Grading Potential Fantasy Fits For Kenny Golladay with Giants & JuJu Smith-Schuster with Jets
Getty Images. Pictured: NFL WRs Kenny Golladay and JuJu Smith-Schuster
Fantasy football managers are still waiting for some of the NFL’s biggest free agency dominoes to fall.
Arguably the most-anticipated news is where Kenny Golladay will sign. And among the other free-agent wide receivers yet to find a team for 2021, JuJu Smith-Schuster stands out.
Both receivers have been connected to New York teams over the past 24 hours — on Wednesday night, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that the Giants are working to bring Golladay in for a visit while NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Thursday morning that Smith-Schuster has been in conversations with the Jets.
While both teams are in the NFL’s biggest market, neither of these reports are likely to excite either receiver’s fantasy investors. Our analysts weigh in on both potential fits.
Kenny Golladay Fantasy Fit with Giants
Samantha Previte: I hate the idea of Kenny Golladay to the Giants for one reason: Daniel Jones.
In spite of optimism the quarterback would make a leap in Year 2, Jones had an extremely underwhelming sophomore season and completed 62.5% of his passes for 2,943 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He ranked 19th in passing yards and averaged 210.2 yards per game — only slightly higher than Nick Foles, Dwayne Haskins and Mitch Trubisky.
Jones’ anemic passing game certainly wasn’t helped by the Giants’ hapless offensive line, which has been a pain point over multiple seasons. The porous unit allowed 3.1 sacks per game in 2020 — the second most in the NFL.
None of this bodes well for Golladay’s fantasy value. I think this takes the 27-year-old’s value from being a mid-to low-range WR1 to WR2 territory.
Matthew Freedman: I hate the idea of Kenny Golladay with the Giants. Hate it. He has the talent to be a low-end WR1 in fantasy, but with the Giants, I think he’s much more of a mid-range WR2 with little upside and catastrophic downside.
Daniel Jones has shown little ability as a passer, and the Giants already have established receivers in place who will limit Golladay’s target ceiling.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Fantasy Fit with Jets
Freedman: I’m not at all a fan of JuJu with the Jets.
There have been rumors that the Jets might cut slot receiver Jamison Crowder, and if that happens, then the fit would be much better. But it’s not a certain that the Jets will part with their best receiver over the past two years, and even if they do, that doesn’t mean Smith-Schuster would inherit all of Crowder’s target volume or slot snaps.
The Jets just signed Corey Davis to a deal that includes $27 million guaranteed: He’s going to get his opportunities. And in the wings, the team also has upside perimeter receiver Denzel Mims, who was brought in just last year with a second-round pick. Even if JuJu has a 90% snap rate and plays the supermajority of his snaps in the slot — where he would see high-percentage targets — he’s not a lock to have a superfluity of targets headed his way.
And finally there’s this bigger issue: We don’t know what the Jets offense will look like or who will be quarterbacking it.
This situation is ugly for JuJu, and in redraft leagues and best ball, I’ll be inclined to stay away from it.
Previte: I don’t love the idea of JuJu Smith-Schuster going to the Jets, either. The addition of Zach Wilson — or whomever general manager Joe Douglas ends up drafting at No. 2 overall come April — isn’t going to immediately transform the offense that ranked dead-last in the NFL in points per game last year.
Smith-Schuster, 24, would also be joining a crowded receiver room, which includes newly-acquired former Titans wideout Corey Davis — the 26-year-old agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract with $27 million guaranteed on Monday.
For fantasy, Smith-Schuster on the Jets would likely have high-end WR2 upside with a ton of downside.