JJ Arcega-Whiteside is a red-zone monster that will offer serious touchdown upside at the back end of the first round of dynasty rookie drafts.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside is going to be a very interesting case in dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts. It’s tough to say how an NFL team is going to value a player like Arcega-Whiteside, and draft capital is key when evaluating the value of rookie prospects in dynasty fantasy football.
He is a tall, physical wide receiver with tremendous ability to make contested catches, box out defenders, and extend for the football. These traits help him dominate in the red zone and down the field. He should immediately be an asset for an NFL team in this area and should provide touchdown upside in year one.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside is a solid route runner. He doesn’t have good long speed and isn’t particularly explosive in his routes, but he is fairly refined and is physical at the top of his routes. His athleticism is limiting, but he is able to create separation in other ways. Arcega-Whiteside probably isn’t going to be an elite separator at the NFL level, but he has enough attention to detail to make up for his limitations.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside is excellent in his releases at the line of scrimmage. He should have no issues beating press at the NFL level, and he should be able to play on the outside immediately with very little refinement in his technique. His releases help him in goal-line situations, where he can immediately push the defensive back into poor positioning, and capitalize with his ability to box out and make contested catches.
Arcega-Whiteside does a really nice job of extending for the football and catching the ball away from his body. His hands are strong and he shouldn’t have drop issues in the NFL.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside is a tough projection in terms of his vertical receiving ability. He tracks the ball really well, extends for the football, catches well in traffic, and releases well at the line of scrimmage. All of those should translate to the vertical game.
The question is whether or not JJ Arcega-Whiteside has the speed to succeed vertically. Speed is not going to be an asset for him at the next level, but will it be a serious problem for him in the NFL? He isn’t going to be able to separate with any consistency vertically. Is his ability to win at the catch point enough to make up for his limitations athletically? I’m not sure, but it is cause for concern.
For dynasty purposes, draft capital is going to be important. We will have a better idea of where to value him once the NFL Draft is finished. The NFL isn’t always in love with jump ball wide receivers as much as draft twitter and the dynasty community. Simmie Cobbs was a prime example of this last year. He’s better than Simmie Cobbs, but the point still stands.
If a team commits serious capital to JJ Arcega-Whiteside, it means that they likely have a plan for him. He projects to be a possession wide receiver with high touchdown upside if a team invests in him early in the NFL Draft. If the draft capital shows that NFL teams don’t value him as much as we do, that is a red flag that should absolutely be taken seriously.
For now, I feel comfortable taking JJ Arcega-Whiteside at the back end of the first round of dynasty rookie drafts. If an NFL team wants to get him on the field, he will have an immediate path to points strictly based on his value in the red zone. His pro day is April 4th. If he chooses to run the 40-yard dash, we may know more about where to value him and his upside between the 20s.