JuJu Smith-Schuster rookie season was perhaps the best of all rookie receivers and perhaps the best of all offensive first-year players. For instance, Smith-Schuster was targeted 79 times and caught 58 passes for 917 yards, 15.8 yards per catch, and seven scores. He even put together a nice yard-after-the-catch average of 6.8, per Pro Football Focus.
Six of catches went for over 40-yards, which was more than anyone outside of players named Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill, and Brandin Cooks. He was a key cog in the Pittsburgh Steelers offense and made a disappearing act out of Martavis Bryant. The Steelers felt confident enough in Smith-Schuster’s ability to trade Bryant away to the Oakland Raiders.
He also posted six catches of 40-plus yards, more than anyone but Tyreek Hill, Brandin Cooks and Antonio Brown, and a healthy Smith-Schuster proved himself to be an important part of the Steelers’ offense, and his ceiling is as an All-Pro.
He did get banged up a bit in 2017. His first injury came in the preseason opener (August 11th) when he left near the end of the 1st quarter with a concussion. The rookie wideout collided with a teammate while attempting to make a tackle after an interception by Steelers quarterback Joshua Dobbs. Smith-Schuster would not play the following week. It was also the first concussion of his college or pro playing career.
Three months later Smith-Schuster would again have a concussion (week seven). The Steelers would go on to win that game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Smith-Schuster would enter the concussion protocol and miss minimal time. He was ready to go the following week against the Detroit Lions.
Less than a month later Smith-Schuster would again suffer another injury (week 11) against the Tennessee Titans. This time a thigh hamstring sprain/pull. He would miss the following week in Green Bay. A ten-day separation between ball games. An injury that was nagging him for a few weeks even though he did not miss any more games.
It does not appear any of his injuries will keep him from having another opportunity to explode in his second season. Draft him with confidence.
Update: Smith-Schuster did not finish practice Sunday, July 29, because of an undisclosed injury. He returned to practice on Thursday, August 2.
[FREE] Draft Profile- Rashaad Penny
Compiled by Dr. Jesse Morse & Mike Valverde
Rashaad Armein Penny just turned 24 years old and was born in Norwalk, California. His older brother Elijhaa is a fullback for the Giants. Rashaad had a very productive senior season at his local high school rushing for 2,004 yards and 41 touchdowns on 216 carries. He also caught 21 passes for 665 yards and another 10 touchdowns. 51 touchdowns is a ridiculous season. He chose to play his college football at FBS San Diego State University over BCS schools Boise State and Colorado State.
His freshman year, 2014, Penny did not get any rushing attempts, finishing the season with only two. In his sophomore year, he played in 14 games, rushing 61 times for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns. He finally started to get more opportunities in his junior year, rushing 135 times for 1,005 yards and 11 touchdowns, adding 15 receptions for 224 yards and 3 more scores.
Finally in his senior year, 2017, Penny rushed 289 times for 2,248 yards, a very impressive 7.8 yards per carry and 23 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 135 yards and 2 more tds.
Penny measured in at 5‘11“ tall and 220 pounds, running a 4.46-second 40-yard dash. The Seattle Seahawks chose Penny at the end of the first round in the 2018 NFL Draft. Penny played in 14 games as a rookie, rushing 85 times for 419 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also caught nine passes for 75 yards as well, missing two games with a knee injury.
Hoping to form a tandem with Chris Carson heading into the 2019 season, Penny was not given as many rushing opportunities as many had hoped. He struggled with injuries, injuring his hamstring in practice ahead of week three, and ended up missing three games as a result. Then, unfortunately, in Week 14, Penny suffered a torn ACL ending his season, discussed here.
Unfortunately, running backs who suffer torn ACL‘s (especially if they do it in the NFL) do not have the best return rate, at least in their first season back. Look at Dalvin Cook‘s 2018 season, and then compare to his 2019 season. Everyone always wants to point out how dominant Adrian Peterson was after his return from his torn ACL. But it is important to note that Peterson is the exception and not the rule.
Most running backs struggle in the first year after tearing the ACL. I think this is a combination of physical and mental. Regaining confidence in this newly built ligament takes time. The knee simply doesn’t respond as well as before the injury.
Some athletes describe a little bit more wiggle or ‘play’ with the new ligament. As good as modern medicine is, the ligament is never as good as the original. It’s not as tight, strong, or as flexible.
With the demands of the ACL in the modern NFL as a running back, often, these athletes struggle with the confidence to be able to cut with the aggressiveness that they will need to be effective. Suffering a torn ACL is not a deathblow to a running back’s career, but there are examples of players that struggled to return to form, including Jamaal Charles (at the end of his career), Darren Sproles, and Bishop Sankey.
The jury is still out on Derrius Guice, and they will be out for Penny as well. While WRs, QBs, and defensive players return to a level similar to their pre-injury effectiveness, RBs often struggle to return to full form.
When the Seattle Seahawks chose Rashaad Penny in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, they never thought that their 2017 seventh-round decision, Chris Carson would outperform him. However, that has been the situation. Penny has also struggled with injuries.
Even through difficult times, Penny has been a stable running back. His season total of 370 yards on 65 attempts while averaging 5.26 yards per carry (3rd) and a 2.05 YAC (11th) among 52 running backs with 150 carries or more.
