It is a quick turnaround for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense, playing on Thursday after losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8. QB Kenny Pickett is a little beat up with a rib injury, but he says he plans to play, and fantasy football managers wonder who the best pass catcher is to start alongside him.
Should You Start Diontae Johnson or George Pickens in Fantasy Football Week 9?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, PFN’s Consensus Rankings say that George Pickens is the start, but it’s only by a small margin over Diontae Johnson. Pickens is projected to have 10.4 fantasy points on 3.9 receptions and 61.1 yards. Johnson is projected for 9.6 fantasy points on 6.2 receptions and 63.4 yards.
I disagree with the optimizer, and I think that of the two WRs, Johnson is the best start. Even though he recently returned from a hamstring injury that placed him on injured reserve for four weeks, he has quickly found his groove again. Pickens is a highlight reel waiting to happen every week, but he does not have the floor that Johnson does.
Diontae Johnson Fantasy Outlook This Week
Johnson returned from his injury in Week 7 and caught five of his six targets for 79 yards and finished as WR22. He had a similar finish in Week 8. His target share has been increasing since he returned, with him commanding 64% of the WR targets in Week 8. Since his return, he has a 31.75% target share and a 12.3-yard average depth of target. He is WR26 in PFN’s Consensus Rankings this week.
George Pickens Fantasy Outlook This Week
Although Pickens has the more incredible big-play ability, it translates to lopsided fantasy finishes when he doesn’t make one of those plays; he has three weeks as the WR19 or better and four weeks as WR39 or worse. Sure, he might have a fantastic ceiling, but his floor is lower than the basement. Pickens is WR25 in PFN’s consensus rankings this week.
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