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 Dec 9): Smith-Schuster could be back this week and while he'll be risky against Tre'Davious White if he does come back, Week 16 vs the Jets could be excellent.

General News (Thu Dec 12): partially participated in Thursday's practice.

General News (Wed Dec 11): practiced fully on Wednesday.

General News (Tue Dec 10): is expected to practice at some point this week, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

General News (Mon Dec 9): is eyeing a return for Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills.

Week 15: vs Buffalo Bills

All WR vs BUF

FBG says: Bad matchup. At the moment, Devlin Hodges is not being cast as a superhero. He's throwing just 20 passes a game in the Steelers' banged-up, stripped-down offense, averaging just 165 yards and 1 touchdown. But he's also been much steadier than Mason Rudolph, leading and throwing with poise and accuracy in a lessened role. Hodges has completed 71% of his passes, and his ability to keep plays alive and convert has made for a huge improvement. Unfortunately, the lack of volume continues to hamper his receivers' value. James Washington has thrived of late, with 69+ yards in 4 of his last 6 games. His Week 14 line (4 for 33) could have been much bigger had he not drawn a pair of pass interference flags deep down the field. Washington's value will take a hit if JuJu Smith-Schuster can return this week, but perhaps not much of one. His connection with Hodges is impressive, and it's likely Smith-Schuster's return would add some target opportunity by itself. It would, however, push Diontae Johnson's role (6 for 60 and a touchdown last week) into uncertainty. This attack boasts plenty of dynamism, but doesn't offer the volume to support much fantasy value - nor the clarity to know where it will come from on a given week. The Buffalo pass defense remains a major team strength; in fact, it's probably been the catalyst to this improbable 9-4 record. This has been a near-lockdown unit, sitting third in net yardage allowed per game and per attempt. They've allowed only 3 opposing passers to top 250 yards, and 2 of them needed extensive garbage time to do it. It's no surprise they're so stingy against No. 1 wideouts with shutdown cornerback Tre'Davious White on board. White is enjoying another All-Pro caliber season, routinely limiting the opponent's top target. He's helped stifle downfield playmakers Marquise Brown, Courtland Sutton, and Terry McLaurin (a combined 64 yards on 8 receptions) in recent matchups. White gets great support from the elite safety duo of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, which keeps the deep game mostly under wraps. The Steelers will likely keep the offense as close to Devlin Hodges' vest as possible, getting by on quick, underneath throws short of the secondary. Whatever they do, it's hard to project them to much dynamism in this grueling matchup.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
11 at CLE 22 0 0 0 4 2.0 21 0 0 2.1
12 at CIN 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
13 vs CLE 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
14 at ARI 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
15 vs BUF PROJ-Dodds * 0 * * 3.7 * * * *
15 vs BUF PROJ-Tremblay * 0 * * 3.4 * * * *
15 vs BUF PROJ-Bloom * 0 * * 4.0 * * * *

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 11 vs CLE (4 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)

Similar to the rest of the Steelers offensive skill position players, Smith-Schuster has a relatively short a unproductive evening. Early on, the Cleveland Browns were playing off coverage against Smith-Schuster and not allowing him to beat them deep. He was hit over the middle of the field on a short crossing route. Smith-Schuster was able to convert the Steelers first down of the game. On a key third down and short play, in the first quarter, Smith-Schuster was open for a first down to keep a drive alive. Mason Rudolph threw the ball too far in front of Smith-Schuster and failed to convert the third down. Smith-Schuster's night was cut short at the beginning of the second quarter after taking a helmet to helmet hit after making a catch. Smith-Schuster would not return to the game with a concussion.

2019 Week 10 vs LAR (6 / 3 / 44 / 0 rec)

On the brightside, the Steelers target distribution among it's wide receivers narrowed in Week 10 to three players. Unfortunately, nursing a toe injury, Smith-Schuster was not able to separate much from his coverage. In fact, Smith-Schuster almost repeated his mistake from Week 9. On a well-placed pass from Mason Rudolph, Smith-Schuster was not able to bring in the reception and the ball deflected off of his hands and was nearly Rudolph's third interception on deflections this season. Smith-Schuster's best reception of the day came from a bunch formation. The defender was playing off almost 10-yards to avoid being caught up in the scrum and completely losing Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster had a good opportunity after the catch, but was unfortunately, with his injured toe, his explosion after the catch was limited and ultimately caught from behind quickly.

2019 Week 9 vs IND (5 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)

This looked like it was going to be a high-volume Smith-Schuster after three of Mason Rudolph's targets on the first drive went to him. Smith-Schuster's first reception was on a perfect slant where Smith-Schuster was able to split the defenders. Smith-Schuster's second target was deep down the field. The coverage was perfect and there wasn't a catch to be made, but it was a good sign the Steelers were game planning those deeper shots. Unfortunately, on the third target, the ball went through Smith-Schuster's hands and was intercepted. For the rest of the game the Steelers shifted to an ultra-conservative game script. In fact, Smith-Schuster didn't see another touch until the third quarter of the game when the Steelers used a slow developing play to move the pocket. When the pocket was moving Rudolph passed the ball to Smith-Schuster where there was no space for him to turn up field.

