Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster will be a valued commodity in your 2020 fantasy football draft, but will he be overvalued or undervalued come draft time?
Last year was a trying year for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. After putting together two phenomenal years out of USC, he only had 42 catches for 552 yards and three touchdowns in 2020. Of course, he had to deal with turmoil at the quarterback position once Ben Roethlisberger was ruled out for the season, but what is his fantasy value moving forward?
The Fantasy Footballers have an interesting take on this. Jason Moore feels Smith-Schuster will be appropriately valued in normal 2020 fantasy football leagues, whether that’s in a snake draft or in an auction setting. Moore gives a lot of credit to how smart fantasy football players have become recently. However, he’s out on Smith-Schuster having great value in a dynasty league.
The reason Moore feels this strongly about Smith-Schuster’s value is he knows Roethlisberger only has a few years left of playing quarterback at anything close to a high level. While Smith-Schuster dealt with below replacement level quarterbacks once Roethlisberger succumbed to his season-ending injury, his lack of productivity didn’t project well for him down the line.
Will the Steelers’ heir apparent to Roethlisberger be better than Mason Rudolph or Devlin Hodges? Let’s hope so, but we must remember there were many Neil O’Donnells, Tommy Maddoxes and Bubby Bristers playing quarterback between Roethlisberger and Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw. How Smith-Schuster does post-Big Ben in Pittsburgh is up in the air.
And it wasn’t just quarterbacking instability that hurt Smith-Schuster last season. He also dealt with going from the No. 2 wide receiver in the Steelers’ offense to the No. 1 option once Antonio Brown was traded to the then-Oakland Raiders. Then again, running back James Conner had no issues moving up the depth chart once Le’Veon Bell left the Steelers organization in 2018.
Overall, you should expect a bounce-back season out of Smith-Schuster in 2020. He’ll have his starting quarterback back, so that’ll help him get closer to the 1,000-yard receiving threshold we’re used to out of him. However, he does seem to be an incredibly quarterback-dependent fantasy player, so keep this in mind when you select him in future fantasy football drafts.