Fantasy production does not equate to NFL success
Call me crazy, but I think many fans let fantasy rankings weigh into their thoughts on NFL players. This is something that should never happen. In 2018, Ben Roethlisberger had a game where he threw the football 60 times, and several others with 50 or more attempts.
We shouldn’t judge NFL receivers by the volume of their team’s passing game. While the Steelers undeniably had one of the best-receiving cores in the league back then (in large part due to Antonio Brown), JuJu’s production in 2018 shouldn’t automatically elevate his status to one of the best receivers in the league.
JuJu’s 111 catches and 1,426 yards was good for 6th in the NFL in receptions and 5th in the league in yards, but that doesn’t mean he was better than players like Michael Thomas, Antonio Brown, or Odell Beckham, who had less production than Smith-Schuster in 2018. JuJu’s 166 targets were just 4 away from being the most in the entire league. When receiving that many looks, you should be among the league leaders in production.
The fact that he’s getting that many targets shows that he is a very good player. But please don’t ever use fantasy production to argue what type of player he is in the NFL. It just doesn’t work.