WR JuJu Smith-Schuster - Pittsburgh Steelers

6-1, 215Born: 11-22-1996College: Southern CaliforniaDrafted: Round 2, pick 2017

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Sep 16): Smith-Schuster lost his quarterback and chances of being a fantasy WR1 this year, but he can still be modestly productive.

Week 3: at San Francisco 49ers

All WR vs SF

FBG says: Neutral matchup. The Steelers have faced stretches without Ben Roethlisberger, who's no stranger to the injury report, before. But they're now staring down 14 games with *** Mason Rudolph at the helm. Rudolph looked plenty competent as a Week 2 fill-in, going 12 of 19 for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns, with an interception that resulted from yet another Donte Moncrief drop. Still, expectations must be tempered. Unlike the Seahawks, the 49ers will have the week to watch and prepare for Rudolph's traits. They'll focus on taking away his key targets, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Vance McDonald, and forcing him to win with the intuition and experience he doesn't yet have. On the plus side, he'll benefit from working behind an elite offensive line. Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro are the big names up front but left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is the team's premier pass-blocker. Roethlisberger has taken fewer and fewer sacks over the past few years, so protection shouldn't be an issue for Rudolph. The burning questions revolve around his ability to get the ball to those playmakers on-target. Rudolph did a great job of spreading it around Sunday, throwing to seven different receivers in the second half. Still, this attack will still go through Smith-Schuster and McDonald. The latter caught two short touchdowns late in the game, while the former made a great 45-yard play shortly after Rudolph stepped in. Overall, it's rarely wise to trust a first-time starting quarterback on the road. Rudolph may find himself in a better situation than most, but he still carries far more questions regarding this passing game than answers. The 49ers have opened the season much stronger against the pass than they were in 2018. After harassing Jameis Winston into a flurry of interceptions in the opener, they forced Andy Dalton and the Bengals into an ineffective Week 2. It's too early to truly gauge their progress, but this isn't an ideal first start for the Steelers' Mason Rudolph. The 49ers boast a talented, versatile pass rush up front and shutdown potential in the secondary. At age 31, Richard Sherman remains an elite cover man on the 49ers' left side. He blanketed Mike Evans for much of Week 1, then Tyler Boyd from the Bengals' game plan last Sunday. Sherman doesn't shadow, though, nor does he move down into the slot. K'Waun Williams, one of the league's weaker slot men, will be tasked with JuJu Smith-Schuster for most of this game. That's a clear trouble spot that Rudolph will look to exploit, so the 49ers will deploy a handful of bodies to slow Smith-Schuster. It will then be up to Sherman and pleasant surprise Ahkello Witherspoon to lock down the boundaries, which they've done so well thus far. Funneling the ball to the middle would force Rudolph to spend the day throwing scary passes into traffic.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
1 at NE 62 0 0 0 8 6.0 78 0 0 7.8
2 vs SEA 47 0 0 0 8 5.0 84 0 0 8.4
3 at SF PROJ-Dodds * 0 * * 5.3 * * * *
3 at SF PROJ-Tremblay * 0 * * 5.0 * * * *
3 at SF PROJ-Bloom * 0 * * 5.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs WR 1, WR 12, WR 24, WR 36

Percentile ranks

JuJu Smith-Schuster's percentile rank in each category, among WR with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 2 vs SEA (8 / 5 / 84 / 0 rec)

After combatting all night with Stephen Gilmore in Week 1 against the Patriots, Juju Smith-Schuster saw a much easier day against the Seattle Seahawks who don't have a traveling shutdown cornerback. The downside is Ben Roethlisberger didn't target him until halfway through the second quarter. When Smith-Schuster was targeted he was a reliable target for Ben Roethlisberger and getting good opportunities after the catch. Smith-Schuster's had two prominent receptions on the night, one with each quarterback. The first, with Ben Roethlisberger, came in the second quarter. Smith-Schuster used his eyes to work the defender inside in tandem with Roethlisberger and was able to work his route outside for a great opportunity in the open field. In the third quarter, with Rudolph in, Smith-Schuster sprang free on a flea flicker play. Smith-Schuster tracked the ball well, slowing down and made a strong hands catch over the defender. However, if Rudolph would have led his receiver better, Smith-Schuster would have a touchdown on the night.

2019 Week 1 vs NE (8 / 6 / 78 / 0 rec)

Going from second chair wide receiver to first chair is never easy. You draw either double coverage or the opposing team's best defensive back on every plan. On Sunday night, Juju Smith-Schuster went toe to toe with the Patriots top defensive back, Stephon Gilmore, and had a long night. Smith-Schuster dealt with tight coverage from the start and had to work for every yard. On his first reception of the game, Smith-Schuster had to high point the ball over the defender and concentrate as he brought the ball into his body with another defender draped on him. His second catch on the evening was his easiest by far. Smith-Schuster had inside position on his defender and when he cut his route inside the defender was left trailing him. By the end of the evening things did end up loosening up for Smith-Schuster. With off coverage, Smith Schuster was able to convert a couple garbage time catches before injuring himself on his last reception of the game. After the game new has come out Juju Smith-Schuster was sent after the game for an x-ray after suffering a toe injury on his last reception.

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Latest News

Steelers | JuJu Smith-Schuster on track to play (Fri Sep 13, 04:11 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) fully participated in practice Friday, Sept. 13, and is not on the injury report for Week 2.

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Steelers | JuJu Smith-Schuster practices (Thu Sep 12, 06:57 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) fully participated in practice Thursday, Sept. 12.

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Steelers | JuJu Smith-Schuster limited (Wed Sep 11, 08:04 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) was limited during practice Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Our View: The toe injury appears to be minor for Smith-Schuster. We'll see if he can practice fully later in the week.
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Steelers | JuJu Smith-Schuster provides optimism (Tue Sep 10, 12:46 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) has given the team optimism for his Week 2 status, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

Our View: The Steelers offense needs Smith-Schuster in a bad way. The toe injury is considered minor, so we'll wait for his practice status during the week.
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Steelers | JuJu Smith-Schuster expected to be fine (Mon Sep 9, 02:20 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe) is expected to be 'fine' after an X-ray on his injured toe came back negative Monday, Sept. 9.

Our View: Smith-Schuster left the blowout loss against the Patriots late and Steelers fans were dismayed (for multiple reasons). It sounds like this injury is minor, so we'll be watching his practice status during the week. Check on Friday to see if he is ready to go for Week 2. Until then, Smith-Schuster is likely to be limited.
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Schedule

3@ San Francisco 49ers
4vs Cincinnati Bengals
5vs Baltimore Ravens
6@ Los Angeles Chargers
7--- BYE WEEK ---
8vs Miami Dolphins
9vs Indianapolis Colts
10vs Los Angeles Rams
11@ Cleveland Browns
12@ Cincinnati Bengals
13vs Cleveland Browns
14@ Arizona Cardinals
15vs Buffalo Bills
16@ New York Jets
17@ Baltimore Ravens