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Fantasy fallout: Impact of Kansas City Chiefs signing JuJu Smith-Schuster

We go over the fantasy football implications of the Kansas City Chiefs signing JuJu Smith-Schuster

JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

UPDATE 3/23: The Kansas City Chiefs have traded wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. There are likely going to be some corresponding moves with a wide receiver or two brought in, but at the time of this update, Smith-Schuster would be the top wide receiver in Kansas City. He doesn’t have the typical making for a No. 1 wide receiver, but with Mahomes under center, his value gets elevated. If the Chiefs sign someone to be an outside deep threat to keep Smith-Schuster in the slot, look for him to be a fantasy asset.

In true JuJu Smith-Schuster fashion, he took to social media and broke his own news of where he would be signing in free agency. Minutes after tweeting out a ‘thank you’ to the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans, he tweeted that he was taking his talents to Kansas City and joining the Chiefs. He signed a one-year $10.75 million deal, per Field Yates.

Smith-Schuster joins a stacked offense and figures to slide in as the second wide receiver, right behind Tyreek Hill and ahead of Mecole Harman. Byron Pringle is no longer with the team, but it remains to be seen just how much of a role Smith-Schuster will have.

Fantasy football analysis: JuJu Smith-Schuster

Fantasy outlook for JuJu Smith-Schuster

As dominant as the Chiefs offense has been in fantasy football, it hasn’t trickled down to the second wide receiver in the offense. There were certainly games where Hardman or Pringle would find their way into the endzone, but the focal points of the offense were easily Hill and tight end Travis Kelce.

When you have Patrick Mahomes as your quarterback though, there is certainly a higher floor than with other teams. For Smith-Schuster, he leaves a Steelers offense that was led by a quarterback that struggled to throw slants on target. Now, he has Mahomes who plays quarterback like he is in a video game and will throw with his eyes closed or his non-dominant hand if he had to.

How signing impacts Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman

Hill and Kelce are still going to get their volume and will continue to be the focal point of the offense. If anything, the presence of Smith-Schuster will likely take some of the pressure off of Hill and Kelce and will see them with better looks.

For Hardman though, he struggled to maintain consistent fantasy value already and it is going to be as unpredictable as ever in the 2022 season. He will likely still bring in a reception or two a game, but he isn’t going to consistently get more than a handful of targets a game.