and let Claypool continue to see regular playing time lined up on the outside. The 22-year-old's stock will trend upward heading into next year's draft so long as Ben Roethlisberger continues to stave off retirement.
Claypool recorded five receptions on 11 targets for 101 yards and one touchdown in Week 17 against the Browns. Claypool provided Mason Rudolph with a deep threat, racking up a 41-yard reception and 28-yard touchdown to close the regular season. As is typical, Claypool had an inconsistent rookie campaign, beginning slowly before exploding for 408 yards and seven touchdowns across seven contests spanning from Week 5 to 11. His production has slowed since, though this effort gives him his second 100-receiving yard effort of the season. He will be relied upon to continue to provide a spark to the Steelers' offense throughout their playoff run.
Claypool caught four of his six targets for 54 yards in Sunday's 28-24 win over the Colts. Claypool has been consistent over the last two weeks, recording 54 receiving yards in both contests while being targeted 14 times during that span. Although the rookie has topped 50 yards in six of the last eight games, he hasn't reached the end zone since Week 11. Claypool now has hauled in 57 of his 98 targets for 772 yards and eight touchdowns with just one week remaining in the regular season.
Claypool brought in three of his six targets for 15 yards in Sunday's 26-15 loss to the Bills. Claypool was limited in practice for most of the week due to an illness, but he didn't appear to have any restrictions during Sunday's matchup. The 22-year-old's target share has dropped considerably over the past two weeks, as he's only averaging five targets per game during that time. Plus, his average of 2.5 yards per target against the Bills was his lowest mark since Week 6. Several other Steelers have struggled with drops in recent weeks, but Claypool hasn't seen an increased target share as a result.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||Las Vegas Raiders||23||24.25|
|4||10/03||@Green Bay Packers||6||19.56|
|11||11/21||@Los Angeles Chargers||7||20.25|
|16||12/26||@Kansas City Chiefs||2||18.47|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||109||62||873||9||41||14.08||152|