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Diontae Johnson Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2024

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

The Steelers are set to hire Arthur Smith as their new OC, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Smith, of course, is coming off a baffling and underwhelming three-year tenure as Falcons HC, compiling a 21-30 record and oftentimes mismanaging his offensive talent. Smith, though, was much more successful as Titans OC in 2019 and 2020. Both of those teams ranked top-12 in both total yards and points, leaning on RB Derrick Henry to finish top-3 in rushing yards both years. We'd expect Smith to bring a run-heavy offense to Pittsburgh -- especially considering the team's questions at QB.

The Steelers-Bills game originally scheduled for 1 pm ET on Sunday has been moved to 4:30 pm ET on Monday. Buffalo is expecting heavy snow and wind gusts up to 60 mph on Sunday. The forecast for Monday calls for light snow, sustained winds around 15 mph, and gusts up to 30 mph. That's still tough weather for the passing and kicking games -- but significantly better than it would have been on Sunday. We're adjusting our projections for this game.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson hauled in 4 of 5 targets for 81 receiving yards and a TD in Week 18 vs. Ravens. The veteran ends this season with a career-low in receptions (51) and the second-fewest receiving yards (717) he’s logged to date, though a good deal of this can be attributed to the four games missed due to a hamstring injury. Johnson will play next season at 28 years old in the final year of his contract. Unless the Steelers make a change at QB this offseason, there’s no reason to value Johnson any higher than as a WR3 in dynasty formats.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Thursday afternoon that Steelers QB Kenny Pickett (ankle) has been officially ruled out for Week 16 vs. the Bengals. Although Pickett had been able to log limited practice participation on Tuesday and Wednesday, it was widely anticipated that he would not make his return this week. HC Mike Tomlin had already named Mason Rudolph as the team's starter for Saturday several days ago, which lines up with our projections. Unless you are in desperation mode, it's best to leave Rudolph out of fantasy lineups. See where he lands in our current QB rankings.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (knee) is not listed on the final Week 15 injury report. He returned to a full practice on Thursday after being sidelined on Wednesday and should be ready for his usual role vs. the Colts on Saturday.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson was added to the injury report with a knee and did not practice on Wednesday. His availability for Saturday's game vs. the Colts is suddenly in question. We'll look for more details on Johnson's knee issue and see how he's listed on the final injury report tomorrow.

Steelers QB Kenny Pickett will miss an "extended period" with his ankle injury, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac. We'll look for a more detailed diagnosis and timetable for Pickett's return, but it sounds like it'll be QB Mitchell Trubisky under center for the Steelers for the foreseeable future. He's completed 63.8% of his passes at 6.7 yards per attempt over the past two seasons in Pittsburgh. Trubisky will be a bottom-barrel QB2 in fantasy football but probably won't be a significant downgrade from Pickett for the offense.

