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George Pickens start or sit: Week 16 fantasy football advice

We break down the fantasy football outlook of George Pickens ahead of the Steelers’ Week 16 matchup against the Raiders.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 18: George Pickens #14 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after making a catch against the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter of the game at Bank of America Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves on the NFL’s Christmas Eve slate as they welcome the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 16. As the Steelers welcome back their starting quarterback under center, it should provide a nice boost to the fantasy outlook for George Pickens. But should fantasy managers place their faith in the rookie wideout and start him in lineups accordingly this week?

Fantasy Football Analysis: George Pickens WR

Pickens unsurprisingly finished with a poor performance last week with Mitch Trubisky under center, with the rookie wideout seeing just five targets and finishing with two catches for 53 yards and 7.3 PPR fantasy points. A Christmas gift is on the way this weekend though with Kenny Pickett back in the starting lineup, which should provide a nice boost to Pickens’ ceiling. Perhaps an even better jolt is his matchup with a vulnerable Raiders secondary in Week 16.

Las Vegas has the 26th-ranked pass defense this season which allows an average of 244.3 yards per game through the air. They also give up a solid 20.4 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers, which should play into Pickens’ favor as the Steelers’ pass catcher with the most upside.

But a track record of inconsistency from Pickens this season is the true obstacle that stands in his way this week. Despite his talent and flashing the potential of his synergy with Pickett, a consistent string of strong performances has yet to come to fruition. The rookie has yet to finish with double-digit receptions, or targets, this season and he’s eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards in a game just once all year.

Start or sit in Week 16?

Pickens, even with the advantageous matchup, is at best a WR4 heading into his Christmas Eve contest. Unless fantasy managers are truly desperate in filling a receiver or flex spot, they are better off rolling with a more consistent option.