Smith-Schuster is getting a new opportunity to prove himself by linking up with Patrick Mahomes. It should put him back on the Fantasy map as a No. 3 receiver. Smith-Schuster's Fantasy dominance was always tied to his target volume and nose for the end zone with the Steelers. No one should worry too much about his touchdowns now that he's in the Chiefs' offense, but his target share remains an open question given all the other talent in Kansas City, especially target hog Travis Kelce. And because no one thinks Smith-Schuster will simply absorb all of the targets left behind by Tyreek Hill, it's probably safest to assume the 25-year-old receiver will hustle his way to 110 targets. That's not a bad number, but it's low compared to prior expectations for Smith-Schuster. It also remains to be seen how often we'll see Smith-Schuster's explosiveness, which was awfully infrequent over the past two seasons (12.8% of his catches, to be exact). Expect the wideout to get grabbed as a still-solid volume option by Round 5 in full PPR formats and Round 6 in non-PPR.
Smith-Schuster has agreed to a one-year deal with the Chiefs, Field Yates of ESPN reports. Per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the deal could earn Smith-Schuster up to $10.75 million this coming season. Injuries limited the 25-year-old to five games with the Steelers during the 2021 campaign, during which he logged a 15/129/0 stat line. Smith-Schuster was able to return to action in time for Pittsburgh's playoff loss to Kansas City, so he's presumably past the shoulder issue that had landed him on IR. In his new team context, Smith-Schuster will provide a quality complementary option alongside the Chiefs' top playmakers, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, with his fantasy ceiling boosted by the prospect of catching passes from star signal-caller Patrick Mahomes.
Smith-Schuster finished with five receptions on eight targets for 26 yards in Sunday's 42-21 loss to Kansas City. The 24-year-old was able to return from a lengthy stay on injured reserve to suit up alongside Ben Roethlisberger one last time. Smith-Schuster experienced the last wave of Big Ben's prime, but prior to an injury-plagued 2021 campaign his last big fantasy season came back in 2018. The Steelers will enter a new era under a new quarterback next season, but Smith-Schuster may not be around to see it as he's an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Smith-Schuster (shoulder) was activated off injured reserve Saturday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports. Smith-Schuster tweeted on his personal account saying he'd play in Sunday's playoff matchup against the Chiefs, setting the stage for the star wide receiver to make his return after missing the past 13 games. Even prior to the injury, it was clear Diontae Johnson had usurped Smith-Schuster as Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target, but the fifth-year wide receiver should act as a capable underneath option alongside Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth.
Smith-Schuster (shoulder) had no apparent issues in his return to practice Thursday and is "trending toward playing" Sunday's wild-card game at Kansas City, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Thursday marked Smith-Schuster's first official day back at practice in more than three months after the Steelers designated him for return from injured reserve, but his workout apparently went well. Though Smith-Schuster was initially expected to be lost for the season when he underwent shoulder surgery in mid-October, he now appears to have a legitimate shot at making it back in action for Sunday's playoff opener. His potential return would bring a significant boost to Pittsburgh's passing game for the playoffs and would likely result in fewer reps for Ray-Ray McCloud, who had been serving as Smith-Schuster's primary replacement in the lineup.
Smith-Schuster (shoulder) practiced Thursday, but head coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers have yet to determine if the wideout will be ready to play in Sunday's wild-card game against the Chiefs, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports. "We just started the 21-day window," Tomlin said, in reference to Smith-Schuster being designated for return from injured reserve Thursday. "What transpires out [on the practice field] and a lot of other questions are part of the equation." The Steelers plan to evaluate Smith-Schuster again during their final practice of the day Friday before reassessing if he'll be a realistic option to play Sunday. The Steelers' decision to clear Smith-Schuster for practice was somewhat surprising, as the prevailing assumption was that he would miss the rest of the season after he was shut down in mid-October when he required surgery on his right shoulder. Before landing on IR, Smith-Schuster appeared in five games and recorded 15 receptions for 129 yards and no touchdowns on 28 targets.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||Los Angeles Chargers||2||17.00|
|4||10/02||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12||20.53|
|5||10/10||Las Vegas Raiders||3||17.67|
|7||10/23||@San Francisco 49ers||19||21.90|
|11||11/20||@Los Angeles Chargers||2||17.00|
|12||11/27||Los Angeles Rams||22||22.05|
|18||01/08||@Las Vegas Raiders||3||17.67|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||76||51||504||4||26||9.88||72|