Christian Kirk Fantasy Projections: Should You Draft Kirk in Fantasy This Year?

    Christian Kirk is a key piece of an ascending offense, but what are his fantasy projections in 2023, and should you draft him at his ADP?

    As the NFL season approaches, millions of people are turning their attention to fantasy football. We at PFN have been researching more than 350 players, trying to identify which ones are overrated, underrated, and priced right. With that in mind, here are Jacksonville Jaguars WR Christian Kirk’s fantasy projections for 2023, as well as insights into whether he should be drafted at or before his ADP.

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    Christian Kirk’s 2023 Fantasy Projection

    When the Jaguars handed Kirk $72 million — including $37 million guaranteed — last offseason, some questioned whether he could possibly live up to those lofty expectations. After enjoying four productive years in Arizona, largely as a secondary option, Kirk was now catapulted to No. 1 WR status. How would he fare?

    Apparently, just fine. Or rather, more than fine. On a team where three other experienced receivers earned 80+ targets, Kirk led the way with an 84-1,108-8 receiving line. After never breaking more than one tackle in a season, he broke five last year.

    Kirk did all this despite the role shift — despite more consistently drawing top opposing cornerbacks. Essentially, he was asked to do more, and he did much more.

    So now expectations are even higher, at least in some circles. Kirk was the preseason WR39 last year. As we’ll see below, the fantasy market is significantly more bullish about him in 2023, and for good reasons.

    First, Trevor Lawrence conceivably is only getting better. The former No. 1 overall draft pick joined Jacksonville as an almost can’t-miss prospect, and he noticeably improved from his rookie to sophomore campaigns. He realistically has a much higher ceiling than we’ve seen so far.

    No doubt, Kirk will benefit as his quarterback shifts from “very good” to “great” to (I believe) “elite” in the next year or two. Also consider that Marvin Jones Jr. is gone. While the aged wideout clearly was on the decline in 2022, he still accounted for 81 targets in 16 games.

    We also might wonder if the 28-year-old Zay Jones can replicate last year’s breakout, as well as whether the 29-year-old Evan Engram — dogged by injuries throughout his career — can build off of last year’s remarkably healthy regular season.

    Perhaps the Engram and Zay Jones angles are a bit of a stretch. Yet, both outperformed 2022 preseason expectations. It’s fair to assess whether their most recent campaigns mark new floors or new ceilings.

    Most notable, however, is the addition of Calvin Ridley. Suspended for all of last year after missing most of his 2021 campaign, Ridley is the true wild card in this offense and should have a sizeable impact on Kirk’s production.

    The Jags brilliantly bought low on the former Falcon. And although he’s turning 29 later this year, Ridley could immediately serve as a co-alpha alongside Kirk. But it’s also possible he needs weeks or even months to reacclimate to the NFL, along with a new quarterback and new system.

    For a receiver who might not even finish the year as the Jags’ leading receiver, Kirk has a tremendous floor. But that’s the rub. His high floor is paired with a questionable ceiling.

    For all intents and purposes, Kirk was a weekly must-start fantasy WR last season while finishing as the overall WR12. He might take another step forward, but more realistically, he’ll have a tough time matching last year’s numbers. Essentially, Kirk will need Ridley to be shockingly disappointing.

    Should You Draft Christian Kirk This Year?

    Underdog Fantasy lists Kirk with an ADP of WR27. Our PFN consensus rankings also list him at WR27. Across a full season, this is entirely achievable. On a per-game basis, things get a bit murkier.

    Because Kirk was the WR19 in points per game last season. Yes, he was terrific. And yes, he needed to be in starting lineups every week in all but the shallowest leagues. However, he wasn’t great enough to be among the near-elites.

    In eight of 17 outings, Kirk scored fewer than 11 points. In other words, nearly half the time, fantasy managers weren’t garnering must-start value from him.

    So Kirk’s current market price is reasonable. He probably won’t finish in the top 15 overall, and he likely won’t post top-18 numbers in WR points per game. At best, he’s a soft buy.

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