Intuition suggests that. But looking at the data, I am not so sure about that.
I have thrown the average fantasy production of the top 32 players for each skill position for the last 4 seasons into a graph:
The top 8 RBs produce more points than the top 8 WRs. About 2 more points in a half PPR league. Between position 9 and 26, the graphs are almost identical. The RB curve drops off a little bit faster, but at position 26, the difference is still just 0.4 points per game. At position 32, it’s 0.9. So the WR32 scores an average 0.9 points more than the RB32.
I have to admit, before I started analysing the data, I thought the difference would be a lot bigger.
Still - top RBs score better than top WRs. But the RBs have a much shorter shelf life. Having a top tier RB is great. But the fun isn’t likely to last too long.
As for the Chase vs Harris comparison: again, intuition suggests that you are right. But again, a look at the data contradicts the intuition.
That league is a full PPR one, so looking at those 2021 stats:
Najee Harris: total 302.7 points (17.8 per game)
Ja’Marr Chase: total 321.6 points (18.9 per game)
Granted, those numbers are a bit warped because of Chase’s insane week 17 stat line. Still, Chase outperformed Harris in their rookie season.
Empirical data suggests that Harris may have seen his best season already. On average, most RBs have their best fantasy season as a rookie. WRs usually reach their peak performance in year 4.
I would make the case that I won’t get another shot at a WR like Chase any time soon. Ideally, he will give me absolute top-tier performance for the next 6-8 years. Which is an eternity in fantasy football.
And during all that time, I can afford to bundle my 1st, 2nd and 3rd to trade up into the top 3 picks, to get a shot at the best RB talent. If Trey Lance fulfills his QB1 expectations, I am now only one RB1 away from being a serious contender next year.
Of course, we all know that things will go horribly wrong. But as far as things can be planned, I feel I did make the right choice.
And trust me, it was terribly hard to not pick Harris with the 1.01.