Don’t let offseason wrist surgery prevent you from drafting Seahawks rookie WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Seattle Seahawks rookie wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba has been a name to watch this summer leading up to the start of fantasy football season but recently had surgery on his wrist. Don’t let that stop you from drafting him.

Minnesota Vikings v Seattle Seahawks
Minnesota Vikings v Seattle Seahawks / Jane Gershovich/GettyImages
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The Seattle Seahawks used one of their two first-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft to select former Ohio State University standout Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith-Njigba has been a name to watch this summer leading up to the start of fantasy football season but recently had surgery on his wrist. Don’t let that stop you from drafting him.

Smith-Njigba (also known as JSN) has been one of the most exciting players to watch in training camp based on previous reports. Despite being in a receiving room with two Pro Bowl-level wideouts such as DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, JSN has found a way to stand out.  

Plays like this have attributed to JSN receiving plenty of media attention during the offseason:

Ironically enough, JSN suffered a wrist injury on this incredible catch-and-run play against the Cowboys that required him to have surgery on his wrist to repair a small bone crack. While JSN’s timetable to return continues to remain up in the air, he has already resumed practicing with the team (albeit wearing a huge cast on his wrist and a non-contact jersey).

Some people have used the preseason injury and surgery as a reason to remove Smith-Njigba off their draft boards entirely. Instead, this is a perfect time to buy the dip on JSN and invest in him at this low of a cost while you can.

JSN was already skyrocketing up draft boards very quickly since the beginning of the summer. He was someone you were able to get in the double-digit rounds of your fantasy drafts in June and even early July, but now he is being selected as early as the eighth round of drafts.

With that said, JSN is a player worthy of the hype. A lingering hamstring injury cost him a large portion of his junior season at Ohio State, but his sophomore season was one to remember. In 2021, he caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns.

Most notably, when his former college teammates and current NFL standouts Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave sat out of Ohio State’s 2021 Rose Bowl matchup versus the University of Utah, JSN had one of the most dominant performances in college football history. He recorded 15 receptions to go with 347 receiving yards en route to being named MVP of the game.

JSN is a talented receiver who can win on all three levels of the field. While he may not be the fastest receiver, he makes up for it with remarkable footwork and the ability to come down with contested catches.

Geno Smith, last year’s overall QB5, is back with the Seahawks after signing a lucrative contract extension this offseason and proved he can support multiple productive fantasy wide receivers last season. Both Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf had at least 80 receptions, 1,000 yards, and six touchdowns. Plus, if either/both of these two are ever forced to miss time, JSN instantly becomes a set-and-forget fantasy receiver.

Head coach Pete Carroll has typically been known for preferring a run-oriented offensive attack, but last year, that changed. Per FFToday, The Seahawks called a passing play on 57.4 percent of their plays, good for 12th in the NFL. The Seahawks’ decision to spend a first-round pick on a receiver of JSN’s caliber despite already having one of the best receiver duos in the league shows that the team is prepared to lean into Smith and the passing game.

According to Ian Rapoport, JSN is expected to begin the season on the active roster. While his status for Week 1 remains in question, not being placed on the IR indicates the Seahawks are confident he should return to action sooner rather than later.

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JSN was expected to make an instant impact on the Seahawks’ offense before injuring his wrist in the preseason. While the injury may have put a small dent in that plan, JSN is going to be a focal point once he is up to speed. Do not let him having offseason surgery detour you from picking him. Use it to your advantage and buy the dip!