D.J. Chark Jr. was limited to just four games before an ankle injury cut his season short with the Jaguars in 2021.
On Monday, Chark signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, in a deal expected to be worth up to $13 million.
Prior to injury, Chark had secured just 7-of-22 targets for 154 yards with a pair of scores, leaving us with more of a mystery on if we will ever see the front half of the 2019 season again.
Over his past 22 games played, Chark has:
- averaged 3.7 catches for 48.7 yards per game,
- catching 55.0% of his targets,
- posting just five WR2 or better scoring weeks over that stretch
We now have a larger sample of Chark being a volatile fantasy underperformer than the potential star that flashed to open his second season in the league, but quarterback play has been a thorn for Chark.
Just 47.4% of his targets were deemed catchable in his small sample of 2021 after 63.0% in 2020 (113th among wideouts with 25 or more targets) and 65.8% in 2019 (81st).
Quarterback play could be another issue in Detroit paired with Jared Goff, especially where Chark has shown the best of his ability, which is downfield. On throws 15 yards or further downfield, Goff has ranked 35th (31.9%), 29th (38.4%), and 30th (39.0%) in completion rate over the past three seasons.
Chark still turns just 26 years old this September, making him a strong signing to take a swing on for Detroit. He could recapture the front of 2019 or at worst provide them with a field stretcher to free up Amon-Ra St. Brown, T.J. Hockenson, and D’Andre Swift to work underneath.
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