Who is the more valuable and desirable player in dynasty, Juju Smith Schuster or Odell Beckham Jr?
I posted this poll on twitter over a month ago, and received, by far, my most ever reactions, and the result was very very close. With 1,060 votes, the decision came to 583 votes to Odell (55%) and 477 to Juju (45%).
Both have high expectations for 2019 and beyond, both are also riddled with question marks. Can Juju sustain his success as the team’s new undisputed number 1 with Antonio Brown no longer taking double coverage off him? Can Baker Mayfield give Odell enough ball to keep him happy, while keeping Jarvis Landry, Oj Howard and Nick Chubb happy?
Me: This is the only decision you have to make today, the only poll that matters.
Would you rather a 22 year old Juju Smith- Schuster in dynasty or a 26 year old Odell Beckham Jr?
— Boyd Killingworth (@dynastyboyd) June 28, 2019
Odell Beckham is 26 years of age and is ranked 6th overall, WR 2 (behind Deandre Hopkins, 3rd overall). Juju Smith Schuster is still only 22 years of age, he lands a few places below Beckham, ranked 9th overall, WR 5. Devante Adams and Michael Thomas are the only two players sandwiched between the pair on dynasty pros.
Stories so far
Odell Beckham Jr
The talented pass catcher out of LSU was drafted by the New York Giants with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. In his rookie season, Beckham broke numerous rookie records, despite being sidelined for four games. Beckham became the first player to record over 75 receptions, 1,100 yards and ten touchdowns in a rookie season. Additionally, Beckham broke the rookie record for highest average receiving yards per game.
Beckham also broke the internet below with this spectacular one–handed catch on Sunday Night Football.
29. ONE-HANDED GRAB
Nov. 23, 2014
In double coverage down right sideline, Giants rookie Odell Beckham Jr. hauls in 43-yard pass for a TD, using only his right hand.
Factoid: If the catch actually broke the internet, as many people claim, you wouldn't be seeing this tweet. pic.twitter.com/h7kkmME4fa
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) August 7, 2019
After all this, Beckham was the 2019 offensive rookie of the year. Records have continued since then, becoming the fastest player to reach 200 career receptions and 4,000 receiving yards in 2016.
Beckham has also made the Pro Bowl 3 times, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Following the success of his first 3 years in the NFL, Beckham has been crippled with injuries. In 2017, he managed only 4 games after breaking his left ankle in week 5. Injured reserve awaited Beckham, he would miss the rest of the season.
In 2018, Beckham signed a 5–year, $95 million ($41 million fully guaranteed) contract extension with the Giants. Beckham was having another successful season on the field till a quad injury sidelined him for the final 4 games. In total, Beckham has missed 21 games due to injury or suspension.
In March of 2019, the internet was once again set alight. This time, however, it wasn’t due to a phenomenal catch. Beckham was traded to the Cleveland Brown for Jabrill Pepper, 2019 First round pick (17th overall, Dexter Lawrence) and their second of two third round picks in 2019 (95th overall, Oshane Ximines).
Expectations are sky high for Beckham on this dynamic offense alongside Baker Mayfield.
🔥😂 Cleveland Browns fans after the Odell Beckham trade pic.twitter.com/cUESK4BGtR
— Fanatics View (@fanaticsview) March 13, 2019
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) March 13, 2019
Juju Smith Schuster was a star at USC. He was drafted in the 2nd round with the 62nd selection in the 2017 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Upon making his debut in the season opener in 2017, he was the youngest player in the NFL. Just like Beckham, Juju broke records in his rookie season. It took him just two games to get his first TD, a short 4 yard pass from Roethlisberger against the Minnesota Vikings. This TD made Smith Schuster one of the youngest NFL players to ever score a touchdown.
Smith Schuster gained his first start against the Detroit Lions in week 8 on Sunday Night Football, following Martavis Bryant’s requesting a trade and promptly being stood down by Coach Tomlin. He had a truly breakout performance, season high seven receptions, 193 yards and a 97–yard touchdown.
97 yards. JuJu Smith-Schuster took all the happiness at Ford Field with him. pic.twitter.com/ya9PCVU9Eu
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) October 30, 2017
This touchdown was the longest pass play in Steelers history, and the longest touchdown of the entire 2017 season. This week 8 performance earned him AFC offensive performer of the week. Juju out here breaking records.
