2. JuJu Smith-Schuster
Whether you're a Patriots fan or JuJu Smith-Schuster fantasy owner, chances are that you've been frustrated by the veteran wide receiver's play in 2023.
Brought in to be New England's No. 1 WR on a three-year, $33 million deal this offseason, Smith-Schuster has been virtually invisible all year. Once a 1,400-yard receiver, the ex-USC Trojan has only made 15 catches for 89 yards and a touchdown through six games, never finishing a contest with more than 33 receiving yards.
Smith-Schuster's disastrous play has also caused his playing time to crater. He went from averaging 46.7 offensive snaps in New England's first three games to 23.7 in the most recent trio. In fact, he only lined up for 18 snaps (34%) in Week 8.
With rookie WR Demario Douglas averaging a team-high 6.5 targets over the last two games, Smith-Schuster has, more or less, lost his grip as New England's top wideout. If he can't turn things around down the stretch, it's going to be tougher to justify his $10.6 million cap hit in 2024.
If Smith-Schuster doesn't solidify his spot on the team, moving on from him won't be too difficult in the offseason. The Patriots can save $5.3 million in cap space if they trade him before June 1, 2024, or $8 million if they choose to do so after that date, per Spotrac.