BrianM

JuJu Smith-Schuster 2020 Outlook

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The Athletic's Ed Bouchette believes it's "not likely" that the Steelers re-sign contract-year WR JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Smith-Schuster had a flat-out stinker of a 2019 season, his first as the Steelers' top dog out wide. He was unable to stay healthy, and the quarterback play was shoddy at best after Ben Roethlisbrger went down in Week 2. But JuJu also didn't elevate his quarterbacks, leaving many to wonder if he can truly be a No. 1 wideout in the league. With a big bounce-back in 2020, JuJu could price himself out of Pittsburgh, and it might be too late for the Steelers to keep him at that point. Smith-Schuster badly needs a rebound season.

 

 

This feels a bit harsh.  That offense fell apart at the seams last year.  He definitely has a prove it year here but I'm not sure what he couldve done down the stretch while fighting injury and dealing with Wounded Duck Hodges.   I'm not going to put him on my target list or anything but I think volume's going to be there at least. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, BrianM said:

 

 

This feels a bit harsh.  That offense fell apart at the seams last year.  He definitely has a prove it year here but I'm not sure what he couldve done down the stretch while fighting injury and dealing with Wounded Duck Hodges.   I'm not going to put him on my target list or anything but I think volume's going to be there at least. 

 

 

Jerry Rice in his prime couldn’t have elevated Mason and Duck.

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9 minutes ago, BrianM said:

 

 

This feels a bit harsh.  That offense fell apart at the seams last year.  He definitely has a prove it year here but I'm not sure what he couldve done down the stretch while fighting injury and dealing with Wounded Duck Hodges.   I'm not going to put him on my target list or anything but I think volume's going to be there at least. 

 

 

I think the Steelers recognise that:

https://www.pennlive.com/steelers/2020/01/art-rooney-ii-reviews-tough-season-for-juju-smith-schuster-talks-longterm-future-of-steelers-wr.html

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Like Tomlin, Rooney acknowledged much of what was working against Smith-Schuster in 2019, but also went further. The owner affirmed his desire for Smith-Schuster to be a Steelers wideout well into the future. And then he left his case wide open.


“Well again, it was a tough season to evaluate with the different quarterbacks and some of JuJu’s injuries so it’s a tough season to evaluate from a lot of different standpoints," Rooney said [in January]. "Obviously we still think highly of JuJu and still think he’s going to be an outstanding player in the league moving forward and we will address the contract situation when it’s appropriate.”

 

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Posted (edited)

 Was really hoping Jameis would sign with the Steelers. It would have been a huge boost to JuJu and the other pass catchers.

Edited by sSektor

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5 hours ago, BrianM said:

 

 

This feels a bit harsh.  That offense fell apart at the seams last year.  He definitely has a prove it year here but I'm not sure what he couldve done down the stretch while fighting injury and dealing with Wounded Duck Hodges.   I'm not going to put him on my target list or anything but I think volume's going to be there at least. 

 

 


Most overrated WR in the league going into last year. Easy to beast when you get 160+ targets and are never the defense’s #1 priority (which was the case in 2018). 
 

He is simply not an NFL WR1. When playing opposite a top-10 all time WR catching passes from a future HOF QB he looks pretty good. 
 

He gets the QB back, but without AB there he’s also getting opponent’s best coverages. No thanks.

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I'm struggling with a team narrative here for their season.   Two years removed from a potent offense, do they climb back anywhere even in view of that?  Is the defense for real and will keep scoring lo so they dont have to win with 30 point games?  What the hell will they get out of their run game?  Is Ben at the end of the line too?     

Even if they're successful overall, they can get to 10-11 wins with defense and boringball and JuJu doesnt do much.  Thinking about his outlook more, I dont see him sliding too much.  I expect someone to eagerly jump, expecting Ben's return to be the cure-all.  

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The biggest concern with him is his value is tied so much to if Big Ben can stay healthy because their backups are so horrendous.

In 16 years he’s played 16 games 4 times. He has had a lot of 15 games season but if we exclude those it’s still only 9/16.

