Make Up or Break Up: Chase Claypool (Fantasy Football)

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Dear Chase,

I feel like I can call you Chase because you and I are so much alike. I would love to meet you someday.

It would be great to have a catch. I know I can’t catch as well as you, but I think you would be impressed with my hands. Well, maybe not, but if anyone can relate it would be you, seeing as how you had one of the league’s worst catch rates from on-target passes last season. It must be frustrating to have a worse drop percentage than your buddy Diontae Johnson (4.8% vs 3.0%) after he was flamed for it the year prior, but I think that’s an unfair comparison.

Old man Ben Roethlisberger was making you catch bombs (11.4 aDOT) compared to those softballs Johnson (8.5) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (6.6) got. In fact, you had the 13th HIGHEST aDOT among wide receivers with a minimum of 100 targets. That puts you right between A.J. Brown and Stefon Diggs. Not bad, eh? Sure it’s a bit cherry-picked, but who doesn’t like cherries? Luckily, you won’t have to deal with Big Ben anymore as he’s retired. I’m sure the team will find you a better QB someday…

I love your TikToks. The “fans” sure seem to hate them, but who cares? You need to separate those jabronis from your thoughts or else they’ll drive you crazy. Speaking of separation, could you do me a favor by working on that? You averaged 2.4 yards of separation, which was the 10th best! Oh wait, sorry, I read that wrong… you were the 10th worst. Your catches are like my trade offers: contested. Then again, it wasn’t entirely your fault. After all, you suffered a hamstring injury early in the season and battled through a really bad turf toe in the second half. That would hobble anybody, especially a deep threat savage like yourself.

You run fast. A lot of people don’t know this, but you’re one of the fastest big-boy wideouts to ever play the game. I actually don’t think you get enough respect for how fast you are for your size. Did you know that the only other receiver to measure over 6’4″ and 235 pounds AND run a sub-4.45 — besides you, of course — was Calvin Johnson? And Megatron was pretty darn good during his legendary career, but he’s also a bad guy who killed Optimus Prime, something the Mapletron I know and love would never do.

Did you have a good relationship with your boss? Me neither. I heard your coach Mike Tomlin dissed you for wanting to have music played during practices, but c’mon. Who doesn’t like music? I heard he also benched you for celebrating after reeling in a super cool first down, but who wouldn’t want to honor such an awesome play?

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Yeah, it was bad timing and may have cost you guys the game, but whatever. He’s just a hater, just like those referee bozos who can’t stop penalizing you. The 83 combined yards you lost from penalties were by far the most among all offensive skill positions. You had more penalties (8) than targets inside the 10-yard line (6), touchdowns (2), or average targets per game (7)! To add insult to injury, you even had fewer games where you finished within the top-40 in fantasy scoring (6), and trust me, most of those were closer to 40th than 1st.

These are all things we can talk about and more. You were one of my favorite players to watch during your electric rookie season, and I certainly wasn’t the only one hyped for your sophomore year. It’s crazy to me that while you had nearly the same stats in 2020 as 2021, your fantasy finish was drastically reduced simply from lack of scoring (WR19 in 2020, WR37 in 2021). But this gives me hope that you can still break out once the team remembers to utilize you more in the red zone, and I still believe in you, Chase Claypool. Like my bunions, you will only mature with age. I know you have not been getting my letters because I know you would write back if you did, and I hope you write back this time and we get to be good friends. I am sure our relationship would be a real touchdown.


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Peter Chung

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