At 6’5’’ and 264 pounds, Chase Young entered the NFL in 2020 as the 2nd overall pick out of Ohio St by the Washington Commanders. At that time, Chase Young was considered the top player in the draft and was compared to Julius Peppers. A huge comparison considering Peppers if 4th on the All-Time list for career sacks. During the draft process, many were wondering if he would be a “generational player.” Recently, the 5th year option on Chase Young was not picked up by the Commanders which has left many wondering what will happen with Chase Young next. Will Chase Young fail to meet those lofty expectations coming out of college or will his reconstructed knee finally allow him to reach his full potential?
I will explore those issues and others as we contemplate the IDP Dynasty Dilemma that is Chase Young.
REASON TO BUY
Natural Ability: Chase Young entered the NFL as a player that many expected to be the benchmark of pass rushers/defensive ends. At Ohio St, Young has 30.5 career sacks; which is tied for 22nd all-time in college football. And, his 16.5 sacks in 2019 is the 9th most all-time in college football for a single season.
In his first season in Washington, Chase Young posted 44 total tackles (32 solo and 12 assists), with 7.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 4 passes defended. That season won Chase Young the 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Young’s rookie season showed exactly what he is capable of accomplishing in the NFL on a year-to-year basis.
Although injuries have gotten in the way of Young producing those numbers since his rookie year, Chase is talented enough to accomplish those numbers regularly. The talent is evident. He wouldn’t have been the 2nd overall pick in the draft if experts did not believe in his abilities.
Yes, he has missed a majority of the last two seasons, but all indications point to his knee being completely healed and ready to return to form. If Young had chosen to repair the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), he would have been back sooner. Instead, he chose to have a reconstruction of the ligament. This procedure takes longer to heal but is more likely to return an athlete to 100 percent of his previous abilities.
Every fantasy IDP manager should be looking to add his production to your team immediately. His value is lower than it should be and you should take advantage of this opportunity. It is not often an elite DE is available at this price and you should capitalize before it's too late.
REASON TO SELL
Health: For many of the reasons above, one would wonder why Chase Young isn’t already being paid as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. One word: I-N-J-U-R-I-E-S. After only 9 games in his second season, Chase Young went down with a Grade 3 ACL tear during week ten and missed the remainder of the 2021 season and all but the last three games of the 2022 season.
How significant is an ACL tear?
From 2013-2018, 312 NFL players were determined to have an ACL tear.
Of those players, only 174 returned to play and only 59 were still playing 3 years after their injury. Those statistics may have contributed to the Commanders passing on Chase Young’s 5th-year option.
For a player with a cloudy future, I do not believe you should spend your draft capital on a player with an uncertain future. Of the data available on NFL athletes healing and returning to the NFL, offensive and defensive linemen have the worst track record of returning to form.
Defensive Ends have a lower incidence of tearing an ACL, which is also more troubling. The physical demands on a defensive end are less strenuous than a linebacker. Thus, Chase Young may have a problematic knee that was discovered by the rigors of the NFL, and this may not be the last “major” injury Chase Young has to overcome.
Young returned to limited action in 2022 for weeks 16-18. In those three games, Young saw a 30%, 38%, and 47% snap share per game. Young recorded a total of 5 tackles and ZERO sacks. Even though his time was limited, he did very little with the field time used. The limited sample size may be enough for many IDP managers to pass on rostering Chase Young. For comparison, Josh Sweat (Eagles) played a similar snap share in his last 3 games and he recorded 10 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 int, and a defensive touchdown. In short, Chase Young did not produce at a high enough level to be started in IDP even in part-time duty.
During Chase Young’s injury time in the NFL, the emergence of Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat, and Daron Payne has the Commanders positioned well on the defensive line. Does that mean Chase Young can’t perform? No, he can still produce high-level production with other players being just as effective. Not sure? Check out the Eagles from last year, their rotation on the defensive line led to historic sack numbers as a team. In this situation, he is aided by playing less and sharing the pass-rush responsibilities with his fellow linemen.
Chase Young is a conundrum for IDP Fantasy owners.
If you believe he is past his knee injury, then he is MUST buy.
If you believe his injury prevents him from reaching or exceeding his rookie campaign then he is a SELL.
With his return last year and the off-season to build strength, should aide Young in returning to his previous form. I believe the Commanders not picking up his option is a blessing in disguise. When he becomes a free agent, he has the ability to select his new situation. Chase Young will not be this cheap for much longer. If you can get Chase Young for a player like Trey Hendrickson or Dexter Lawrence advise you to:
BUY! BUY! BUY!
Full time teacher, full time fantasy sports enthusiast. I try to look at fantasy sports through my own lens and share that vision with my readers I love to explore and find new, and exciting fantasy football options including: C2C, dynasty, IDP, and Devy. See me on Twitter @JGoody77
Always willing to give advice, reach out via Twitter