Not only do you have to worry about if JuJu can sustain WR1 production. You have to worry if one of the most injury prone QBs in the entire league can stay healthy.

Then I looked at his ADP. In the 70s on sleeper and FFC. There’s no way that stays. Are people out of their damn mind? He’s still their #1 WR and Big Ben is going to put up numbers. I don’t see how he’s not a lock for at least 1,000 yards with a healthy Big Ben. I’ll gladly take that risk higher than the 70s

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13 hours ago, joshua18 said:


Most overrated WR in the league going into last year. Easy to beast when you get 160+ targets and are never the defense’s #1 priority (which was the case in 2018). 
 

He is simply not an NFL WR1. When playing opposite a top-10 all time WR catching passes from a future HOF QB he looks pretty good. 
 

He gets the QB back, but without AB there he’s also getting opponent’s best coverages. No thanks.

You obviously didn’t watch a Steelers game last year. There were multiple times a game that JuJu was open but Rudolph decided to dink and dunk instead. Rudolph literally threw it to his rbs the entire game and JuJu played decoy for  dionte Johnson. Rudolph actually got JuJu killed over the middle and he was never the same after.

Rudolph and Hodges both played scared.

Steelers went to a ball control approach once Big Ben went down.

Im not sure you can be an elite wr in this league without volume.

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3 hours ago, BRIGUY11 said:

You obviously didn’t watch a Steelers game last year. There were multiple times a game that JuJu was open but Rudolph decided to dink and dunk instead. Rudolph literally threw it to his rbs the entire game and JuJu played decoy for  dionte Johnson. Rudolph actually got JuJu killed over the middle and he was never the same after.

Rudolph and Hodges both played scared.

Steelers went to a ball control approach once Big Ben went down.

Im not sure you can be an elite wr in this league without volume.


Juju was bad even before Big Ben got hurt. Which is only more evidence that he’s not a true NFL WR1.

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10 minutes ago, joshua18 said:


Juju was bad even before Big Ben got hurt. Which is only more evidence that he’s not a true NFL WR1.

??  Went 6 for 78 vs NE(the best pass D in the league).  The Ben got injured the next game.  

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3 minutes ago, youngrice said:

??  Went 6 for 78 vs NE(the best pass D in the league).  The Ben got injured the next game.  

Was about to say the same thing. 14 points per game at 16 games is 224 points. That would put him on pace to be WR18.

Thats without any Touchdowns.

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The offense added weapons and Juju isn't elite without AB. Maybe with them drafting Claypool, their hopes is to move juju into the slot full time. At best he is a wr 3 or on the bench and is rotational for Wr and Flex. I doubt he finishes in the top 20 even with Big Ben. The Steelers are going to pound the rock with 4 rbs this year and let their defense win the games. 

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At best he's a WR 3....

Really? 

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3 minutes ago, fjthegrey said:

At best he's a WR 3....

Really? 

People say some weird things sometimes....

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, fjthegrey said:

At best he's a WR 3....

Really? 

Yes he has had 1 season where he has played 16 games.

1 season over 60 catches

1 season over 1k yards

run centric offense

he won't finish in the top 20 this year.

17th in drops and contested catches

everyone who is buying is hoping Big Ben is healthy and what he did with Antonio Brown opposite of him. Il be happy when people are overpaying for the name and not the production.

Edited by dontclapGonorrhea

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, dontclapGonorrhea said:

Yes he has had 1 season where he has played 16 games.

1 season over 60 catches

1 season over 1k yards

run centric offense

he won't finish in the top 20 this year.

17th in drops and contested catches

everyone who is buying is hoping Big Ben is healthy and what he did with Antonio Brown opposite of him. Il be happy when people are overpaying for the name and not the production.

Hold on - first, you can’t hold against him the fact that JuJu had only been in the league for two seasons (and had only played roughly 1.5 seasons) prior to last year’s debacle.  He was excellent in his time spent with Big Ben on the field.  You pretty much can throw anything that happened last season out the window due to pathetic QB play.

