Diontae Johnson Returns From Injury, Pumps the Brakes on Chase Claypool's Fantasy Outlook - Roto Street Journal
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Diontae Johnson Returns From Injury, Pumps the Brakes on Chase Claypool’s Fantasy Outlook

Remember a week ago when Chase Claypool and his absurd athleticism were the toast of the town?  Well, as it turns out there is an awful lot of wide receiver talent in Pittsburgh and a lot of other guys are hungry for targets and capable of having big games.

Just a week ago, Diontae Johnson seemed like he was about to get lapped on the depth chart by Claypool and was going to become fantasy irrelevant.  Apparently, no one gave Johnson the memo that his demise was imminent.  Claypool, on the other hand, all of a sudden seems like less of a sure thing because of all the talented mouths to feed.

In Week 7 against the Titans, Johnson was targeted an attention-getting 15 times, catching a career-high 9 of those balls for 80 yards and two touchdowns. This stat line was good for 29 PPR fantasy points, and that total is impossible to ignore.  In contrast, the much-lauded Claypool caught 1 ball for negative 2 yards.  Steelers mainstay and default WR1 Juju Smith-Schuster put up a nice game of his own, catching 9 balls on 14 targets for 85 yards.

To sum it up: Johnson is part of an explosive offense that loves to throw the ball—the Steelers chucked it 49 times last week.  Yeah, you might want to get on that.

Johnson, despite missing a game with a back injury in Week 6 and clearly not being at full strength prior to that, has tallied at least 10 targets in 3 of his 5 games this season–and in all of the games, he was objectively healthy.  Especially in PPR formats, Johnson is a tough player to ignore in fantasy moving forward.

Full disclosure: Johnson did have to leave the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent ankle injury, but the word is it should not affect his ability to play in Week 8.  Still, keep an eye on his practice participation this week to be safe—but in the meantime grab him off waivers if he’s hanging out there for the taking.

Don’t give up on Claypool yet, either—he’s a monster talent—it’s just possible he’s not a guaranteed WR1 yet.  Only time will tell if three receivers can thrive in this offense.

The Wolf is still relatively low on Johnson, ranking him at WR30 (-5 vs ECR) on his Rest of Season Big Board. Meanwhile, he’s still high on Claypool, coming in at WR33 (+7 vs ECR), and remains low on JuJu at WR39 (-9 vs ECR).

Author

  • The Truth is the oldest (and wisest) member of the RSJ team. He loves reality TV, is skeptical of pass catching running backs, and thinks John Elway is the greatest quarterback of all time.

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