Big Ben is back and the Steelers offense is looking like the imposing offensive force that it was prior to his departure last season. Antonio Brown is long gone and Juju Smith-Schuster has taken his place as Roethlisberger’s favorite target. This leaves the coveted role of the No. 2 receiver wide open and there are three contenders this season. Who is most likely to take on this role and be trustworthy in your lineup? We provide the fantasy analysis below.
Fantasy Football analysis: Steelers WRs Diontae Johnson, James Washington, Chase Claypool
Diontae Johnson received lots of praise in the offseason and was expected to step into a large role in the Steelers offense this year. He faltered a bit in his season debut, as he managed only one first half reception and even had one target hit him squarely in the back. Johnson bounced back well though and managed to finish the game with 6 receptions for 57 yards. He finished the day with 9.7 points in ESPN PPR leagues. Though his point total was not impressive, it was highly encouraging that Johnson received 10 targets and he will look to increase his production in coming weeks.
Chase Claypool performed well in his rookie debut, as he brought in two receptions for 39 yards and added one carry for eight yards to total 6.7 fantasy points in ESPN PPR leagues. Claypool seems to be competing with James Washington for the WR3 role on the team, and though he shows promise, he does not have a large enough role to be trusted on a weekly basis just yet.
James Washington put up decent fantasy numbers in Week 1, as he had two receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown to total 11.4 fantasy points in ESPN PPR leagues. He did the most with the chances he was given, but he was only targeted three times in the game and was clearly behind Johnson in playing time. He will be a touchdown dependent player and is not currently a reliable starter in fantasy lineups.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start Diontae Johnson as a volume based WR3 with upside in all formats.
Sit Chase Claypool.
Sit James Washington.