The New England Patriots added some quality Super Bowl experience to their receiving corps this offseason. JuJu Smith-Schuster brings a veteran presence, and a pass catching prowess that helped Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs during their title run in 2022.
Now, he becomes the main benefactor of a New England passing offense that struggled in many games last season to keep it consistently successful through the air. Mac Jones will start the season at quarterback, as he looks to establish an early rhythm with Smith-Schuster.
Fantasy Football analysis: New England Patriots WR, JuJu Smith-Schuster
Smith-Schuster enters his seventh NFL campaign, and is coming off a season where he recorded 78 receptions on 101 targets for 933 yards and three touchdowns as a member of the Chiefs. He was quite effective in PPR formats for most of 2022, and he had eight games where he had five or more catches. He comes into another opportunity to be a WR1 with New England.
Start or sit in Week 1 PPR leagues?
NO. Despite being the top wideout in the Patriots offense, it’s likely going to take a few games before Smith-Schuster is comfortable in Bill Belichick’s system. Not to mention, the Eagles have a secondary headlined by Darius Slay and James Bradberry, so Jones could struggle to keep the ball in the air for most of the game.
Start or sit in Week 1 standard leagues?
NO. For fantasy managers hoping that Smith-Schuster will haul in a touchdown at some point during Sunday’s contest, best not to hold your breath. The Patriots averaged 208.0 passing yards per game last season, with only 1.1 TDs. Against the Philadelphia defense, Smith-Schuster projects as a WR3 at best in deep 14-league formats.
Players you would start ahead of JuJu Smith-Schuster
Ranking as the overall WR41 in PPR, and WR44 in standard leagues, there are a few players that you might be able to fill in over Smith-Schuster for Week 1. Jordan Addison, Michael Pittman Jr., Brandin Cooks and Elijah Moore all project to have better performances this week.