by Alex Kurpeski and Angel Maldoando Tejada
Alex’s Pick: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, ADP of 3.12 (As of August 14, 2020)
People forget that JuJu Smith-Schuster is only 24 years old and already has a 100+ catch season under his belt. Yes, his 2019 campaign was abysmal, especially if you drafted him to be your team’s WR1 (this was me, also). But in all seriousness HOW THE HELL are you going to blame this guy for underperforming when not only was he battling injuries for the bulk of the season, especially when he was catching passes from two chumps named Rudolph and Duck?
You can keep your Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and Chase Claypool shares, because I know that if both Smith-Schuster and Ben Roethlisberger are healthy, the former USC star will certainly finish as a WR1 this season. It’s unfair to criticize Smith-Schuster for anything that went wrong in 2019, as his shortcomings were exclusively the result of external forces. To grab a player of his caliber at the back-end of round three should be a criminal offense, yet here we are with Smith-Schuster’s ADP sitting in the same range as far inferior players like A.J Brown, D.K Metcalf, Calvin Ridley, and Robert Woods. If you’re passing over JuJu for one of these players then I’m sorry but you’re just bad at fantasy football.
I feel very passionately about this topic, if you couldn’t tell.
Angel’s Pick: James Conner, ADP of 3.01 (As of August 18th, 2020)
James Conner had an injury-riddled, disappointing 2019 season that has significantly lowered his price this offseason.That has created an opportunity for savvy owners to acquire an RB1 at a discount. Let me remind you, James Conner made Le’Veon Bell expendable to the Steelers as he proved to be a dual-threat back in 2018 (973 rushing yards, 497 receiving) and showed incredible explosiveness (15 breakaway runs in 2018). 2019, of course, was primarily a lost season for the Steelers offense after the loss of Ben Roethlisberger.
Conner also stands to benefit from stability along the Steelers offensive line. In an offseason that has seen many offseason routines interrupted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, having familiarity among the offensive lineman will be key to the success of the Steelers offense. The emergence of Diontae Johnson may take away some underneath targets but still, I fully expect Conner to resemble the player we saw in 2018 as he rebounds in a significant way this season. Don’t fade him at his current ADP and reap the rewards.
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