At the chance of rebranding myself as a kind of fantasy analysts who overreact to each coaching camp spotlight that hits the Twitter feed, um, nicely … OMG WILL YOU PLEASE JUST LOOK AT WHAT JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER IS DOING IN CAMP OMG OMG!
Here’s additional proof of Smith-Schuster getting deep and making performs, which mainly by no means occurred for him in recent times in Pittsburgh:
He’s additionally working the brief and intermediate areas, snagging no matter Patrick Mahomes throws his manner:
Wherever you had him slotted within the preliminary model of your draft cheat sheet, it was most likely too low. The case for aggressively drafting Smith-Schuster is simply made. It begins, in fact, with alternative.
Hundreds of targets are up for grabs in Kansas City
Tyreek Hill, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson have all relocated, leaving a complete of 260 vacant extensive receiver targets. We do not want to decide on a selected particular person winner from the present group of pass-catchers in KC; it is easy to think about a state of affairs wherein JuJu, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Michael Hardman all see sufficient alternatives to keep up season-long viability in fantasy whereas Travis Kelce attracts his regular 130-plus targets. It’s additionally completely cheap to anticipate 120 or extra probabilities for Smith-Schuster. And it isn’t simply the amount of targets accessible to him that ought to excite you, but in addition the high quality.
Mahomes is only a galactically massive improve for JuJu
With all due respect to Ben Roethlisberger — a no-doubt inner-circle Hall of Fame expertise — he loved his final season of high-level play again in 2018. In every of the previous two years, he was like a zombified model of classic Big Ben. He ranked next-to-last in supposed air yards per goal final season (6.7), only a tick forward of Jared Goff. He’d averaged simply 6.2 yards per try since 2019, nicely off his profession price of seven.6.
Mahomes, in fact, possesses limitless arm energy and unusual creativity. He’s basically a sorcerer taking part in quarterback. The man has performed at an MVP stage since taking the controls in Kansas City, averaging 301.4 passing yards per sport and eight.1 per try. This is merely a staggering improve for Smith-Schuster. We aren’t going to see one other 2020-style season from him wherein practically all his targets are at or close to the road of scrimmage.
Smith-Schuster is nonetheless a younger participant who has already produced a monster season
It could really feel as if JuJu is some getting older vet getting into the AJ Green part of his profession, however, in reality, he is nonetheless solely 25. He’s two years youthful than MVS and only one 12 months older than Hardman. He’s a 12 months youthful than Mahomes. The Chicago Bears simply drafted a receiver who’s solely 170 days youthful than JuJu.
We’re truly speaking a couple of younger dude.
Let’s additionally please recall that in Roethlisberger’s final productive season, Smith-Schuster was virtually unfair. He caught 111 balls for 1,426 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2018, at age 22, comfortably ending among the many top-10 fantasy receivers in any format. We know it is inside JuJu’s vary of outcomes as a result of it truly occurred. A 25-year-old’s expertise would not merely disappear.
Smith-Schuster will not even must strategy the extent of manufacturing he reached in his greatest season with a purpose to justify his 2022 fantasy ADP. If JuJu can merely stay wholesome and accessible, Mahomes is going to return him to every-week beginning standing.