NFL - Fantasy

Diontae Johnson Fantasy Outlook Gives Him WR1 Upside in 2021

Larry Rupp
Diontae Johnson's fantasy outlook puts him on the edge of WR1 territory in 2021.
Diontae Johnson's fantasy outlook puts him on the edge of WR1 territory in 2021. / Nic Antaya/Getty Images
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have a plethora of talented wide receivers, but none of them have the upside that third-year player Diontae Johnson does. Johnson was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's top target in 2020 and heads into the fall on the edge of WR1 territory in fantasy football.

Diontae Johnson Fantasy Outlook

Johnson put together a massive 2020 campaign, hauling in 88 of his team-high 144 targets for 923 yards and 7 touchdowns. He looked every bit like a No. 1 wide receiver as Big Ben continued to pepper him with targets. Johnson just needs to improve on his 13 drops if he wants to truly excel.

The 25-year-old has a much higher floor than he's being given credit for. In fact, Johnson posted at least 90 yards or scored a touchdown in eight of his 15 games played last season. That cannot be said about some other WRs currently ranked around him.

Johnson has also consistently proven he can put up numbers against any type of defense in the NFL. The former Toledo Rocket posted a 77.7% success rate against man coverage, an 87.8% success rate against the zone and a 76.9% success rate against press coverage during the 2020 season.

The Steelers have thrived off of an offense that gets the ball out quick and lets the receivers do the work. Johnson could easily see over 110 targets again and that volume alone could put him into top 15 WR territory. It's not unrealistic to say he could put up WR1 numbers if he stays healthy and fixes his drop issues.

Johnson comes with an average draft position of No. 22 amongst wide receivers in PPR leagues, according to FantasyPros. He has a real shot to outperform expectations and take over a Steelers wide receiver room that includes the likes of Juju Smitch-Schuster and Chase Claypool.

Johnson checks in as the WR20 in The Duel's 2021 fantasy football rankings.


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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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