Diontae Johnson Rest of Season Fantasy Outlook as Steelers Alpha WR1 - Roto Street Journal
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Diontae Johnson Rest of Season Fantasy Outlook as Steelers Alpha WR1

Move over, JuJu. Diontae Johnson appears to have firmly established himself as the Steelers alpha wide receiver. Through the first two games of the season, Johnson has seen 23 targets, including 13 in Week 2 against the Broncos, resulting in a total of 149 yards and a score on 14 grabs. With his crisp route running and elite ability to create separation (3.5 separation yards per target) Johnson is delivering on all the offseason hype. With fellow receiving threats like JuJu Smith-Schuster and the emerging Chase Claypool, defenses can’t lock onto Johnson.

Against the Broncos, Johnson caught eight of his 13 targets for 92 yards and a touchdown. With a target volume like that, Johnson’s fantasy ceiling is much higher than originally expected. While there was every reason in the world for Johnson to breakout, whether he would receive the target volume to do so, was a major concern. Johnson’s 23 targets are tied for the seventh most across the league.

While this is still a small sample size, it’s evident Ben Roethlisberger has a lot of trust in Johnson. After a rocky first half in Week 1, involving a muffled punt and a bad drop, Johnson has been dialed in and backing up all the crazy hype this offseason.

What’s most surprising is Johnson’s 23 targets are almost twice as many as JuJu has on the season (14). While JuJu is still seeing more targets near the end zone, Johnson is finally starting to see some high-value targets in the red zone. Johnson has been targeted twice in the end zone, one of which was his first touchdown of the season last week.

Coming into the season, another major knock on Johnson was his lack of higher value targets as opposed to other receivers in his price range. Commanding a 34.5 percent market share of the team’s air yards and a 33.8 percent target share, there is no sign of Johnson slowing down. If anything, the best may lie ahead this season.

It looks like The Wolf has also turned 180 degrees on Johnson, ranking him as his WR22 on his Rest of Season Rankings.

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  • Graduate of Regent University (2019) BA Sports Journalism Writer: Full Press Coverage, UnFiltered Sports Network Fantasy Football Enthusiast Fantasy Analyst/Writer for the Roto Street Journal

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