J.J. Arcega-Whiteside Fantasy
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is a redshirt junior who was born in Zaragoza, Spain. He was a three-star recruit out of high school and never really got the recognition like some of these other top prospects received. He really exploded onto the scene his final year at Stanford. The first two years he played, Arcega-Whiteside recorded 21 games and had only 72 catches for just 1,160 yards and 14 touchdowns. His final year, he nearly reached his career total in yards with 1,059 and tied his career number in touchdowns with 14. He also averaged 16.8 yards per catch this year. Out of anyone in this class, he helped his draft stock the most this year. We could see Arcega-Whiteside taken around the early second round of dynasty fantasy football league rookie drafts.
- 225 lbs.
- Age: 22
Arcega-Whiteside’s best sport may not have been football. He was a standout basketball player in high school, which explains why he is so good in the red zone. He had a whopping 14 touchdowns his senior, 7 of which came inside the red zone. That is going to be his bread and butter in the NFL.
NFL Combine Recap
- Combine results- N/A
Arcega-Whiteside chose not to test and to wait until his pro day to show off his physical measurables. He has traits that could land him high in the draft and they are expected to be on full display.
Strengths & Weaknesses
For a guy that exploded onto the scene late, Arcega-Whiteside shows a lot of strengths that will help him remain productive in the NFL. First, look at his overall production in college. He may not have put up monster numbers early in his college career, but even so, he still averaged 16.4 yards per catch and .9 touchdowns per game through his college career. Arcega-Whiteside has quite a few positive traits that allow him to be this productive. He has fantastic concentration and body control to make tough angle catches. That, as well as his flexibility, are what really helps him on those backline fades in the end zone. He adjusts well to poorly thrown balls and can track the ball tremendously. He’s strong enough to fight through the hands of a defensive back and plays through contact very efficiently. He uses his hands and arms well to help separate himself from his defender. He has great sideline awareness. He often creates room between the boundaries and the defender and can make the tough grab with his hands and has the wherewithal to get his toes down inbounds. His good route running starts at the line of scrimmage. Both his stutter step and gallop off the line freezes his defender and allows him to gain separation almost immediately. He also uses those steps in space to make a defender miss. He doesn’t have burner speed, but the ability to separate that quickly makes up for that. His excellent use of jab steps and head fakes at the top of his routes force the defender to try and guess where he is going to end up, often making the defenders look silly. He uses leans at the route stem to deceive a corner and break off comeback routes with ease. When he does break routes off, he gets his numbers turned back to the QB quickly.
With strengths also come weaknesses. There are a few things that concern me as we prepare for dynasty rookie drafts. He’s not the greatest route runner. Yes, he can separate at the line with a good stutter step, but he’s not going to run a post-corner-post route and burn a defender. If he can’t win at the line, he’s going to rely on leans and head deception for more separation and against NFL level corners, that becomes much more predictable. Lucky for him he can win a jump ball with the best of them. He has a very long stride and at times it will limit his short area quickness. Some of the time, his head and body language can tip off when he is about to break and allows for easy coverage by his defender. He’s extremely physical, which can be good and bad. The bad; the NFL will call a lot more offensive pass interference penalties the way he plays.
Who were one of the most inefficient quarterbacks and offenses in the league last year? Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings. There have been major struggles in Minnesota with scoring in the red zone, and also the luxury of having a third option in the receiving game. The Treadwell experiment hasn’t lived up to it’s potential, and the Vikings already have two of the top receivers in the league in Thielen and Diggs. Those guys can do it all. But can the win consistently in the red zone? Arcega-Whiteside can. That’s where he is going to be the most productive in the NFL. If he can find a landing spot on a team that is looking for a receiver to work the boundary and be that threat in the red zone, Arcega-Whiteside will flourish at the next level.
Arcega-Whiteside is going to need to land on a team that will utilize his skill set properly if dynasty owners want to see production year one out of him. He’s not the D.K. Metcalf’s or N’Keal Harry’s of the draft where if he gets drafted on a team he has the high potential of being the top target. Dynasty owners and redraft fantasy football players alike are going to want to take notes on draft day of where this kid goes. Ultimately, that is what is going to make or break him. If he ends up on a team like the Chargers for instance who already have a red zone threat in Mike Williams and there go to guy Keenan Allen, Arcega-Whiteside’s value in dynasty rookie drafts is all but solidified and he may slip to the end of rookie drafts. But if dynasty owners are lucky enough, he will land on a team needy of a red zone threat and Arcega-Whiteside will see his current Gridiron Experts ADP of a mid second round pick turn into a potential late first early second round pick in this year’s dynasty rookie drafts.
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