Sunday update: Ben Roethlisberger is listed as questionable for Monday’s game, but the expectation is he will play. The Steelers receivers are talented enough to be productive without Roethlisberger, but his playing is a boost for them. In PPR leagues, ESPN projects Johnson with 14.6 points, JuJu with 14.0 points, and Claypool with 13.5 points.
There’s a lot to take away from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ undefeated season so far, but if one thing is clear, it’s that they might have the deepest group of receivers in the league. This has allowed its top three pass catchers to be reliable plays all year long.
Fantasy Football analysis: Steelers WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson
Smith-Schuster has benefited nicely this year compared to last, where he was the team’s top receiver after the departure of Antonio Brown. Now, with this year’s dynamic group, Smith-Schuster has become a reliable fantasy play for most of the season. He’s had at least six receptions in five of the last six games, including last week’s performance of eight catches for 37 yards and a score.
Since Week 8, Claypool has racked up 59 targets, good enough for just under 10 per-game. While that might sound promising, his production has been average, scoring 15.9 fantasy points or less in four of those past five games. Though he hasn’t eclipsed 70 receiving yards since Week 6, he’s scored three times in the past three weeks (twice against Jacksonville in Week 11).
Johnson leads the team in targets (94), and has had seven games of 10 or more this season. In just the last three weeks, Johnson has 32 receptions on 50 targets for 350 yards and a score. He’s averaging 87.5 yards per-game in the stretch. This past Wednesday against Baltimore, though, Johnson had eight grabs for only 46 yards. The volume is definitely there, but with only four touchdowns this season compared to Claypool’s eight and Smith-Schuster’s six, I wouldn’t go into this week completely expecting Johnson to reach the end zone.
The Washington Football Team has been stout in the secondary, only allowing one 300-yard performance this season to the Rams in Week 5. Since then, they’ve allowed just 108, 59, 184, 267, 202, and 187-yard games to opposing quarterbacks. Teams have scored six total touchdowns in the span. Though four of those games are against the NFC East (take that as you will), cornerback’s Ronald Darby and Kendall Fuller have been bright spots for the WFT. Darby has allowed just over three receptions per-game in 11 games this season, while Darby has given up just over two catches per-game in nine games played.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start Diontae Johnson and Juju Smith-Schuster, sit Chase Claypool.