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Steelers Tricked Everyone With Chase Claypool Usage

Max Staley
Chase Claypool could be poised for a breakout playoff campaign.
Chase Claypool could be poised for a breakout playoff campaign. / Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool looked like a burgeoning superstar at the beginning of the season. He hit the ground running thanks to his ridiculous size-speed combo, recording 10 touchdowns in his first 11 NFL games.

Puzzlingly, his production fell off a cliff after that, failing to reach 55 receiving yards or a TD over his next four games. However, it appears as if that was by design, as Pittsburgh wanted to ensure Claypool didn't hit the "rookie wall."

And it looks like the Steelers could be planning to unleash the 6-foot-6 receiver in the postseason.

Notably, Pittsburgh was averaging 26.4 points per game (PPG) while Claypool was heavily featured in the offense (Week 1-12). But that figure fell to 16.3 PPG while Claypool's usage was limited over the next three games.

He was allowed to ramp it back up in Week 16, running 85% of the team's routes, and Pittsburgh put up 28 points against the stellar Indianapolis Colts' defense. That's too much of a correlation to be a coincidence.

And the Cleveland Browns got a taste of just how dominant Claypool can be in Week 17. Despite playing just 52% of the offensive snaps, with Pittsburgh resting key starters, the Notre Dame product racked up 5 receptions for 101 yards and a TD.

Expect the Steelers to turn their secret weapon loose once again in the NFL Playoffs.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.