|ADP:||Round: 2, Pick: 7|
|Ht / Wt:||6'1" / 215 lb.|
|Born:||November 22, 1996|
|Drafted:||2017 / Rd. 2 (62)|
Smith-Schuster is slated to become the Steelers' unquestioned No. 1 wide receiver following the trade of Antonio Brown to the Raiders, Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Analysis: Brown's disappearing act in Week 17 allowed Smith-Schuster to lead the Steelers in catches (111) and receiving yards (1,426), ending a streak of five years for the former. With Brown's saga coming to a close, Smith-Schuster undoubtedly will top the depth chart in 2019 in an offense that has ranked in the top 10 in both points and yards in each of the past five campaigns. The biggest question mark will be how Smith-Schuster reacts to increased attention from opposing defensive coordinators. In three games without Brown in his two pro seasons -- the 2018 regular-season finale, plus Weeks 16 and 17 of 2017 -- Smith-Schuster totaled 20 receptions (on 27 targets) for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
Smith-Schuster (knee) isn't believed to be dealing with a serious injury, ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler reports.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster was removed from Sunday's Pro Bowl in the second quarter with an injury that was initially reported as a knee bruise. There may have been some concern after he was spotted with a limp and declined to talk to the media, but Monday's update downplays the severity of his injury. The 22-year-old wide receiver will have nearly three months to regain his health before the Steelers begin their offseason program in mid-April, at which point Antonio Brown may or may not still be with the team. After finishing fourth in the NFL with 166 targets this past season, Smith-Schuster conceivably could go even higher in 2019.
Smith-Schuster limped to the bus and declined comment after suffering a knee injury during the Pro Bowl on Sunday, The Associated Press reports.
Analysis: While the injury has merely been deemed a knee bruise, it sounds like Smith-Schuster is dealing with a considerable amount of pain. That doesn't mean his recovery will require a lengthy process, but it will at least be something to keep in mind as the Steelers prepare for an interesting offseason. The team reportedly is fielding trade offers on Antonio Brown, who was benched for the regular-season finale after missing practices and meetings throughout the week. Smith-Schuster would be a strong candidate to lead the NFL in targets if Brown were to end up with another team.
Smith-Schuster sustained a knee bruise during the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Brooke Pryor of The Kansas City Star reports.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster caught one of three targets for 16 yards prior to leaving the game. The injury doesn't appear overly seriously but it would be surprising to see the 22-year-old retake the field Sunday, regardless.
Smith-Schuster caught five of 10 targets for 37 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 16-13 win over Cincinnati.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster finishes up the 2018 season as Pittsburgh's top receiver with 111 catches (on 166 targets) for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games. He also gained 13 yards on one rushing attempt. Paired with Antonio Brown, the Steelers have the most prolific wide receiver tandem in the league, combining for 2,723 yards and 22 touchdowns on 215 receptions this season. Smith-Schuster is signed for two more years, although it wouldn't be a surprise if he looked to renegotiate a new deal before his current contract expires.
Smith-Schuster hauled in 11 of 15 targets, amassing 115 receiving yards during Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Saints.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster delivered on his promise to fantasy owners, powering through a groin injury suffered in Thursday's practice to provide his fourth 100-yard outing over the past six weeks (also three touchdowns during that span). With Pittsburgh remaining on the outside looking in but maintaining a chance of reaching the postseason, Smith-Schuster is certain to put forth an impassioned effort against Cincinnati's bottom-3 pass defense (275.7 YPG against). The second-year wideout amassed seven reception for 111 yards the last time these two teams met in Week 6.
Smith-Schuster (groin) is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Saints.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster headed into the weekend listed as questionable after not practicing Friday, but the wideout subsequently tweeted out assurances that he would play Sunday. With that outcome now official, Smith-Schuster figures to remain a focal point in the Pittsburgh passing game, assuming no in-game setbacks.
Smith-Schuster (groin), in a tweet Saturday, expressed certainty he would be available for Sunday's contest against the Saints.
Analysis: In an homage to fantasy football owners, Smith-Schuster tweeted he "couldn't let down the real ones down" who drafted him, signaling the star wideout would be available for Sunday's game. While fantasy owners would normally want to be cautious in this situation given the 4:25 p.m. EST kickoff time and the fact Smith-Schuster was unable to practice Friday, the proverb "straight from the horse's mouth" feels like a perfect summation for this bit of news. Expect the 22-year-old to be a factor against a Saints defense allowing a league-leading 28.3 fantasy points to the wide receiver position.
Smith-Schuster (groin) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Saints after missing practice Friday.
Analysis: Given that Smith-Schuster left Thursday's practice early and missed Friday's session, the wideout's Week 16 status is truly up in the air. Hopefully added clarity regarding his availability will arrive no later than Sunday morning, especially considering that the Steelers kick off later that day, at 4:25 ET. If Smith-Schuster is unable to go, James Washington would be called upon to start in his place, per of the Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Smith-Schuster (groin) wasn't in uniform and didn't participate in the portion of Friday's practice that was open to the media, Peter Diana of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: It's not an encouraging sign for Smith-Schuster's Week 16 availability that he was a spectator one day after exiting practice with the groin issue. The severity of Smith-Schuster's injury remains unknown after the second-year player declined to discuss the matter with the media Friday, but teammate Antonio Brown said he expects his fellow wideout to "be there" Sunday against the Saints. Once the closed portion of practice wraps up, the Steelers will provide an injury designation for Smith-Schuster, though it's uncertain if coach Mike Tomlin or any team personnel will offer any more clarity regarding the receiver's situation. James Washington would be the leading candidate to take on an enhanced role in Week 16 if Smith-Schuster is ultimately sidelined.
