Fantasy Football Week 1 Sleepers: JuJu Smith-Schuster first choice for diversified K.C. receiving corps – CBS Sports

  • September 10, 2022

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The Chiefs receiving corps is different this season with Tyreek Hill, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson gone. The replacements are JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and rookie Skyy Moore joining Mecole Hardman, and Patrick Mahomes said there is no headliner in that group.
Mahomes wasn’t being disrespectful with his comment. Far from it. He just said the Chiefs will have more diversity with the receivers — behind Travis Kelce, of course — and that will make the Kansas City passing game harder to defend.
“The biggest thing is there’s going to be a different player every single game that has the big game,” Mahomes said to the Kansas City media this week. “It’s not going to be just necessarily Tyreek and Travis every single week, where it’s like one or the other having a big game or both. Every single week, it’s going to be someone different. So I’m sorry to all you Fantasy Football guys. It’s going to come from everywhere, so you’re going to have to kind of choose the right guy every week.”

Well, that makes our job easier, right? Good luck trying to find the best Chiefs receiver on a weekly basis if that’s going to be the norm.
For Week 1 at Arizona, I’ll buy into Smith-Schuster as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues, and I listed him as a starter in Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em. But I think there’s room to use Valdes-Scantling as a sleeper, and he should see plenty of playing time as an outside receiver.
This Cardinals defense was No. 4 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers last season, and Arizona lost standout pass rusher Chandler Jones to Las Vegas this offseason. J.J. Watt (calf) could also be out this week, and the Cardinals are underdogs at home (Chiefs -5.5). Kansas City should score plenty of points, and we’ll see where Mahomes goes in this matchup.
You probably want to wait and see what happens with Moore and Hardman. And we should also mention Justin Watson as someone who could play more than expected since he had a big role in the preseason.
Mahomes could make Fantasy managers frustrated if he spreads the ball around. But he also could reward us if multiple receivers are successful each week, and that’s something we’d love. For Week 1, look for Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling to lead the way against the Cardinals.
Every Friday, you can find this column on sleepers and DFS plays on DraftKings and FanDuel. I’m also going to include our show notes from Fantasy Football Today on CBS Sports HQ, which gives a game-by-game breakdown of starts, sits, favorite props and favorite DFS plays. It should help you with some lineup decisions each week.
These are game previews from our Fantasy Football Today show on CBS Sports HQ on Friday from me, Adam Aizer and Dave Richard. The player props are from Caesers Sportsbook.
QB: Patrick Mahomes (at ARI) $7,700
RB: Alvin Kamara (at ATL) $7,600
RB: Aaron Jones (at MIN) $6,700
WR: Marquise Brown (vs. KC) $6,200
WR: Christian Kirk (at WAS) $5,100
WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling (at ARI) $4,700
TE: Dallas Goedert (at DET) $4,500
FLEX: Dameon Pierce (vs. IND) $4,800
DST: Dolphins (vs. NE) $2,600
I’m going to stack Mahomes here with Valdes-Scantling with the hope the two connect on a big play for a touchdown. As Mahomes said, look for the Chiefs to spread the ball around, but I’m confident Valdes-Scantling will play a lot given his role as an outside receiver.
It’s easy to trust Kamara and Jones, especially given their roles in the passing game, and both could benefit due to injuries. Kamara could see an uptick in targets if Michael Thomas (hamstring) is out or limited, and Jones could also get more passes if Allen Lazard (ankle) can’t play.
I like Pierce as a flex only if Shaquille Leonard (back) is out for the Colts. If Leonard plays then I will pivot off Pierce to someone else in his price range, which could be T.J. Hockenson ($4,900), Raheem Mostert ($4,800), Sammy Watkins ($4,700) or Chris Olave ($4,500). I could also add to my Chiefs stack with Hardman ($4,600).
I love the setup for Brown with Zach Ertz (calf) and Rondale Moore (hamstring) banged up, and DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for the first six games. Brown should dominate targets in a shootout with the Chiefs, and he’s a good counter for my Chiefs stack.
Kirk is headed for a big game in his debut with the Jaguars, and Goedert should excel in a great matchup with the Lions. This lineup has the chance to pay off big in Week 1.
QB: Trey Lance (at CHI) $7,500
RB: Derrick Henry (vs. NYG) $9,700
RB: A.J. Dillon (at MIN) $6,100
WR: Mike Williams (vs. LV) $6,600
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster (at ARI) $6,400
WR: Brandon Aiyuk (at CHI) $5,600
TE: Cole Kmet (vs. SF) $5,000
FLEX: Davante Adams (at LAC) $8,500
DEF: Dolphins (vs. NE) $3,800 
Lance is my Start of the Week, and I always like to build at least one lineup with that player. I’ll stack him with Aiyuk, and I expect this to be a quality connection all season, starting in Week 1 against the Bears.
I want pieces of this Chiefs offense in my lineups this week, so I’ll play Smith-Schuster here. And Williams is an easy choice at his price in what should be a high-scoring affair for the Chargers and Raiders.
With that in mind, I’ll also pay up for Adams in the flex. He should get plenty of targets from Derek Carr this week, and the Chargers won’t have standout cornerback J.C. Jackson (ankle) to help slow down Adams in his Raiders debut.
Henry and Dillon should have huge games at running back, and Dillon should get extra attention in the passing game if Lazard is out to enhance his value. And to counter my 49ers stack, I’ll play Kmet this week, and he’s a great value given his upside for the Bears.
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