The Steelers have fired OC Matt Canada, who has been running the unit since 2021. In that time, Pittsburgh has ranked 21st, 26th, and 28th (so far this year) in scoring. Each season has found the offense ranking 28th in yards per play. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the team plans to promote RBs coach Eddie Faulkner to OC but hand play-calling duties to QBs coach Mike Sullivan. Faulkner has coached Steelers RBs since 2019 (and previously served in the same role for the team in 2012). His only OC experience to date has been with Ball State in 2009-10. Sullivan has been coaching at the college level or higher for 30 years. He has been in the NFL since 2002, including stints as Buccaneers OC (2012-13) and Giants OC (2016-17). Those offenses finished -- in order -- 13th, 30th, 26th, and 31st in scoring; eighth, 32nd, 24th, and 25th in yards per play. Sullivan didn't get great QB play across those offenses. He started with fourth-season Josh Freeman in Tampa, and then got primarily Mike Glennon the following year. His two seasons at the Giants' offensive helm came in Eli Manning's age-35 and age-36 campaigns. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo says Sullivan has a "strong relationship" with Steelers QB Kenny Pickett, but the new guy probably isn't an upgrade on those previous situations. The switch should be positive for usable skill-position Steelers, though. Canada never won as a play caller and often sported questionable run-pass splits given the output. This year's Steelers also should find upside in a softening schedule. According to FTN's Aaron Schatz, Pittsburgh faced the league's toughest schedule so far this year by total defensive DVOA. Over a full season, the 2023 schedule to date would rank third-toughest of any team since 1981. You can see the negative fantasy impacts of those opponents on our Strength of Schedule pages. The remaining schedule ranks fifth-best for RB scoring and ninth-best for WRs. (Just 17th for TEs, though.) We'll see whether the run-pass splits change. That question plus Pickett's limitations make the WRs tough to get excited about. RB Najee Harris looks interesting, though -- especially because his trade cost has been driven down by meager production and Jaylen Warren's recent numbers.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (thumb) is not listed on the final Week 11 injury report. He took Wednesday off but was a full-go in Thursday and Friday’s practices. Johnson will be ready for his usual role vs. the Browns this weekend.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (thumb) returned to a full practice on Thursday. It looks like Wednesday was pretty much a rest day. Johnson should be ready for his usual role vs. the Browns this weekend.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson missed Wednesday's practice and is on the injury report with a thumb. We don't have any other details right now. Johnson played a full allotment of snaps in Week 10, so we're tentatively expecting him to be available for Sunday's game vs. the Browns. But we'll get another update on his status tomorrow.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson scored what proved to be the game-winning three-yard TD with about four minutes left in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's game vs. the Titans. It was Johnson's first trip to the end zone since Week 17 of the 2021 season. Ben Roethlisberger was still Pittsburgh's QB at that point. Johnson went an absurd 199 targets and 119 receptions without a TD. It's nice to have that monkey off his back. But the bigger fantasy takeaway is that Johnson dominated Steelers receiving production in this one. He posted a 7-90-1 line on nine targets, accounting for 30% of the team's targets, 37% of the receptions, and 56% of the receiving yards. After being out-targeted by WR George Pickens in his Week 7 return, Johnson has now out-targeted Pickens 23 to 10 over the last two games. QB play remains a concern, but Johnson will be a comfortable weekly fantasy starter on this type of volume. He gets a neutral Week 10 matchup vs. the Packers before a challenging Week 11 draw against the Browns.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson led the team in targets (14), receptions (8), and receiving yards (85) in Sunday's loss to the Jaguars. He drew eight more looks than any other teammate and nine more than WR George Pickens. Most of that edge came before QB Kenny Pickett left the game. Johnson led the team with 5 targets from QB Mitchell Trubisky, but Pickens, TE Connor Heyward, RB Najee Harris, and RB Jaylen Warren each saw 4 Trubisky targets. That mean's Johnson's nine looks from Pickett constituted 56.3% of the QB's total attempts. We'll see about Pickett's injury (ribs) status for Week 9 and whether this was the start of Johnson reclaiming his favorite-target role. Or whether it's a one-game blip and he remains close with Pickens. Whoever lines up behind center for the Steelers in Week 9 will get a Tennessee defense that has played the run tough but also been a negative scoring matchup for QBs. The Titans have been positive for WR scoring, however.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (hamstring) is not listed on the final Week 8 injury report. He was sidelined on Thursday but returned to a full practice on Friday. Johnson should be ready for his usual role in Sunday’s game vs. the Jaguars.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (hamstring) was added to Thursday's injury report and did not practice. Johnson, of course, just came off IR last week after missing four games with a hamstring injury. It's unclear if this was a planned day off or if he suffered a setback. We'll learn more tomorrow.

Steelers WR George Pickens hauled 5 of 8 targets for a team-leading 107 receiving yards in Week 7 vs. the Rams. Sunday also saw the return of veteran wideout Diontae Johnson after missing the last four games due to a hamstring injury. Johnson recorded 5 catches for 79 receiving yards in the contest. Though the Steelers’ passing game hasn’t been potent in 2023, the 65.2% target share that this duo received confirms where fantasy managers can look for points on this roster in Week 8 vs. the Jaguars, even if TE Pat Freiermuth returns from his hamstring injury.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (hamstring) put in a full week of practice and isn’t listed on the final injury report for Sunday’s game vs. the Rams. He’s been out since Week 1 but should be ready to step back into a full-time role this weekend.

Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth (hamstring) is officially out for Sunday's game vs. the Rams. He reinjured his hamstring on Thursday and is expected to miss more time beyond Week 7, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Darnell Washington and Connor Heyward have tag-teamed TE duties with Freiermuth out. Neither is a viable fantasy play. WRs Diontae Johnson and George Pickens should pick up more volume with Freiermuth out.

Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth reinjured his hamstring in Thursday's practice, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Freiermuth will miss this weekend's game vs. the Rams and "likely will be sidelined longer," per Pelissero. Freiermuth can be dropped in shallower fantasy leagues. His absence is good news for WRs Diontae Johnson and George Pickens' target shares.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (hamstring) put in a full practice on Wednesday. It's confirmation that he'll be back in his usual role vs. the Rams this weekend. See where Johnson sits in the Week 7 WR Rankings.

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