2022 fantasy football outlook: Lions wide receiver DJ Chark

Credit: Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY Sports /

As the definitive “X” receiver on the Detroit Lions roster, what can fantasy football managers expect out of DJ Chark this season?

DJ Chark had an injury-shortened 2021 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, as an ankle injury cost him all but four games. In need of a fresh start, he signed with the Detroit Lions as he looks to recapture his form from 2019 in Jacksonville.

From the moment Chark signed, it seemed clear what his role would be. The Lions desperately need a deep threat who can stretch the field. He has shown a size and speed combination to back up his fit for that need. In training camp, he and Jared Goff have developed instant rapport.

2022 Fantasy football outlook: Lions wide receiver DJ Chark

Chark is in line for a prominent role, and with Jameson Williams in line to open the season on the NFI list that means only Amon-Ra St. Brown is lined up to see more targets among Lions’ wide receivers.

The problem Chark faces is there are a lot of mouths to feed in this offense, which limits his upside and creates the likelihood for inconsistency.

When Chark had his Pro Bowl season in 2019 (73 receptions for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns), there were hardly any other viable weapons in the Jaguars’ offense. In Detroit, St. Brown, tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back D’Andre Swift will eat significant target share. And that leaves out the eventual debut of Williams, and any contribution Josh Reynolds makes.

As of this writing (Aug. 14), here’s a look at Chark’s average draft position (ADP), sorted by scoring format, according to Fantasy Pros consensus.

Standard scoring: WR53 (No. 136 overall)
PPR scoring: WR56 (No. 152 overall)
0.5-point scoring: WR56 (No. 153 overall)

Chark is and has been basically free in fantasy drafts, as a dart throw WR5. You won’t find too many guys that late with the potential to put up over 800 yards with a half-dozen touchdowns. And Chark could exceed those numbers, pushing toward what he did with the Jaguars in 2019.

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