Fantasy Football, Fantasy Sports

Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase: Who Should You Draft as Your WR1 in 2023 Fantasy Football?

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As fantasy football drafts approach, a heated debate rages on over which wide receiver should be selected first overall. After record-breaking seasons, Minnesota Vikings’ Justin Jefferson has emerged as the top choice.

Here is a table comparing Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase‘s stats for 2022:

2022 Stats Comparison

PlayerReceptionsReceiving YardsTouchdownsGames Played
Justin Jefferson1281,809817
Ja’Marr Chase871,046912

In 2022, Justin Jefferson had more receptions (128 vs 87), receiving yards (1,809 vs 1,046), and games played (17 vs 12) than Ja’Marr Chase.

Chase had one more receiving touchdown (9 vs 8) than Jefferson.

Based on this 2022 statistical comparison, Jefferson was the more productive and consistent fantasy receiver last season, thanks in large part to playing 5 more games than Chase. Jefferson’s high target share and yardage totals give him the edge for 2023 fantasy WR1 status over Chase.

Here is a table comparing Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase’s projected stats for 2023:

2023 Projected Stats Comparison

PlayerReceptionsReceiving YardsTouchdowns
Justin Jefferson1351,85012
Ja’Marr Chase1301,75014

Based on early 2023 projections, Justin Jefferson is expected to have slightly more receptions (135 vs 130) and receiving yards (1,850 vs 1,750) than Ja’Marr Chase.

However, Chase is projected to score more touchdowns (14 vs 12).

While Chase may have a slight edge in projected TDs, Jefferson’s projected high volume of receptions and yardage gives him the advantage for overall fantasy scoring. This comparison of 2023 projections shows why Jefferson is considered the consensus top fantasy wide receiver pick heading into next season over Chase.

Jefferson’s Historic Start Cements WR1 Status

Unstoppable Production

At just 23 years old, Jefferson has shattered NFL records in his first three seasons. He holds the marks for most receptions (324) and receiving yards (4,825) in a player’s first three years. Jefferson led the league last season with 128 receptions and 1,809 receiving yards. He also scored 8 touchdowns. What’s scary is the addition of rookie 1st round pick WR Jordan Addison, who will help take the attention off Jefferson this year.

Reliable Target Share

Playing with Kirk Cousins in an offense designed by new head coach Kevin O’Connell, Jefferson averaged a stellar 96.5 receiving yards per game over his career. In 2022, he was targeted on an incredible 184 passes for a 69.6% catch rate. Jefferson has established himself as Cousins’ undisputed top target through their proven chemistry.

Chase Nips At Jefferson’s Heels

Cincinnati Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase has put up eye-popping numbers as well with former college teammate Joe Burrow throwing him the ball. Chase broke the NFL record for most receiving yards (1,455) by a rookie in 2021. He followed that up with 1,046 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns last season despite missing 5 games.

Red Zone Dominance

Burrow clearly trusts Chase in critical moments, targeting him 28 times in the red zone in 2022 – the most of any player. Chase uses his big 6’1″ frame and elite route running to get open consistently downfield. He averaged 14.9 yards per reception over his first two NFL seasons. With Burrow entering his prime, Chase could take another leap forward in 2023 at age 23.

The Verdict: Jefferson By A Nose

Both Chase and Jefferson offer WR1 upside thanks to their talents and quarterback situations. However, Jefferson brings a bit more stability. He has not missed any games so far due to injury in his career. Chase did deal with a hip issue last season that sidelined him for five games. Availability matters, especially for first-round fantasy picks.

Jefferson deserves the WR1 title, maybe even the first overall pick in 2023. He broke out immediately as a rookie and has yet to slow down. His target share and rapport with Cousins gives him one of the highest floors at the position. According to early expert rankings, Jefferson tops Chase just slightly in projected 2023 fantasy points as well.

Fantasy drafters who want Chase’s sky-high ceiling and red zone prowess can’t go wrong taking him at number two overall. But for the combination of upside and rock-solid week-to-week production, Jefferson should come off the board first. He is the safest bet for WR1 production in 2023.

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