When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers offense in 2020, players looking to “bounce back” from performances in 2019 are littered across the depth chart. Whether it be Ben Roethlisberger coming back from injury, or players such as JuJu Smith-Schuster attempting to get back to his Pro Bowl caliber performance in 2018, the offense as a whole is needing to have a recovery after last season.
While the oddsmakers are not overly optimistic that Ben Roethlisberger will return to leading the league in passing as he did the last time he played a complete season, a bounce back from JuJu Smith-Schuster is one they feel is much more likely. When it comes to the odds of leading the NFL in receiving yards for 2020, Smith-Schuster is currently at 20/1 which is tied with Stefon Diggs for the 16th best odds of all receivers according to BetOnline.
On the top of the list is the NFL’s 2019 receiving leader Michael Thomas who is currently at 6/1 odds. The next most likely player to win the receiving title according to the oddsmakers is 2015 and 2018 winner Julio Jones. DeAndre Hopkins rounds off the top three at 9/1 odds as he transitions from the Houston Texans to the Arizona Cardinals.
The two new weapons of Tom Brady in Tampa Bay come in tied with 10/1 odds to lead the league in receiving. The duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are the highest set of teammates on the list. In order for this to come to fruition, most likely one of them would have to see a slight dip in production while the other emerges. Which one it would be is the more difficult question.
In all, 50 players were included on the list which went all the way to 66/1 odds. For the Steelers, Smith-Schuster was the only player in the top 50.
When looking at strictly the AFC North, the only player who came in ahead of Smith-Schuster is the Browns’ Odell Beckham Jr. at 12/1 odds. The top receivers from the division were Cincinnati Bengals’ A.J. Green at 33/1 and Baltimore Ravens’ Marquise Brown at 50/1.
When it comes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, hopefully the combination of health and the return of Ben Roethlisberger can get him more on the level of his 2018 form. Being the Steelers second option the first two years of his career, Smith-Schuster would greatly benefit from the emergence of additional teammates in the receiving game for 2020.