As we scramble with the uncertainty of the current world there are only a few things that are for certain. Taxes (just postponed), death, and the rise of Diontae Johnson. The second-year wideout of the Pittsburgh Steelers is coming off an impressive rookie season – posting a stat line of 92 targets, 59 receptions, 680 yards, 5 touchdowns, and added 4 rushes for 40 yards.
There are a few factors that I contemplate while rating young wideouts. They are:
Volume: (check) 92 targets.
System: (check) Pittsburgh has historically drafted quality wideouts (Buress, Holmes, Randle-El, AB, and JuJu. I could go back to the golden days of football, Lynn Swann, anyone?
Film: Anyone with eyes can see this guy can make plays.
Diontae has posted numbers considerably comparable to other big-name young WRs, but he is not generating the same hype. Notable early career campaigns:
Calvin Ridley, 2018: 92 targets, 64 catches, 820 yards, 10 TDs (rookie)
DJ Moore, 2018: 82 targets, 55 catches, 788 yards, 2 TDs (rookie)
Chris Godwin, 2018: 95 targets, 59 catches, 842 yards, 7 TDs (Sophomore season)
Courtland Sutton, 2018: 84 targets, 42 catches, 704 yards, 4 TDs (rookie)
Are you seeing the similarities? I can agree that the WRs listed above have higher floors in 2020 and thus deserve higher ADPs, but are you serious? Is 5+ rounds (12 team format) fair-market value for Diontae? I think not! I have been buying shares wherever possible and I highly suggest you do the same since his value will only rise as the market readjusts leading up to the 2020 season.
Now let me address some of the concerns I have been hearing about his outlook. How can he repeat that production with JuJu back in form? Well, no one knows what to expect from JuJu. The 23-year-old would now be going in the late 2nd or early 3rd of dynasty startups based on his rookie statistics and the return of Big Ben. I can also flip this argument. Who will be drawing the top corners? Juju! Oh, let’s not forget the depth chart and those James Washington truthers. Well, to be honest, I was once on that side until Diontae came to Pittsburgh and jumped him on the depth chart and well never looked back.
Here is my overall point. Diontae Johnson has huge upside a low cost and that should make him a target in redraft, bestball, well you name it. I would not be surprised in he finishes the 2020 season as a top 20 PPR wideout.
That is my best value in 2020 at the WR position. Who is yours?