Dynasty Value: Buy/Sell/Hold On Juju Smith-Schuster?
I love playing poker. I’m not the best at it, I’m not the worst. At the end of the day though, it is part skill and part luck. I can’t even count how many times I’ve lost on the river….it sucks. I’m sure you know this line from the Gambler song “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run”. Well, this rule applies to fantasy football and is one I live by to the fullest. This is my goal with my team(s) whether it be redraft or dynasty but especially in dynasty and that is my focus right here…dynasty.
So who is the #1 guy that I would sell right now in dynasty? Who would I want to run away from? That player for me is Juju Smith-Schuster. Now, this maybe blasphemous (Stephen A. Smith voice) for some to read. You may even call me insane. That’s fine, I’m pretty sure I’ve been called insane several times in my life. Anyway, here is my deal. Juju was tremendous this year. It’s hard to argue with the stats:
That is a heck of a 2nd season and I’m sure those who own him are telling themselves there is no way I’m trading him. Here is my issue. At no point did teams ever decide to shadow Juju. That was reserved for Antonio Brown. This allowed Juju to take advantage of favorable matchups all year long. Most of the time he was in the slot and he does do a good job of finding the open spots in zone coverage. When teams where in man coverage, the total rating of the guys he faced up until week 16 was 75. So most of the damage he did throughout the year was against a total that would have ranked as the 75th best CB. In one game, his matchup was mostly against a CB that was unrated per PPF metrics, so wasn’t even good enough to get a rating. I just used an arbitrary number for that corner. In his one game without Antonio Brown, Juju went for 5 receptions on 10 targets for 1 TD and 37 yards. With the extra attention, he struggled to get as open as he usually did with AB taking away attention from him.
The point of this article is not say that Juju Smith-Schuster is a bad player. He may be a good player regardless of matchups but he hasn’t proven that yet. Currently, Juju’s dynasty start-up ADP is 12th. The WR’s with a higher ADP are: DeAndre Hopkins (6th), Odell Beckham (7th), Michael Thomas (8th), Davante Adams (9th), and Tyreek Hill (10th). Two of those guys (Hopkins, and Hill) have elite young QB’s (Watson, Mahomes), Adams is tied to Aaron Rodgers for a while and while Eli Manning is bad and I’m not sure how much longer Drew Brees plays, OBJ and Thomas have proven to be elite against elite corners. Add in the fact that Antonio Brown may have played his last game as a Steeler and Big Ben has discussed retirement several times, I don’t see Juju passing any of those guys up anytime soon, if ever. They are all still young and have proven to be elite no matter the circumstances. So if Juju won’t be passing these guys up that means his value is at its peak. So if you own Juju, why not look at the owner who has Hopkins and offer Juju and another smaller asset and try to get Nuk? Maybe you need an RB, than you can offer Juju and another smaller asset and see if you can net yourself Ezekiel Elliott? I’d even overpay a bit if I have to. Those are guys I’d much rather own right now and if I owned Juju, I would be actively trying to make a move like this.
Circling back to my poker analogy, it is part skill and part luck. You got to have the skill of seeing the talent of a player and make decisions based on that. The luck part is you’re not sure how a team plans to use that player or injuries. These are things we can’t control. We need to make decisions on what we know in the present time whether good or bad and make our decisions based on that. That leads me to that fact that you need to know when to go all in or walk away or run away for that matter. If you’re a Juju Smith-Schuster owner, I think the time is now to make a big move and walk (run) away!
By: Roberto Serrano @RS_Smoove