How Steelers WR Chase Claypool Ranks In This Stacked Dynasty Rookie Class

Credit:

Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Pictured: Chase Claypool

Chase Claypool Dynasty Rookie Analysis

  • Position: WR | School: Notre Dame
  • Height: 6’4” | Weight: 238 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.42 seconds
  • 2020 Age: 22 | Class: Senior
  • Recruitment Stars: 4
  • Draft Position: 2.49 (Steelers)

Chase Claypool’s Fantasy Fit with Steelers

It’s hard to know what Claypool’s role will be in 2020, given that the Steelers have JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Diontae Johnson at wide receiver and Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald at tight end.

And it’s always important to remember that caution is advisable with rookie receivers, because they usually need time to develop.

But if the Steelers were totally satisfied with their three wide receivers, you have to figure that they wouldn’t have taken a fourth one in Round 2, right?

I doubt that Claypool will be a consistent producer, especially in the first half of the season, but eventually I expect him to make his way into the starting lineup. I’ll probably look to get my exposure to him via daily fantasy, that way I can monitor his 2020 progress without having to deal with any early-season struggles in redraft and best ball.

Chase Claypool: Dynasty Analysis

Physically comparable to Darren Waller, Claypool eventually may need to transition to tight end in the NFL — but I think he has the tools to be a professional wideout.

He’s a perimeter-only receiver with average route-running technique, hands and after-the-catch production, but he is so physically dominant with his elite size, speed and explosiveness (per Player Profiler).

  • Speed Score: 129.8 (99th percentile)
  • Burst Score: 131.9 (92nd percentile)

Even if Claypool maxes out in the NFL as a downfield specialist, he could still be a high-end producer thanks to his ability to beat overmatched cornerbacks in contested-catch situations.

It might take Claypool some time to develop at the NFL level, but it’s encouraging that he markedly improved each year at Notre Dame after playing primarily on special teams as a freshman (per Pro Football Focus).

  • 2017 (11 games): 61.4 PFF grade, 29-402-2 receiving on 45 targets
  • 2018 (13 games): 69.1 PFF grade, 50-639-4 receiving on 73 targets
  • 2019 (13 games): 83.3 PFF grade, 66-1,037-13 receiving on 108 targets

For his career, Claypool has been similarly effective against both man and zone defense (per the 2020 Sports Info Solutions Football Rookie Handbook).

  • Positive play rate vs. man: 59%
  • Positive play rate vs. zone: 58%

And in 2019, he was just as effective as many of the top receivers in the class at turning targets into expected points added (EPA, per SIS).

  • Chase Claypool: 0.50 EPA per target
  • Brandon Aiyuk: 0.50 EPA per target
  • Laviska Shenault Jr.: 0.41 EPA per target
  • Michael Pittman Jr.: 0.36 EPA per target
  • Denzel Mims: 0.34 EPA per target
  • Jalen Reagor: -0.08 EPA per target

With his talent and skill set, Claypool has the potential for a D.K. Metcalf-esque rookie season and a Mike Evans-lite career.

NFL Prospect Comp: Vincent Jackson with major-program pedigree but far less college production

More Dynasty Analysis For Freedman’s Top Rookies

  1. RB D’Andre Swift
  2. RB Jonathan Taylor
  3. WR Jerry Jeudy
  4. WR CeeDee Lamb
  5. WR Justin Jefferson

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs, part of The Action Network.

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