Wide receiver has become the dominant position in all of fantasy football, as young players like Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase and CeeDee Lamb (to name a few) are lighting up the stat sheets. Unfortunately for NFL teams looking to make a major splash at the position, they will find it difficult to accomplish that between now and next season. The free-agent market is a bit weak heading into the 2023 offseason. One of the most attractive options could be JuJu Smith-Schuster, who signed just a one-year deal with the Chiefs in 2022.
The veteran is still just 26 years old, and he’s shown the ability to be productive in the past. He didn’t live up to expectations from a fantasy perspective in Kansas City, though. posting a WR27 finish on 78 catches, 933 yards and three touchdowns. Regardless, his age and skill set plus a weak market will make JuJu attractive.
Here are five teams that could have a need at wide receiver and would be interesting spots for Smith-Schuster to land next season. Let’s start things off in Dallas.
The Cowboys traded away Amari Cooper last offseason, hoping that Michael Gallup would pan out as a No. 2 wideout. It didn’t happen. If Dallas truly wants to help Dak Prescott and improve its offense in a division that proved to be one of the NFL’s best, grabbing another playmaking receiver to pair with Lamb and Gallup is a must. Smith-Schuster would be a nice option for Prescott and the Cowboys in what would be an explosive offensive attack, especially if they lose Dalton Schultz.
New England Patriots
The Patriots could lose Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor as free agents, so they could be looking to free agency for a wideout. Smith-Schuster, who was linked to New England last offseason, could be brought in to be one of the best options in the passing game alongside DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton. There are some questions about Mac Jones and the quarterback position, but we’re looking at the teams that could offer Smith-Schuster the most targets. The Patriots fit the bill.
The Ravens always seem to need a wide receiver, right? And this isn’t the first time Smith-Schuster has been mentioned as a potential option. The jury is still out on Rashod Bateman as a pro, and their top wideout from 2022, Demarcus Robinson, is a free agent. Smith-Schuster knows the AFC North from his time in Pittsburgh, and he’d be one of the top three options in the pass attack for Lamar Jackson.
New York Giants
The last time the Giants added a big-name wide receiver, well, it didn’t work out too well. In fact, saying “Kenny Golladay” in the Big Apple will get you some dirty looks. Regardless, the G-Men have Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Richie James and Marcus Johnson all slated to become free agents. Assuming the team retains both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, Smith-Schuster could come in and become their most-targeted wide receiver. It’s a nice landing spot for his real and fantasy value.
Is there any team in the NFL more needy at wide receiver than the Bears? Their “No. 1” wideout, Darnell Mooney, is coming off an ankle injury and really isn’t a true alpha receiver. N’Keal Harry and Byron Pringle are slated to become free agents, leaving the team with Mooney, Chase Claypool and Equanimous St. Brown. If Chicago added Smith-Schuster, it would improve their lagging pass attack and give Justin Fields a much-needed possession-type receiver to target in the air attack.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business to help you win a fantasy championship!