The Pittsburgh Steelers and star wideout WR Diontae Johnson agreed upon a two-year, $36.71 million extension.
With Johnson’s contract now completed, the issue of determining his fantasy football value takes center stage due to the inexperience at the Pittsburgh quarterback position. In early drafts, the former Toledo standout is being drafted in the late third/early fourth round. He's currently listed as the 19th wide receiver on Athlon's fantasy football cheat sheet.
Johnson has steadily improved his production in each of his three seasons posting career highs in receptions (107), receiving yards (1,161) and touchdowns (8) in 2021. However, with Ben Roethlisberger now retired, Pittsburgh will turn to either Mitchell Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett. As of now, both quarterbacks are off the fantasy radar, but Pickett could emerge as a waiver wire bye-week replacement if he can outperform his preseason projections.
The Steelers' top receiver was the second-most targeted wideout (169) behind only Cooper Kupp (191) which resulted in Johnson finishing the season as WR8 in Points Per Reception (PPR) fantasy leagues. Although he is the clear WR1 in Pittsburgh, the explosive wideout will compete for targets with fellow wideout Chase Claypool, tight end Pat Freiermuth and rookie George Pickens. In addition, with inexperience under center, Pittsburgh will likely lean heavily on the running game with Najee Harris in the backfield.
Johnson will easily be Pittsburgh's top weapon in the passing game, but given the concerns at quarterback, fantasy managers should temper expectations on the veteran averaging 10-plus targets per game for a third consecutive season.
Related: Fantasy Football Wide Receivers ADP