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Pittsburgh Steelers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler believes Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky is the “clear favorite” to start Week 1. Fowler points out Trubisky’s improved play in recent practices. HC Mike Tomlin even admitted that Trubisky would start should the team need to play a game today. Meanwhile, Fowler writes that “there’s not much feeling” the Steelers will “rush” rookie Kenny Pickett into the starting lineup. With Mason Rudolph turning some heads in camp, this situation might eventually see all 3 guys making starts in 2022.

Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth was a full participant in Tuesday's practice, according to Steelers Depot's Alex Kozora. Freiermuth dealt with a hamstring injury early in camp, but it looks like a non-issue going forward.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson is dealing with a hip flexor injury, HC Mike Tomlin said Monday. Johnson, of course, had just returned to full-team work after getting his extension last Thursday. This injury doesn't sound significant, but we'll keep an eye on him.

Steelers WR Chase Claypool (shoulder) returned to practice on Monday. He ended up missing 9 days. Claypool is still the favorite to open the season as Pittsburgh's #2 WR, but rookie George Pickens is pushing hard.

The Steelers’ initial “unofficial” depth chart has rookie QB Kenny Pickett 3rd behind Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph. That matches with reports of training-camp reps. We’ll see whether preseason action alters the order — as well as how true the depth chart is

The Steelers have agreed to a 2-year, $36.71 million extension with WR Diontae Johnson. The deal locks in the team targets leader through 2024, allowing him to hit the open market ahead of his age-29 season. It's noteworthy that Pittsburgh invested in Johnson after allowing JuJu Smith-Schuster to hit the open market each of the past 2 years, including this year's departure to Kansas City.

The Steelers placed RB Jeremy McNichols on IR with a shoulder injury, ending his 2022 season. McNichols signed with Pittsburgh just last week. Undrafted rookie RB Master Teague was signed in a corresponding roster move. Benny Snell remains the favorite for the Steelers' #2 RB job.

The Steelers have opened contract talks with WR Diontae Johnson, per team insider Gerry Dulac. That lines up with the words from GM Omar Kahn, who said today that he’s been in touch with Johnson’s reps. “We want Diontae,” Kahn said. “We’re excited for him this season. We hope he’ll be a Steeler for a long time.” Johnson’s been a limited practice participant to date. We’ll see if both sides can agree on the financials ahead of Week 1.

Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett worked with the 2nd team Monday, ahead of Mason Rudolph. Should we read anything into that? "You should not," HC Mike Tomlin told reporters afterward, according to "But I'm sure you will." Tomlin said he'll keep rotating QBs. Expect the alignments to start mattering more the further we get into August.

Steelers RB Najee Harris left Monday's practice early with a left foot injury, but it doesn't sound serious. "Somebody stepped on his foot, but it shouldn't be a major deal," HC Mike Tomlin said, according to Steelers Depot. We'll keep an eye on the situation, but it doesn't seem like we should worry.

"If the first three practices are any indication, George Pickens is going to be a huge factor in this [Steelers] offense," ESPN's Brooke Pryor tweeted on Friday. It reads a little hyperbolic, but Pickens has been creating consistent buzz from multiple Steelers beat writers early in camp. And we loved him as a prospect, so we wouldn't be surprised to see him make a significant rookie-year impact. Highlight Pickens as an intriguing late-round flier in fantasy drafts.

Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett has been “erratic and inconsistent” early in training camp, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. Meanwhile, Mitch Trubisky has been “progressing” and Mason Rudolph — get this — “continues to shine.” Through 3 practices, all 1st-team reps have gone to Trubisky; all 2nd-team reps to Rudolph. Translation: Pickett, despite his Round 1 status, is an extreme long-shot to start the opener at Cincinnati.

Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth is dealing with a hamstring injury, according to HC Mike Tomlin. We don't have any other details at this point but will keep you updated as we learn more.

Steelers WR Chase Claypool injured his right shoulder in Friday's practice, HC Mike Tomlin said. No word yet on the severity. Missed time for Claypool would open up opportunity for rookie WR George Pickens, who's had a strong start to camp. We'll let you know when we hear more on Claypool's status.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson is sitting out team drills at training camp. Johnson, of course, is entering the final year of his rookie deal. "I acknowledge that he was less than 100% participation," HC Mike Tomlin said Wednesday. "We'll continue to manage the circumstance. But right now, my energy and focus is on those that are participating, and I think that's the appropriate mindset to have from time to time.” Johnson, 26, said he wants to stay in Pittsburgh long-term but acknowledges the business side of the league. "I learned you can't take stuff personally because it's business at the end of the day," he said. "That's what I'm learning, slowly. It's just like anything, stuff gets frustrating, but it's how you respond to it. I'm not letting that get to me at all; I am just going to keep going at it and worrying about the right things.” We’ll see if any progress is made in the coming days.

Steelers beat writer Chris Adamski described WR George Pickens as the “clear WR3” early in training camp. As expected. Pickens’ raw talent has flashed early on, but it’ll likely take something close to a flawless performance over the coming weeks to overtake Chase Claypool. Pickens remains an intriguing redraft stash and best ball flier.

The Steelers added RB Jeremy McNichols on a 1-year contract. In a corresponding move, RB Trey Edmunds was released. McNichols, 26, spent 2020-2021 as a backup but flashed last season with 28 catches for 240 yards. Pittsburgh’s backfield is unsettled behind Najee Harris, so McNichols has a real chance at earning a roster spot. Still, he’s nowhere near the redraft radar.

Steelers beat writer Brian Batko writes that “there’s no indication” the team is interested in trading WR Diontae Johnson. Recently, rumors popped up that Pittsburgh was interested in trading the contract-year WR, but there’s no substance here. While the Steelers are considered unlikely to re-sign the 26-year-old — he’ll command a pretty penny next offseason — the team will stick with a win-now approach. HC Mike Tomlin’s never gone worse than 8-8 in a given season.

Steelers beat writer Chris Adamski believes WR George Pickens is in position to play a “significant role” by the end of the 2022 season. Patience might be key here, as he's coming off a March 2021 ACL tear. (Pickens, however, managed to appear in 4 games with Georgia last year.) While his size (6’3, 200), speed (4.47 forty) and early breakout age (18.5) signal a potential difference-maker, targets will be tough to earn early on. Current 2022 WR projections have him down for 63 targets.

Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth shared his expectations for the 2022 season. “I should be more in the range of 800, 900 (season) yards, so I think I definitely need to get (yards/reception) higher and want to push the ball down the field,” Freiermuth said. As a rookie, the Penn State product posted 497 yards at just 8.3 yards per catch. Eric Ebron departed this offseason, while Pittsburgh only added rookie Connor Heyward in Round 6. Increased production is likely for Freiermuth, but current projections have the TE falling shy of the 800-900-yard range.

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