After a Carson fumble and an expanded role in Weeks 12 and 13, Penny would put up 14-129-1 and 15-74-1, but unfortunately, Week 14 put an end to any progressions he was making when he tore his ACL.
Now in 2020, Penny could see the PUP list to start the season. He is only 24-years old, so his injury return time could be less. Even if he does return before Week 1, he will not only have to battle Carson but Carlos Hyde and rookie DeeJay Dallas. Throw in Travis Homer for good measure.
The Seahawks offensive line isn’t much better than it has been over the last few seasons. They will have three new starters. BJ Finney, at the center position, will compete with Joey Hunt. Damien Lewis, a third-round decision out of LSU, will step in for DJ Fluker. Seattle did sign Brandon Shell from the Jets, and he will replace Germain Ifedi. They run a gap-power offense.
Even with Russell Wilson working his magic, the Seahawks like to focus on the run. Whoever has the ball in their hands should be successful. However, there are just too many road bumps in front of Penny to make him a high priority or even a low one when it comes to draft day.
Sports Injury Predictor calculates that Penny has a 53.8% chance of injury in 2020, which translates to missing about one game.
My injury risk for him is significantly higher, a 7 out of 10. Penny may struggle with a lack of burst and confidence in his knee.
Currently being drafted as the RB58, there is a chance that Penny surprises this year, as his backfield mate Chris Carson is also coming back from an equally significant injury, a hip fracture. I (Dr. Morse) would not be surprised if the Seahawks turn to a more passing offense as a result of these injuries.
The ACL plays such a significant role in the lower legs’ mobility and running that so many other issues and injuries can develop as a result of the decreased strength, range of motion, and confidence.
Hamstring injuries, meniscal tears, and MCL sprains are not uncommon as a result of a reconstructed knee. Data demonstrates that Penny is still at an increased risk for a second torn ACL. Up until two years from injury, the data shows that he has a 9% chance of re-tear of his recently repaired/built ligament and a 21% chance of tearing the opposite ACL.
There’s simply too much risk in Penny in 2020 for me (Dr. Morse). I’d much rather roll the dice with names in his range like Antonio Gibson, Chase Edmonds, Darrynton Evans, and Damien Harris. Cross Penny’s name off your draft board, and save yourself the trouble.
At this point (June 22), Penny is the RB56 and 182nd player off the board overall. The translation is that he is an RB5 or basic dart throw. Keep an eye on when or if he can make it back before the start of the season. For the most part, I (Mike) would leave as waiver wire fodder.
Injury Risk: High, 7/10.
Injury Video Link: https://youtu.be/YXPhr8g29kY
Performance Video Link: https://youtu.be/dR-EogvgAWQ
Like what you see? GET DRADT GUIDE HERE
2020 Fantasy Football Draft Guide
This Draftguide will contain every piece of injury information you need to know about all the key players heading into the 2020 Fantasy Football season. There will be over 65 profiles, one profile for each player. The profiles will be comprised of tons of information to help you make the best decision whether or not you should draft a certain player.
Each profile will have 2 videos breaking down each player, one discussing their injuries, the other their performance and expectations (using PFF data) heading into 2020. Additionally there will be a review of the player’s injury history, the importance of these injuries as it pertains to future injuries, an injury ‘risk score’ (yes!), the player’s 2019 effectiveness (data review), complete player outlook as well as team stats to support the player’s outlook for 2020. Wow, that’s a lot of information for EACH player.
The profiles will help you answer important questions like:
How risky is this player heading into the 2020 NFL Season?
Is (insert player name here) fully recovered from his (insert injury here)?
How much will X injury in 2019 after this player in 2020 (from a Sports Medicine Doctor’s perspective)?
Can you give me a ‘Risk Score’ to compare the players to each other?
Is a certain player ‘Injury Prone?’
How well does this player project in 2020 based on new additions and 2019 performance?
Well guess what? I’m Dr. Jesse Morse, a Board-Certified Sports Medicine Physician, a member of The Fantasy Doctors, and I’ve written an all-inclusive Draftguide, along with some colleagues, to help you answer all of these questions and more.
We have collaborated with Sports Injury Predictor, whose massive NFL injury database provides us all the important details that are hard to find on the Internet. I see orthopedic and elite athletes during the day, and enjoy discussing and analyzing NFL players’ injuries at night and on the weekends! As an avid fantasy football player for over 2 decades myself, I know how to translate this into clear advice about whether or not to draft someone, or even start someone on a given week given the information that we know. I can help to cut through the medical mumbo-jumbo and provide a clear understanding of the injury, whether the player will be able to play, and how effective they will be on the field. Its like you have your own cheat sheet!
I’ve made this easy for you this year, you have 2 choices here. Either you purchase the whole draftguide, with over 65 player profiles or you decide you really only want one specific profile, and you buy just that one. Your choice!
You want a SAMPLE of one of the profile’s videos? Well, watch the videos below. Still not convinced? Keep scrolling down and get The Rashaad Penny profile for FREE!
Matthew Stafford injury video profile
Matthew Stafford performance video profile
Well, what are you waiting for? Join us NOW!