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Justin Jefferson - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Justin Jefferson


#5 Wide Receiver

200 Projected Points

ADP: 2.11
Bye: 7
Experience: 1 Yr(s)
Age: 22
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 202
40 Time: 4.43

2021 Projections & Outlook


#5 Wide Receiver

200 Projected Points

ADP Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs 100 Fum
2.11 98 1384 10 6

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Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • You probably already know it, but Jefferson had a historic rookie season. Some highlights:
    • 5th most PPR points per game ever among rookie WRs
    • 22nd in that category among all RBs, WRs and TEs, combined
    • 7th most receptions for a rookie (on 10th most targets)
    • Most receiving yards ever
    • Tied for just 20th in TD catches
  • That last 1 is a highlight because it leaves room for upside. Jefferson’s 8% TD rate ranked 84th among all targeted WRs. The average for the entire position: 7%.
  • Jefferson saw 23.1% of his targets in the red zone, compared with 28.3% for teammate Adam Thielen, according to Pro Football Focus. Jefferson trailed Thielen just 30-28 in total red-zone looks, though, and caught only 4 fewer passes in that range. Thielen scored 14 times on plays from the 20-yard line and in, however. Jefferson got 5 TDs there.
  • The rookie garnered just 8 end-zone targets vs. Thielen’s 20, scoring twice on such passes compared with 13 for Thielen. Even if Thielen remains the favored target in that range, Jefferson should be in for some positive regression after snagging just 25% of his end-zone targets.
  • The 2 finished similarly in average depth of target (Thielen 12.54, Jefferson 12.01) and catch rate (Jefferson 72.7%, Thielen 69.8%). Next Gen Stats also had them near-identical in separation: Thielen at 2.7 yards on average, Jefferson at 2.6.
  • Jefferson wasn’t really an offensive factor in the season’s 1st 2 games. Olabisi Johnson started ahead of the rookie, and Jefferson drew just 3 targets in each of those contests. He totaled 5 receptions for 70 yards.
  • Over the final 14 weeks, Jefferson averaged 8.5 targets, 5.9 receptions, 95 yards and 0.5 TDs per game. That’s a full-season pace even a little better than the huge actual numbers he produced.
  • Jefferson beat Thielen in targets in 8 of their 13 shared games, including each of the team’s final 5 contests. Jefferson drew 27% of the team’s pass attempts over that stretch. Only Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs and DeAndre Hopkins reached that share over the full season.
  • Minnesota made only minimal changes to the WR depth chart this offseason.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Jefferson’s rookie-year success has been well-publicized. The only real question is whether he can repeat it.

The one aspect we can’t know is his focus/work ethic: Will he let himself slip at all off last season’s high? We’ll see and will certainly watch for any such reports over the summer. But it would be foolish to bet against his ability at this point.

Target volume could be an issue, but Jefferson ranked a solid 16th among WRs in targets last year. And his pace over 14 starts would have pushed him up to 9th in that category. It’s a low-volume pass offense, but Minnesota also has its WR targets concentrated in 2 players. Jefferson ranked 7th among all wideouts in target share in 2020, with Adam Thielen 20th.

Jefferson is in a good spot to keep his catch rate well above average, and there’s room for growth over his TD production last year. All told, he belongs in the Round 2 range of at least PPR and half-PPR drafts.


Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson has been working mostly with the 2nd-team offense in camp so far, according to The Athletic's Arif Hasan. "He hasn’t played poorly, but against second-level competition, he should stand out more if he’s to prove to have an immediate rookie impact," Hasan adds. We're not panicking and still expect Jefferson to finish 2nd among Vikings WRs in fantasy points this year. But he might not be a guy we can stick in lineups early on this season. We'll continue to keep an eye on Jefferson's progress.

View all Justin Jefferson Shark Bites »

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson has been removed from the COVID list. The rookie remains the favorite to win the #2 WR job in Minnesota. We'll keep an eye on his development over the next month.

View all Justin Jefferson Shark Bites »

The Vikings have placed 4 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including rookie WR Justin Jefferson. Placement on the list means that a player has either tested positive or been in close contact with an infected person -- and thus faces mandatory quarantine. Teams are not allowed to disclose which category fits a player put on the list. Either way, this situation shouldn't affect Jefferson's availability for the season. We'll certainly keep an eye on the wideout, though, if it's revealed he contracted the virus.

View all Justin Jefferson Shark Bites »

The Vikings selected LSU WR Justin Jefferson with the 22nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft — the pick they acquired from the Bills for WR Stefon Diggs. No WR in this class had a more productive 2019. Jefferson’s 111 catches tied for most in the country, he ranked 3rd with 1,540 receiving yards and finished 2nd with 18 TDs. That, of course, came on an LSU offense that led the nation in passing yards and TDs. So Jefferson’s market shares — 26% of the receptions, 26% of the receiving yards and 30% of the TDs — are less impressive. We came away a bit underwhelmed by his tape. Jefferson did a bunch of damage vs. zone coverages but can struggle to separate from man. On the plus side, he’s excellent in tight quarters, leading all draft-eligible WRs with a 92.4% contested-catch rate in 2019, per Pro Football Focus. Jefferson has extensive experience at all WR spots, playing 81% of his snaps on the outside in 2018 and 78% in the slot last year. And he impressed at the Combine, running a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and earning an 82nd percentile SPARQ score at 6’1, 202 pounds. While we wonder how high Jefferson’s fantasy ceiling extends, he looks like 1 of the higher-floor WRs in this class. And he should immediately slide in as Minnesota’s #2 WR, making him a good bet for 2020 fantasy value.

View all Justin Jefferson Shark Bites »

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