Smith-Schuster exited Thursday's practice after sustaining a groin injury and didn't return, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: The Steelers haven't commented on the severity of Smith-Schuster's setback, but the timing is far from ideal for both Pittsburgh and the wideout's fantasy managers alike. Smith-Schuster declined to shed light on his injury when he met with the media after Thursday's session, making his status uncertain for Sunday's game in New Orleans. If Smith-Schuster ends up sitting out, James Washington would be the leading candidate to enter the starting receiver ranks.
Smith-Schuster brought in four of 10 targets for 40 yards in the Steelers' 17-10 win over the Patriots on Sunday.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster's day could have been much bigger had he been able to come down with what would have been an extremely difficult catch in close end-zone coverage with 2:41 remaining. The second-year wideout instead saw J.C. Jackson strip the ball from him as he went down to the ground, nullifying what would have likely been a game-clinching touchdown at that point. Smith-Schuster still drew even with Antonio Brown and Eli Rogers for the team lead in receptions, and he'll now look to bounce back from his lowest receiving yardage total since Week 8 when the Steelers tangle with the Saints in Week 16.
Smith-Schuster brought in eight of 12 targets for 130 yards and two touchdowns in the Steelers' 24-21 loss to the Raiders on Sunday.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster was able to vault over the 100-yard mark on the Steelers' last play from scrimmage, as he scampered 43 yards off a James Washington lateral with 14 seconds remaining. Although Pittsburgh ultimately suffered a heartbreaking loss when Chris Boswell lost his footing on a 40-yard field-goal attempt as time expired, Smith-Schuster brought joy to fantasy owners with his third 100-yard effort over the last four games. With at least nine targets in five of the last six contests, Smith-Schuster's prospects are exceedingly bright heading into a Week 15 showdown against the Patriots.
Smith-Schuster caught six of nine targets for 49 yards during Sunday's 33-30 loss to the Chargers.
Analysis: This was a disappointing effort for Smith-Schuster who managed just 8.2 yards per catch -- well below the 13.7 YPC he brought in to the game. It also snapped his streak of four straight games with at least 70 yards or a touchdown. He'll look to return to form against Oakland -- which allows the second most points per game (30.6) in the league -- in Week 14.
Smith-Schuster corralled 13 of a team-high 17 targets, amassing 189 receiving yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Broncos.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster enjoyed the second-best receiving output of his young career in what was a monster day at Mile High. With a dazzling 97-yard touchdown catch and run, he now has two scores of 97-plus yards for his career (he and Gaynell Tinsley are the only players in NFL history to do so). The 22-year-old wideout has been a high-end WR2 option in most formats, with at least four receptions or 90 receiving yards in every game this year. Week 13's matchup provides at least a shimmer of doubt that the streak could be broken, facing a Chargers defense that allowed the fourth-fewest WR receptions (120), and the sixth-fewest receiving yards to the position (1,554).
Smith-Schuster caught eight of the 10 balls thrown his way for 104 yards in Sunday's 20-16 win over Jacksonville.
Analysis: Owners who stuck with Smith-Schuster in this tricky matchup were rewarded, as he played a major role in Pittsburgh's late comeback from a 16-0 deficit, even though he didn't do any of the scoring himself. This was the second-year wide receiver's fifth game with over 100 receiving yards this season. The Broncos will have a hard time trying to cover both JuJu and Antonio Brown on the outside in Week 12.
Smith-Schuster corralled three of five targets for 90 yards and a touchdown and added one rush for 13 yards in the Steelers' 52-21 win over the Panthers on Thursday.
Analysis: It didn't take long for the dynamic second-year wideout to make his presence felt, as he helped the Steelers answer a Christian McCaffrey touchdown with a grab of a perfectly thrown Ben Roethlisberger pass down the left sideline that he took 75 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Smith-Schuster was quiet the rest of the night, but his initial splash play was enough to vault him to his best yardage total since Week 6 against the Bengals. The 21-year-old is serving as an ideal complement to Antonio Brown as anticipated, and he'll look to continue building on his stellar sophomore campaign against the Jaguars in a Week 11 Nov. 18 matchup.
Smith-Schuster caught seven of nine targets for a team-high 78 receiving yards in Sunday's 23-16 win over Baltimore.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster was taken off to the concussion tent after a nullified 23-yard catch in the third quarter, but he was able to promptly return later in the same drive. While the second-year stud is a tremendous player in his own right, he's clearly Pittsburgh's third-most dangerous weapon behind Antonio Brown and James Conner, both of whom scored receiving touchdowns in this one. Smith-Schuster will be right back in action Thursday against the Panthers in Week 10.
Smith-Schuster caught four of his six targets to 33 yards during Sunday's 33-18 win over Cleveland.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster was a victim of the game flow, as the Steelers relied heavily on the running game to nurse a large lead, seeing just one target after halftime. That resulted in his lowest yardage total this season but should not deter fantasy owners from using him moving forward, even against a strong Baltimore defense in Week 9.
Smith-Schuster caught seven of 10 targets for 111 yards and converted a two-point conversion in Sunday's 28-21 win over the Bengals.
Analysis: Smith-Schuster made a brilliant catch with the game tied 7-7 in the second quarter, turning what should have been an interception into a 29-yard gain down to the one-yard line. He led the Steelers in targets and receiving yards while tying tight end Vance McDonald for the team lead in catches. Antonio Brown scored the team's lone touchdown, however. Smith-Schuster and the rest of the Steelers will be on bye in Week 7.
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