The Mitchell Trubisky experiment is over in Pittsburgh. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett took over in the second half of the Steelers' Week 4 loss to the New York Jets and immediately changed the vibes on offense. Head coach Mike Tomlin has named the 2022 first-round pick his starter going forward.
Let's dive into why fantasy managers should be using a waiver claim on Pickett this week.
Kenny Pickett Fantasy Outlook
It's easy to look at the box score on Sunday and think Pickett struggled due to the fact that he threw 3 interceptions. However, two of those were tipped passes and one was on a hail mary. Those were his only three incompletions on the day. Pickett went 10-of-13 for 120 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.
Those rushing touchdowns are something worth noticing. Pickett posted a 19.9% run ratio in college, which would rank behind only Josh Allen (26.7%) and Daniel Jones (24.2%) in the NFL this season. Seeing Tomlin unafraid to rely on the 24-year-old to bash his way into the end zone is promising.
It's worth noting that Pickett's upside remains limited, though. He is still playing behind a shaky offensive line and despite having a deep arsenal of offensive weapons, Pittsburgh ranks 30th in terms of yards after the catch this season (253). It'll be up to Pickett to lead his receivers to the open field.
Fantasy managers in 2QB/Superflex leagues should not hesitate to pick up Pickett. That same goes for any managers dealing with an injury at the position (Dak Prescott, Tua Tagovailoa, etc.). Being patient is they key because his next two matchups against Buffalo and Tampa Bay are less than ideal.
Diontae Johnson Fantasy Outlook
Relying on a rookie quarterback is always going to come with some growing pains. It wouldn't be surprising to see Tomlin lean on the run game for now and ease Pickett into action with favorable schemes. That leaves wide receiver Diontae Johnson with the same low ceiling he has had all year.
There should be no worries when it comes to Johnson's production once Pickett gets comfortable. The standout WR has posted 2,084 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last two years. His 5.8 catches and 51.8 yards per game marks in 2022 is his floor. Those numbers will surely rise moving forward.
Johnson checks in as at WR25 in The Duel's Week 5 PPR 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.