JuJu Smith-Schuster Fantasy Football Outlook & Value 2019

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a nice history of drafting wideouts and JuJu Smith-Schuster is another product. This offense has been one of the more fantasy friendly ones over the last decade. We can almost plug and play anyone and get production. This year we welcome a new duo as Antonio Brown is out in Oakland, and James Conner is the number one option in the backfield. Smith-Schuster was a top ten wideout in fantasy last season, and this was with Brown as the WR1 on the team. He will now be the WR1 heading into 2019.

2018 Fantasy Recap

Tier FPTS 2018 Rating GP SNPS/G TGT REC TGT/G YDS 100+ YDS YDS/REC TD Yahoo PTS/G
1 185.9 89 16 60 166 111 10.4 1,426 8 12.8 7 15.1

The Pittsburgh passing game was electric last season, and all three of the big names in the passing game posted monster years. Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger both posted huge seasons in addition to JuJu Smith-Schuster. The difference in numbers between Brown and Smith-Schuster was the eight touchdown advantage for Brown. Smith-Schuster finished with seven touchdowns but had 111 receptions and 1,426 passing yards. Finishing with 28% of the air yards, there are some up for grabs with Brown leaving 36% of them up for grabs moving forward. With seven touchdowns in each of the first two seasons, Smith-Schuster jumped from 79 targets in his rookie year to 166 targets.

2019 Fantasy Outlook

Position Ranking ADP Auction Value Bye Week Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
WR5 2.03 $31 7 103.0 1,394.9 10.9

One of the big talking points is what does the Steelers offense look like without Antonio Brown? We aren’t going to project anymore targets for Smith-Schuster because he finished fourth in the league last season. There isn’t a ton of room for growth because he was already involved so much. Brown’s 169 targets are going to move elsewhere, and the Steelers offense will be a bit more spread out after Brown’s departure. Overall we are looking at another high target season regardless of Brown being gone, but the touchdown production isn’t something that we predict to take a huge jump. This is also one of the more volatile stats to predict.

Smith-Schuster will turn 23 in November and he is now lumped into the top ten WR range moving forward. We are looking at another top ten season for him, and you should feel comfortable getting him wherever in your drafts. Looking at the upside, a double-digit touchdown season is certainly possible, and we have him closing in on 1,400 yards yet again. In a high powered offense, Smith-Schuster is great exposure.

Draft & Auction Value

Being taken as the sixth wideout off the board, JuJu Smith-Schuster is a safe second round wideout to consider. He is in the midst of a group of wideouts where I draw the line of not having quite the upside as guys below in ADP. There is no auction value at all, and he is now in the mix for those elite wideout prices being over $30. The start of your draft will determine what you ultimately do in the second round, but I wouldn’t mind going him over a James Conner.

  
Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.

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