It wasn't that long ago that JuJu Smith-Schuster looked like a lock to be a Tier 2 (at worst) wide receiver in Dynasty for the foreseeable future. His 2018, when he caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns, was one of the best 22-year-old seasons ever. It's mostly been downhill since.
It was easy enough to overlook 2019. Ben Roethlisberger missed almost the entire year and Smith-Schuster wasn't healthy either. But 2020 made it much more difficult. He was clearly behind Diontae Johnson in the pecking order and he posted career lows in yards per catch (8.6) and yards per target (6.5). The narrative that Smith-Schuster has never been good without Antonio Brown is getting much harder to dispute.
Of course, Dynasty is more about the future than the past and it looks very likely that Smith-Schuster will be playing on a new team in 2021. This is an opportunity for us to let the NFL tell us whether they think he's a good No. 2 receiver or a future star. How he's valued relative to Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin and Allen Robinson will be a good start.
Of course, it's not just about how much money Smith-Schuster gets. It's also about his landing spot in terms of quality of quarterback, quality of offense and available targets. If a team like the Colts brought him in to be their No. 1 receiver and made a significant upgrade at quarterback it would be easy to be optimistic. If the Washington Football Team brought him in to play alongside Terry McLaurin with Alex Smith (or Taylor Heinicke) at quarterback, that would be an entirely different situation.
So with all of these questions, with so many struggles the past two years, how is Smith-Schuster still a Tier 3 receiver who ranks inside my top-12 in Dynasty? It's pretty simple: Very few receivers have ever been as good as he was as young as he was and then busted. It's certainly possible, but I'm still willing to treat him like a future star until the NFL or his 2021 production tells me different.
Here are my updated Dynasty tiers for wide receivers: