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Pat Freiermuth start or sit: Week 1 fantasy football advice

We go over the fantasy football outlook of Pat Freiermuth ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 1 matchup against the Buffalo Bills.

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth (88) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Shaun Bradley (54) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s slate of NFL games features many highly-anticipated matchups, including an AFC battle between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills. As Zack Moss and Gabriel Davis established themselves as key contributors during their rookie seasons, the Steelers are hoping for their own rookies, Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth, to immediately add to the team’s success.

Fantasy Football analysis: Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth

Despite a shoulder injury that cut his season short and required surgery, Freiermuth was selected in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. His 23 receptions, 310 yards, and one touchdown at Penn State through four games played prior to the injury, were enough for the Steelers to take him off the board as the No. 2 overall tight end, even with Eric Ebron having had a decent 2020 season. With Freiermuth being selected so high in the draft, it seems that he is primed to be a part of Pittsburgh’s immediate plans. The 6’5 tight end looked great during preseason action, most notably during the team’s second tune-up game in which he caught two touchdown passes from Ben Roethlisberger.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

What does that mean for fantasy purposes? Well, it’s hard to say without first seeing how the snaps are going to be dispersed, but the depth Steelers’ official depth chart does list Eric Ebron “or” Freiermuth as the Week 1 starter. That is, at the very least, an encouraging development for the rookie and signals that he may develop into the weekly starter as the season progresses. But without knowing how much he’ll see the field, I find it hard to start him in fantasy. I’d stay away from Freiermuth, for this week at least.