Updated: Mar 27
Here at New Life Fantasy, we love to provide our members with great content. In this article, I will be talking about two wide receivers who will have a bounce-back year compared to their last fantasy season. These two receivers were highly targeted in redrafts and are heavily owned in dynasty formats.
The two wide receivers I will be talking about are Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) and JuJu Smith-Schuster. I am going to layout stats and some fantasy scoring from the past couple of years, as well as give my overall take on what you should do with them in dynasty. I will be basing the fantasy stats on half-point PPR leagues.
New York Giants OBJ stats
In 2018, OBJ played for the Giants and it was also the year he came off a terrible ankle injury. He played a total of 12 games and saw 124 targets for 77 receptions and 1,052 receiving yards. He also averaged 87.7 yards per game and 13.7 yards per reception, which was close to his 2015 and 2016 season averages. He finished as a top 15 wide receiver with 191.9 points and averaged 16 points per game.
Let’s take a look at OBJ’s stats on his new team.
Cleveland Browns OBJ stats
OBJ played 16 games and there were glimpses of the player we all drafted, but the struggle was real. He was targeted 133 times for 74 receptions and 1,035 receiving yards. His yards per reception was slightly higher than 2018 averaging 14 yards, but his yards per game saw a dip only averaging 64.7 yards a game. Another disappointing stat was that he only totaled 4 TDs, which is not good for someone you expect to be a WR1.
He finished outside the top 30 of WRs last year with 148.7 points, averaging just 9.9 points per game. It was not what you expected from him at all. He finished behind people like Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley, and Terry McLaurin. Not to take anything away from what these guys did last year, but we expected more from OBJ.
Let’s take a look at the 2nd player, JuJu Smith-Schuster.
JuJu’s stats alongside Antonio Brown
Let’s look at the year JuJu and AB was on the field together. Some might say that's why JuJu had the year he did in 2018, but it was the year "Big Ben" Roethlisberger played a full season.
JuJu had 166 targets for 111 receptions while totaling 1,426 receiving yards. Compare those stats to AB that year. AB had 168 targets, 104 receptions and totaled 1,297 receiving yards. He saw just 2 targets less than AB, caught more passes, and totaled more receiving yards than him. What this shows me is that when Big Ben is healthy and playing, Steelers love to pass the ball. JuJu finished as a top 10 WR, totaling 229.2 points, and averaged 15.3 points per game.
JuJu’s stats post AB and no Big Ben
Dynasty owners were so happy to see the stats JuJu posted in 2018 and we were all hoping for great things in 2019, especially with AB no longer in the picture. We all know that losing Big Ben hurt the Steelers offense.
JuJu also battled an injury last year and played a total of 12 games. He saw 69 targets for 42 receptions and 552 receiving yards. Those stats had a lot to do with the Steelers’ offense not producing as a whole. They only totaled 505 passing attempts last year and were ranked 31st in the NFL in passing yards per game averaging 200.9 yards per game. Talk about a big step down from 2018 where Big Ben had 675 pass attempts and the Steelers were ranked 2nd in the NFL for passing yards per game averaging 323.4 yards per game. It is clear to see that the Steelers’ offense was not the same without Big Ben under center and Rudolph wasn’t the answer.
Here's my take on these two guys in dynasty half-point PPR leagues. Both of these guys are going to have better years in the upcoming fantasy season. They are both too talented to finish where they did. OBJ is better than a top 30 receiver. Could you trade him? Yes, you can. You might not get much for him, but if you want draft picks for the WR class coming in or you have another need you have to address, you can do that. He had a bad year last year and not to mention he gets a lot of hate for being injury prone.
Yes, he has had soft tissue injuries, but he is a special player with the ball in his hands. I would hold on to OBJ for one more year, and then sell high. My bold prediction is that he will finish as a top 15 WR. Is it a risk? Yes, because we don’t know what the new offense will look like this year, but my guess is that it will look better than last year.
The possibility of OBJ finishing 15-20 spots higher than he did last year is not unrealistic. OBJ stats might look something like 130 targets for 93 receptions, 1,122 yards, and 8 TDs. Yes, call me crazy, but those are just my early season stat predictions.
As for JuJu, I see him finishing as a top 10 WR this coming year. I would hold, hold, hold him for sure! He is only 23 years old and in a good offensive system. I know Big Ben is at the end of his career, but the Steelers have had great starting QBs as a franchise. I trust that they will draft a great replacement.
For now, Big Ben is healthy and is saying things like, “This is the best I have felt in years.” Those are good signs and if they get back to throwing the ball 600 times next year, there will be a lot of targets to go around.
I am a huge believer in JuJu and his talent. If you don’t own him in a dynasty, I would look to go and get him. An owner might trade him for a late 3rd round pick and I wouldn’t mind giving up a late 2nd round pick for him. He is worth it. If you have him, you are going to be happy with his production next year. JuJu’s stats might look something like 140 targets for 101 receptions, 1,215 yards, and 10 TDs. We should see his TD numbers boost as well as his targets.
Both of these players will have a bounce-back year and will be producers for your fantasy teams this coming season.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Stay blessed and remember if you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you.
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