JuJu Smith-Schuster Fantasy Outlook Paints Potential for a Bounce-Back Season
Ever since he made his Pittsburgh Steelers debut in 2017, JuJu Smith-Schuster has quickly become one of the most exciting young wideouts in the NFL. However, after recording 2,343 receiving yards in his first two seasons, he's put up just 1,383 in the subsequent two. Nevertheless, he's only 24 years old and has all the talents in the world. Judging by his current fantasy outlook, Smith-Schuster is looking like someone who could surprise a lot of people with a potential bounce-back season in 2021.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Fantasy Outlook
Fantasy Pros is listing Smith-Schuster as the current WR30 with an average draft position (ADP) of 76.2 — meaning that he could fly under a lot of fantasy owners' radars. While the 831 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns he had last season may seem underwhelming compared to the potential that he showed in his second campaign two years ago, there's a lot to like about him in 2021.
For starters, Smith-Schuster led all Steelers pass-catchers with 97 receptions last season and finished second on the team with 128 targets. He also led all of Pittsburgh's wideouts with a 75.8 catch percentage while dropping just 2.3% of his targets — by far the best mark of his career. That just goes to show that even if Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool showed a lot of promise, Smith-Schuster is still one of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's favorite and most trusted weapons.
The good news for Smith-Schuster is that he's returning to a Steelers team that led the NFL with 42.6 passing attempts per game in 2020. That number was likely that high due to the team's abysmal running game, which has been improved over the offseason by drafting Alabama Crimson Tide RB Najee Harris in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Even then, Harris' talents should actually open up the field for Pittsburgh's pass-catchers even more now that teams will know they have to defend against the run.
Smith-Schuster is currently listed as WR39 on The Duel's fantasy football rankings, which gives him the chance to surprise a lot of people if he can perform as he did two years ago.
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