2019 Week 8 vs MIA (9 / 5 / 103 / 1 rec)

Smith-Schuster had his best game of the season and his first 100-yard game since Week 16 of 2018 against the Saints. The star receiver was targeted heavily in this game, but didn't connect with Rudolph until the second quarter. Smith-Schuster's first target of the day ended up being an interception. The day didn't get any easier for Smith-Schuster until the offense found ways to scheme him away from Xavien Howard. In the second half, after Howard exited the game due to injury, Smith-Schuster began to come alive. Smith-Schuster's touchdown came in the third quarter on a contested catch. For most wide receivers they wouldn't have fought for the ball. Smith-Schuster not only fought for the ball in the air, but he took it away from the defender and was able to dive towards the end zone to score. Smith-Schuster wasn't done on the day. On the Steelers' last touchdown drive of the day, Smith-Schuster drew a 25-yard defensive pass interference and made a 9-yard reception to bring the Steelers inside the 5-yard line.

2019 Week 6 vs LAC (4 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

On top of dealing with the fourth string quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Smith-Schuster also had Casey Hayward to deal with. Smith-Schuster's single catch came on an in-breaking slant route. The ball was perfectly thrown in rhythm and Smith-Schuster made a great catch on the ball.

2019 Week 5 vs BAL (7 / 7 / 75 / 1 rec)

The Steelers wanted to make an effort to get Smith-Schuster involved early and often. Smith-Schuster received the first two targets of the game. On the Steelers' third drive of the game, the ball was snapped and Smith-Schuster's defender covering him was bumped by a teammate covering another player and he was able to break free across the middle of the field. Marlon Humphrey was able to catch Smith-Schuster, but he was stiff armed to the group and Smith-Schuster kept his balance to score a touchdown. Unfortunately, Smith-Schuster's day did not end as sunny. During overtime Smith-Schuster was able to split two defenders and made a great reception in traffic while on the run. The ball was recovered by the Ravens. The Ravens proceeded to kick a field goal to end the game. The fumble call is controversial and could be viewed as an incomplete pass.

2019 Week 4 vs CIN (4 / 3 / 15 / 0 rec)

Another quiet night for Smith-Schuster on the field. The Bengals throughout the night were putting their best defender on Smith-Schuster. While Smith-Schuster did not have a big receiving impact on the game, his impact was felt as a mentor to Diontae Johnson. On the first drive of the game, after Johnson fumbled the ball, Smith-Schuster went to Johnson and helped coach him through the turnover.

2019 Week 3 vs SF (7 / 3 / 81 / 1 rec)

The stat line for Smith-Schuster looks relatively robust, but 76 of Smith-Schuster's 81 total yards came on one reception. On Smith-Schuster's touchdown reception it was the perfect catch and run. Smith-Schuster was running a deeper crosser and the ball was delivered right on his facemask. With a step already on his defender, Smith-Schuster turned on the afterburners to force a bad angle by the safety and score a long touchdown.

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 limited (Thu Dec 12, 03:49 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) was limited during practice Thursday, Dec. 12.

link to story   

Steelers | Pittsburgh's Thursday practice report (Thu Dec 12, 03:21 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers OG Ramon Foster (non-injury) and WR Johnny Holton (illness) did not take part in practice Thursday, Dec. 12. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and TE Vance McDonald (concussion) were limited. RB James Conner (shoulder), RB Jaylen Samuels (groin), OT Alejandro Villanueva (non-injury), OG David DeCastro (non-injury), LB Mark Barron (non-injury) and C Maurkice Pouncey (non-injury) practiced in full.

Our View: Smith-Schuster left practice in an ominous sign for his Week 15 availability. James Washington and Diontae Johnson project as starters against Buffalo.
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Steelers | Full practice for JuJu Smith-Schuster (Wed Dec 11, 04:34 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Our View: Smith-Schuster is pushing to return this week. The Steelers take on the Bills on Sunday night, and Fantasy GMs can look at Smith-Schuster as a WR4 or deep flex play.
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Steelers | JuJu Smith-Schuster to practice this week (Tue Dec 10, 01:03 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) is expected to practice at some point this week, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

Our View: Smith-Schuster has been targeting a Week 15 return. The game is on Sunday night against the Bills so Fantasy GMs must have other plans ready. Monitor Smith-Schuster's status during the week of practice.
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Steelers | JuJu Smith-Schuster eyes return (Mon Dec 9, 09:03 AM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) is eyeing a return for Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills.

Our View: We'll keep an eye on his status as the week of practice rolls on. It's a Sunday night game for the Steelers in Week 15, so Fantasy GMs have to be sure of his availability before locking him into the lineup. Smith-Schuster's return will impact the fantasy value of guys like Diontae Johnson and James Washington.
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More News

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Schedule

15vs Buffalo Bills
16@ New York Jets
17@ Baltimore Ravens