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Chase Claypool’s Explosion Demands Priority Waiver Add (2020 Fantasy Football)

by John Ferguson | @FantasyFerguson | Featured Writer
Oct 13, 2020

Chase Claypool was the top overall scorer in fantasy in Week 5.

It’s time once again to take a deep dive and look at some of the top prospects you should be targeting this week on your fantasy football waiver wire. An absolute must-add heading into Week 6 is Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wideout, Chase Claypool. He absolutely exploded in Week 5, catching seven-of-11 targets for 110 yards and three TDs while tacking on another TD on the ground. He was the top overall scorer in fantasy in Week 5. If you are unfamiliar with who Chase Claypool is, this will serve as a great resource in helping you decide to add him this week. Let’s take a look at his background, the state of the Steelers offense, and what we should expect from Claypool going forward.

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Player Profile

The Canadian-born product played four years of college ball at Notre Dame. Claypool’s role slowly grew during his college career and ending with him being the leading receiver on the team in 2019, where he recorded a line of 66/1,037/13. His 13 TDs ranked seventh-most in NCAA that year. He was used as a hybrid WR/TE on those offenses given his 6-foot-4, 229 lb build. He recorded a 4.42-second 40 at the combine and ranked in the 90th percentile in both speed and burst per Player Profiler. This size and speed combination creates an absolute mismatch nightmare for anyone that tries to cover him.

The Steelers were without a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft but did not hesitate to take Claypool with their first pick in the second round.

State of the Offense

The Steelers are night and day difference compared to the team we saw for last season. Ben Roethlisberger’s return has helped propel this team to a 4-0 record to start the season. While the offense is much improved, it still isn’t firing as it did back in 2018 like some had hoped when they led the league in passing attempts. They also rank just 19th in passing yards per game (before Monday/Tuesday games). Their passing game has been well-distributed between their top-four targets; Juju, Diontae, Claypool, and Ebron. Claypool and Ebron are tied for third-most targets on the team with 20, but obviously, Claypool’s role is ascending quickly with 11 of those targets being from last week alone. He has been the big-play threat for this offense this season as he leads the team with 261 yards and four TDs. His longest play was a big 84-yard TD in Week 2 but his four-TD performance in Week 5 was just epic and he is having fun with it.

Outlook

Claypool opened the season buried on the depth chart behind JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and even James Washington. He has seen his targets increase each week this season, and with Johnson bowing out again, Claypool broke out in a way that will make it hard for the team to keep him off the field going forward. His size, speed, and overall athleticism cannot be stressed enough. He is an incredibly elite talent.

The only doubts anyone had regarding him coming into the NFL was how a team would utilize him as a WR or TE. So far, he is thriving as one of the biggest-bodied wideouts in the league and absolutely deserves more run from now on. After being held under a 40% snap share in Weeks 1 and 2, he saw the field for 76% in Week 3 and 69% in Week 5. If he can stay somewhere in the neighborhood for the remainder of the season, he can do big things for both the Steelers offense and your fantasy rosters.

Looking at FantasyPros’ matchup calendar shows that the upcoming schedule for the Steelers wideouts is pretty soft as well. They get the Browns up next week who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to wideouts this season. After that, they get the Titans, who rank 12th-most. The Ravens are a tougher matchup in Week 8, but a prime matchup follows that up against the Cowboys who have been absolutely shredded in the secondary this season. There is a lot of green coming up.

I think we still probably see Claypool running as the WR3 for this team behind Smith-Schuster and Johnson with all players healthy. The value of Claypool’s targets are unmatched right now on this offense, however. I think he safely has the upside of being a weekly WR2 play and obviously showed the potential to have slate-breaking ability in DFS. I would probably drop anywhere between 20%-40% of your FAAB to acquire him, depending on your needs.

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John Ferguson is a featured writer and editor at FantasyPros. For more from John, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyFerguson.

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