The effect of AB’s departure is still an open question - though drafting Claypool to play out wide should allow JuJu to return to his familiar home in the slot, where he did his best work.

”Run-centric” offense?  Were it not for GB, the Steelers would’ve ranked dead-last in rushing attempts per game the last season Ben was healthy.  Heck, they even ran less often than average last year when their QBs couldn’t deliver an accurate pass to save their lives.

JuJu may come with his share of question marks, but capping his ceiling at WR3 is complete overkill.

Edited by BMcP
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1 hour ago, BMcP said:

People say some weird things sometimes....

I'm just gonna let him go with it man. Doesn't seem worth debating. 

He may finish as a WR3 but in no way is that his ceiling. Just the 'at best' part seemed silly. 

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His ceiling is 160-170 targets, which given his inefficiency vs press coverage and WR1 defensive attention would make him a WR2. That is where I expect him to finish.

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There should be no talk of WR3 with JuJu. That’s just plain silly . Yes he balled out when AB was there. And no I don’t think he's a bonafide elite star. But Big Ben is back , new season, he should bounce back this year. WR2 with immense upside, & I wouldn't be surprised he vaults into weekly WR1 must start shortly after the season starts. It’s more about the whole team staying healthy & in sync more than anything. 

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1 hour ago, RunCMC said:

There should be no talk of WR3 with JuJu. That’s just plain silly . Yes he balled out when AB was there. And no I don’t think he's a bonafide elite star. But Big Ben is back , new season, he should bounce back this year. WR2 with immense upside, & I wouldn't be surprised he vaults into weekly WR1 must start shortly after the season starts. It’s more about the whole team staying healthy & in sync more than anything. 

I agree with this: definitely going to be a WR2 this year with the upside for more... 

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In 2015 Antonio Brown had to play 4 weeks with Vick. In those 4 weeks he averaged under 55 YPG and got a total of 4 TDs. Arguably the best WR of the decade became unstartable in fantasy because the backup QB was so horrendous.

You don’t need a good QB to be competent. You just need a QB that’s serviceable. Neither of the Steelers backups are even worthy of being second string guys. They’re borderline practice squad players.

In 15 games last season they managed to get over 250 yards once (251). In comparison they got under 150 yards 6 times and under 100 3 times all while running the most simple dink and dunk offense. Good luck being productive under that...

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36 minutes ago, Gohawks said:

In 2015 Antonio Brown had to play 4 weeks with Vick. In those 4 weeks he averaged under 55 YPG and got a total of 4 TDs. Arguably the best WR of the decade became unstartable in fantasy because the backup QB was so horrendous.

You don’t need a good QB to be competent. You just need a QB that’s serviceable. Neither of the Steelers backups are even worthy of being second string guys. They’re borderline practice squad players.

In 15 games last season they managed to get over 250 yards once (251). In comparison they got under 150 yards 6 times and under 100 3 times all while running the most simple dink and dunk offense. Good luck being productive under that...

0 TDs for Brown in 4 weeks not 4. 

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1 hour ago, Gohawks said:

0 TDs for Brown in 4 weeks not 4. 

Yeah I had to go and look that up because 4 TD didn't sound all that unstartable to me ;)

It was 3 weeks of Vick (and one quarter of the game where Ben got injured), then Landry Jones, then Ben came back and still sucked, and then finally AB had 17/284 and another 22 yards rushing (and a return that amounted to 0). Seems the guy was a bit frustrated ;)

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I think the "one season with 60 catches/1000 yards" is a major cherry pick.  His rookie year he played only 14 games, had Martavis Bryant still active, and got only 79 targets.  Still put up 58-917-7.  None of that at all is a detriment to him, i'm not sure how anyone could look at his rookie season's output as unimpressive. 

That said, I definitely get anyone with the pessimistic POV about this year.   Its all already been discussed.

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3 minutes ago, BrianM said:

Its all already been discussed.

I fully expect at least 20 pages of bickering over the exact same points before the season starts.

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