The Wrong Read – Episode 11: How Much Does Draft Age Matter?
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Welcome to the 11th installment of the “The Wrong Read,” an article series that reflects on recent podcast episodes and digs deeper into the ideas explored there. Sam Bradford is now on IR, so we’ll officially have to wait till next season for his 50-touchdown campaign.1 Still, it was fun to speculate on how he might get there. One of the most pleasant surprises of the 2017 season has been the emergence of wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, long one of RotoViz’s favorite prospects because of his elite-level production at a young age. Smith-Schuster is the youngest player in the NFL, yet managed to post seven receptions on 10 targets for 193 yards and a touchdown in his second game as an NFL starter. He’s currently on pace for about 850 receiving yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie, despite being third on Pittsburgh’s WR depth chart for much of the season. Needless to say, the future looks bright, and fantasy owners are expecting big things. On the latest episode of RotoViz Radio, guest Pat Daugherty even mentioned that he would consider ranking Smith-Schuster ahead of Corey Davis if he were putting together rankings for the 2017 class right now. One of the most frequently cited reasons for preferring Smith-Schuster is his age. His youth gives him an advantage, the theory goes, over older players in similar situations. But is this the case? And if so, why?
- He only would have needed about six touchdowns per game from this point in the season. (back)