The Injury Files: JuJu Smith-Schuster
In this series of articles, I’ll be looking at players who missed significant time last year and how it’s affected their Fantasy Football value for the 2022 season. Some of these guy’s may have had people step up in their absence, their team signed another player to fill the void or they could be heading to a new franchise off the back of an injury. I’ll be diving into several players, at numerous positions and how their value differs from last off-season.
The Former USC Trojan was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2017. In college he helped his team to a Rose Bowl win vs. Penn State. He proved a vital part of the NFL franchises offense from day one. He finished as the WR20 in PPR, serving as the team’s 2nd option behind Antonio Brown. In 2018 he earned his first and currently only pro-bowl berth. Finishing as the WR8 with 111 catches for 1426 yards and 7 scores. A promising NFL career had exploded into existence.
The Steelers traded away AB and drafted Diontae Johnson before the 2019 season. JuJu was primed to be the teams 1st option at Wide Receiver. Although an underwhelming year ensued with his Quarterback, hall of fame bound Ben Roethlisberger playing only 2 games. JuJu missed weeks 12 to 15 with a left knee injury himself. 2020 came around and it was much of the JuJu we previously saw. Big Ben back in the saddle. DJ putting up WR2 numbers. Both factored into his finish as the WR17 on the year.
The Cali native got injured in the 1st quarter of the 2021, week 5 game at Heinz Field. On the 11th October, Smith-Schuster was ruled out for the season. He had to have surgery on the shoulder he injured vs. Denver. Although touted to miss the remainder of the season, JuJu came back for their singular playoff game.
Kansas City Calling
Before the 2021 season JuJu signed a one year deal in Pennsylvania. He tested the free agency market this year and landed
at the Superbowl 54 champions. Originally I loved this for Fantasy Football. Even though typically, the number two Wide Receiver on Andy Reid’s offense hasn’t had much use. JuJu back behind a stud wideout in Tyreek Hill. I thought this could be the opposite and be hugely beneficial for both. A few days later, Tyreek left for Miami.
Travis Kelce is still in town and will no doubt be Patrick Mahomes main target for 2022. With the anti-climatic signing of Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Smith-Schuster will definitely get a lot of the ball from his significantly upgraded Quarterback. At his current underdog ADP, JuJu is a steal. He’s coming off the board as the WR46 currently. I believe he will more than pay that back this year. A guy with serious borderline WR1/2 upside i’m happily taking him in the 9th round.
So, a monumental change at Quarterback. Tick. The 2nd option on a high passing volume team. Tick. Back to full health and a decrease in ADP. Tick. Buy, buy, buy, JuJu Smith-Schuster for the 2022 season.
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