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Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver George Pickens is getting a lot of hype and rave reviews from coaches, teammates, and Pittsburgh beat reporters in training camp. And the fantasy football community is starting to take notice. The second-round pick out of Georgia is the early favorite to win the team’s starting wide receiver role alongside Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson.

Pickens’ stock in fantasy football has skyrocketed the last few weeks. In June, he was selected in fantasy drafts as wide receiver 85 and the 200th player overall but according to the latest Average Draft Position reports, he’s now jumping up into the Ttop 60 at the position and 149th overall.

The rookie had an impressive performance in the team’s first preseason game, catching three passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. Despite being the 11th receiver selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, Pickens is getting taken in fantasy drafts ahead of fellow rookie wide receivers like Alec Pierce, Tyquan Thornton, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Jahan Dotson, all of which were selected ahead of him in the real draft. 

Sports Illustrated’s Matt DeLima listed Pickens as his top rookie receiver in fantasy this season:

Well-rounded gamer who can work the route tree and looks like one of the more complete receivers in this class. Great body positioning, excellent hands. Works well over the middle, can beat press coverage and positions himself well for the catch. Great short-area quickness. Looks like a student of the game with a savvy style of play. If he was fully healthy for all of last season, I’d probably put him first.

Athlon currently has Pickens pinned as a Tier 10, late-round hopeful in our latest fantasy rankings. According to the oddsmakers on DraftKings, Pickens has the seventh-best odds to lead all rookies in receiving yards at +1000.