Week 17 Juju had another outstanding performance although it wouldn’t have rewarded fantasy owners (unless you’re in one of those weird leagues that play week 17, friends don’t let friends play week 17, remember that). Juju caught 9 passes for 143 yards, 1 touchdown, and also a 96–yard kick return TD against the Cleveland Browns. With this game, he became the youngest player in NFL history to have over 1,000 all-purpose yards.
JuJu Smith-Schuster has the last 96 and 97-Yard TD’s scored in the NFL. Here is his 96-Yard kick return, Week 17 in Cleveland. Only 96 Days left until football season! @TeamJuJu #Steelers #NFL #NFLCountdown pic.twitter.com/QYlqDfuaza
— Daniel Fitzgerald (@nflpicksfitz) June 2, 2018
Juju finished the season with 58 receptions, 917 yards (leading all rookies), and 7 touchdowns (leading all rookies).
Juju’s rookie year was sensational, his sophomore year would be phenomenal. He started with a bang, 9 receptions, 116 yards in week 1’s draw against the Browns. This was followed by a career high 13 receptions for 121 yards and a TD in a narrow loss against the Chiefs.
In week 12 Juju, broke another record, he became the first player to ever have 2 offensive touchdowns over 97 yards.
Juju went on to be voted by his teammates, the teams MVP for the 2018 season. He finished with a team high 111 receptions (7th highest in NFL) and 1,426 yards (5th most receiving yards in the NFL for 2018). He also scored 7 touchdowns for the season, second to Antonio Brown’s 15. Juju would make his first pro bowl team (as an alternate, after teammate Brown withdrew due to injury).
So, if given the choice which of the two talented studs do you take?
First off I want to point out, with either stud on your side, you’re going to benefit. I am in the decision-making business though, and it’s for this reason I am choosing Juju Smith Schuster.
There are two main reasons for my decision, age and injury. Competition is secondary.
Beckham has only managed 16 games once in five years. Once. Injuries are a major part of this sport but Beckham has missed more games than most, with significant injuries like that leg fracture, 2017. The past two seasons alone, he has played in only half the possible games, 50%.
For the first time in his career, Beckham will finally have an elite quarterback throwing him the ball in a high flying dynamic offense. The Cleveland Browns will undoubtedly be a better offense in 2019, it may not be better for Beckham, as for the first time in his NFL career he will have competitors for targets.
Make what you want of Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and Victor Cruz, for the most part, Beckham was Eli Manning’s only option.
In Cleveland, he will be competing with PPR darling Jarvis Landry (Once had the record for most receptions through the first four seasons of a career, now Michael Thomas) David Njoku, even Rashad Higgins has shown promise, and he will have a deep threat role with Antonio Callaway. Now, add in running backs Nick Chubb and the eventual return of Kareem Hunt, that’s 6 meaningful player’s as passing options for Baker.
As previously mentioned Juju Smith Schuster is 22 years of age. I repeat Juju is still only 22 years of age. Juju has at least another 10 years near or close to the top of his playing ability. Meanwhile, Beckham has about 6.
Depending how you assess and judge value/players in dynasty, there’s a case for Juju Smith Schuster to be not only a top 5 or top 3 dynasty WR alongside Deandre Hopkins and Devante Adams, but the number 1 dynasty WR.
(Side reference – Don’t try to tell me Michael Thomas should be included in the top 3 conversation, that’s an argument I would enjoy having, feel free to message me on twitter if you agree / disagree)
Furthermore, he plays on a Steeler’s offense with Ben Roethlisberger as his quarter back. One of the pass heaviest offenses in the NFL. 675 pass attempts last season, that’s how many he attempted last season. Juju is now the number 1 receiving option on this pass heavy team, since Browns departure.
207 targets are now available, Juju had 166 last season. If he only gains 40 of those departed targets, he will finish with over 200 targets for the season.
— gmia (@GmiasWorld) June 19, 2019
Juju Smith Schuster can comfortably plug your WR1 position for the next 10 years at least, Odell Beckham cannot. Juju has age and upside on his side, the scary thing is, we haven’t even seen the best of Juju yet. There are still improvements to be made in his game & at 22 he is not fully developed.
So when it comes to which one in dynasty, give me Juju Smith Schuster.