Will JuJu Smith-Schuster Have Full Bounce-Back in 2020?

JuJu Smith-Schuster
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

JuJu Smith-Schuster’s rise to NFL stardom was pretty rapid, but just when fantasy football owners started to pay a premium to roster him he had the worst season of his young career. He had just 42 catches for 552 yards and 3 touchdowns in 12 games. Will he bounce back in full force in 2020?

Oddsmakers have set JuJu Smith-Schuster’s yardage over/under at 1,100 for this coming season. Here’s why that number is significant:

The biggest plus for JuJu Smith-Schuster this season is the return of a healthy and pain-free Roethlisberger. Smith-Schuster is averaging 78.73 receiving yards per game in contests started by Roethlisberger since Week 2 of the wide receiver’s rookie season (2017). That’s a 16-game average of 1,259.73 receiving yards. Even as bad as things were last season, he was still on a 1,013-yard pace through Week 8. 

Assuming he can stay healthy, Smith-Schuster should have no issues reaching 1,100 receiving yards in 2020. Those same oddsmakers have his touchdown over/under set at 6.5 with moderate juice on the over. There are no reception props available as of mid-May, so we’ll use his career average of 5.15 catches per game as a baseline. Let’s look at what an 82-catch, 1,100-yard, 7-touchdown season would look like.

The above stat line is worth 234 points in PPR formats, or a per-game average of 14.63 fantasy points. That would’ve been good enough to be the WR23 last season. If we boost that up to what his career averages are with Ben Roethlisberger as his starting QB, he would’ve ranked as the WR13 in 2019.

Smith-Schuster has a current consensus ranking right around WR11/12. That’s paying full price for a bounce-back. I’d feel more comfortable with him as a high-end WR2 unless I go RB-RB to start my draft.

What do you think? Is he a WR1? Let us know over on the Forums.

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