James Washington and Donte Moncrief Fantasy Values Could Co-Exist Thanks to Steelers' Play-Calling

Jason Schandl
Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers
Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/Getty Images

It's no question who the Pittsburgh Steelers' top wide receiver is in the post-Antonio Brown era. JuJu Smith-Schuster finished with only two fewer targets than Brown in his 2018 sophomore season, and Brown's departure has cleared the way for JuJu to blossom into a true star.

The lack of clarity comes in figuring out who will follow JuJu as the team's second option this season. 2018 second-round pick James Washington has impressed in the preseason, and the team also signed Donte Moncrief in free agency. The good news for Moncrief and Washington's fantasy value is that the Steelers' play-calling can still leave room for both of them to see significant work in 2019.

Assuming JuJu doesn't suddenly become a bigger target hog than Brown was, the Steelers could have some serious volume available for these two. Non-AB wideouts on the Steelers combined for 277 targets in 2018, with 210 of those split up between their second-and third-most targeted WRs (JuJu and Ryan Switzer).

The way that the Steelers receivers play could also allow them to complement each other in the 2019 season. Washington is a deep threat, finishing fifth among all wideouts that saw at least 30 targets by recording a 16.6-yard average depth of target.

Moncrief also works well downfield. His 12.3-yard depth of target in 2018 doesn't come close to Washington's, but it still positions him as a deep threat. With a more capable quarterback in Andrew Luck in 2017, that mark was up at 13.7 yards as well.

Smith-Schuster, on the other hand, played over 50 percent of his snaps in the slot in 2018, and his 8.4-yard depth of target was among the shortest for a high-volume WR.

With their top wideout working in the slot, we could see even more three-receiver sets out of the Steelers in 2019 than we did last year. Even if there isn't an increase, last year's play-calling and usage suggests that there could be enough volume to go around to support fantasy football value for both James Washington and Donte Moncrief.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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.