As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. Delanie Walker has finally moved on from Tennessee, and a lot of people are extremely excited for Jonnu Smith. Why? Good question. Let’s try to break this down in our Jonnu Smith 2020 player profile.
Jonnu Smith ADP and AAV:
Standard: TE18, 158 overall
PPR: TE19, 158 overall
Average Auction Value: $1
Jonnu Smith Statistics:
Jonnu Smith Overview:
If you ask people why they love Jonnu Smith this year, a lot of them will cite the fact that he is now out from under Delanie Walker in the Tennesee Titans passing game. What people seem to miss in this assessment is that… Delanie Walker played in just eight games over the last two seasons, combined. Jonnu Smith has already had his time in the sun. How did he do in said sun? Over the last two seasons, in games with Delanie Walker, Jonnu averaged a paltry 1.25 receptions per game on 1.75 targets for 21.62 yards. Obviously, he smashed without Delanie, right? In the 21 games Delanie Walker didn’t play, Jonnu Smith averaged 2.86 targets per game, and his receptions went up to two catches for 25 yards per contest! Wowee Zowee! Amazing! That was sarcasm.
“Jonnu Smith just had to get out from underneath Delanie Walker” Myth: Broken (take that, Discovery Channel attorneys).
“Well, Jeff,” you might say, “that was with Marcus Mariota, and look how much better everyone did with Ryan Tannehill last year!” Alright, let’s tango. Delanie Walker, with Ryan Tannehill under center last season, paced out to 41 receptions for 476 yards and four touchdowns. That’s extremely underwhelming, but I will give you that this is twelfth in standard scoring (thirteenth in half-PPR and fourteenth in PPR). So, myth sort of… confirmed? The truth of the matter is that Jonnu Smith did play well in the second half of the season, totaling at least 60 yards and a touchdown in… 4-of-9 games. In the other five games, he had 48 yards… combined, all while playing at least 70% of the team’s snaps.
Jonnu Smith Draft Strategy:
Okay, there is a world where you can squint and sort-of see a top-ten fantasy football season from Jonnu Smith. But, I’m taking Jonnu Smith as nothing higher than a tight end punt play in my drafts this year. Yes, he had a sweet butt catch in the playoffs, and nothing can take that from him. But his upside here is, what, tight end eight? The #1 bugaboo for Titans’ fantasy football value is their lack of a passing game, and I’m not excited to invest in a marginal player in that offense with that in mind.
That isn’t to say that Jonnu Smith could come out and make me look very foolish in weeks one and two. That is to say that he hasn’t shown any reliable production to say that after two strong weeks, you could confidently rule out a week three goose egg from Jonnu. It’s a run-oriented offense in Tennessee, so I’m not excited to get a guy who could be touchdown-or-bust more often than not.
Best Case Scenario:
Jonnu is a poor man’s Delanie Walker, starting his reign of terror as the annual TE8 in Tennessee.
Worst Case Scenario:
Hey, maybe the waiver wire in your league probably has like, Dallas Goedert or T.J. Hockenson on it?