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Dynasty & Redraft: WR Diontae Johnson, Steelers

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Hopefully some of you guys got him in dynasty last year. He was going in the late 2nd.........

We need Big Ben and his new found faith to stick around a little longer. Could be a nice 3-4 year run with Diontae. 

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I got him in the 7th and 8th rounds of a couple FPC redraft squads two weeks ago. I hope I get to see these teams compete. All my dynasty squads are aligned for success right now but the world is ending. Anyway I need a white star on this guy.

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41 minutes ago, Milkman said:

Hopefully some of you guys got him in dynasty last year. He was going in the late 2nd.........

We need Big Ben and his new found faith to stick around a little longer. Could be a nice 3-4 year run with Diontae. 

Dynasty pass for me at current price. Pittsburgh is one big QB sack away from being in QB pergutory.

This guy has legit talent. The term "slippery" is more than appropriate.

 

If he plays a healthy year with Big Ben, his value is going to double maybe triple.

 

Redraft: buy, buy, buy

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All Big Ben has ever wanted to do is Chuck the ball downfield. The rules are friendlier than ever.

Add Ebron. Go for 5,000 big guy!

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23 minutes ago, Breezy H2O said:

All Big Ben has ever wanted to do is Chuck the ball downfield. The rules are friendlier than ever.

Add Ebron. Go for 5,000 big guy!

Ebron? Ha.

Claypool is the new Waller in that offense. Look up his stats on player profile and watch his tape. He’s a secret weapon. 

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6 minutes ago, Blackbear said:

Ebron? Ha.

Claypool is the new Waller in that offense. Look up his stats on player profile and watch his tape. He’s a secret weapon. 

 

Except he's playing WR, on the outside. Not TE or as a big slot as far as I know. If he fails as a WR, they'll try him at TE like Waller. Claypool reminds me much more of a Funchess-type (who some also talked about as a sleeper to be converted to TE eventually) than a future TE.

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3 minutes ago, ConnSKINS26 said:

 

Except he's playing WR, on the outside. Not TE or as a big slot as far as I know. If he fails as a WR, they'll try him at TE like Waller. Claypool reminds me much more of a Funchess-type (who some also talked about as a sleeper to be converted to TE eventually) than a future TE.

Claypool projects as a big slot from what I've seen.

Don't think he will be much of a year 1 guy though. I think it's preparation to let Juju walk

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3 minutes ago, ConnSKINS26 said:

 

Except he's playing WR, on the outside. Not TE or as a big slot as far as I know. If he fails as a WR, they'll try him at TE like Waller. Claypool reminds me much more of a Funchess-type (who some also talked about as a sleeper to be converted to TE eventually) than a future TE.

https://youtu.be/4hiyi4y4r8s
 

Pittsburgh is gonna give this guy a lot of slot. 

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Ton of separation on short crossing routes. Big target in end zone. Forget the long balls... not reality for him in pros. He’s a mismatch inside. Look at separation across the middle. 

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6 minutes ago, KChusker said:

Claypool projects as a big slot from what I've seen.

Don't think he will be much of a year 1 guy though. I think it's preparation to let Juju walk

I think he’s already on the field and Washington is odd man out. Juju might become odd man out. Lol. 
 

DJ, Juju, Claypool in that order. 

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26 minutes ago, Blackbear said:

Ebron? Ha.

Claypool is the new Waller in that offense. Look up his stats on player profile and watch his tape. He’s a secret weapon. 

The offense is closer to the killer bees than I think most people think if Pittsburgh is good at anything it's drafting skill players.

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2 minutes ago, Breezy H2O said:

The offense is closer to the killer bees than I think most people think if Pittsburgh is good at anything it's drafting skill players.

Yes. Very good at that. Needs drafting a backup QB. I would worry if Ben goes down again. Duck Hodges did ok. But they need draft or pick up a risk mitigation imo. 

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5 hours ago, Blackbear said:

Yes. Very good at that. Needs drafting a backup QB. I would worry if Ben goes down again. Duck Hodges did ok. But they need draft or pick up a risk mitigation imo. 

Not sure if you meant to say Rudolph there, but Hodges was terrible.

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6 hours ago, ConnSKINS26 said:

 

Except he's playing WR, on the outside. Not TE or as a big slot as far as I know. If he fails as a WR, they'll try him at TE like Waller. Claypool reminds me much more of a Funchess-type (who some also talked about as a sleeper to be converted to TE eventually) than a future TE.

I don't see that. Funchess ran a 4.7. Claypool a low 4.4. 

 

Ju Ju is probably gone after this season. He can't play outside and the Steelers know it. He's a product of Big Ben. Once Big Ben is gone the Steelers don't want to be stuck in a spot where they are paying a guy #1 WR $$$ when he's not a #1 WR. If Diontae does what I think he's going to do this year then Ju Ju will probably have a big year playing Robin to Diontae's Batman. Making it next to impossible for the Steelers to afford him. 

Watch what Adam Thielen does this year getting pushed outside more. That's a #1 WR. Wins all over the field. 

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On 5/22/2020 at 10:54 AM, cloppbeast said:

Apparently doesn't matter.

This was one of the talking points for Dante Pettis last year also.

.....and he's now on the waiver wire in lots of dynasty leagues.

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Pettis is a ridiculous comparison.

He flashed his rookie year but last offseason Shanahan said he was fighting for a roster spot and played him in the 4th preseason game while tearing into his effort/work ethic/etc.

 

If that happens with Diontae then yes there's reason to be concerned

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8 hours ago, KChusker said:

Pettis is a ridiculous comparison.

He flashed his rookie year but last offseason Shanahan said he was fighting for a roster spot and played him in the 4th preseason game while tearing into his effort/work ethic/etc.

 

If that happens with Diontae then yes there's reason to be concerned

Yeah, there's no competition/new coach situation that Johnson has to worry about. He's coming in as the unchallenged #2 receiver this season. Can Washington or Claypool maybe challenge him this pre-season? Doubtful unless Johnson falls off the face of the Earth.

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10 hours ago, KChusker said:

Pettis is a ridiculous comparison.

He flashed his rookie year but last offseason Shanahan said he was fighting for a roster spot and played him in the 4th preseason game while tearing into his effort/work ethic/etc.

 

If that happens with Diontae then yes there's reason to be concerned

Except none of that happened until training camp started.  

Last June, Pettis was going 7.5 per Mizelle.  This June, Diontae is going 7.9 per Mizelle.

Whether you consider the talents of the players equitable or not, the value comparison is spot on.

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1 minute ago, Vandelay said:

Except none of that happened until training camp started.  

Last June, Pettis was going 7.5 per Mizelle.  This June, Diontae is going 7.9 per Mizelle.

Whether you consider the talents of the players equitable or not, the value comparison is spot on.

It will be spot on when Tomlin says Johnson is fighting for a roster spot and plays him in the 4th preseason game

That was such a unique and rare situation and from what I saw had more to do with Pettis’s work ethic/being soft than his actual talent level

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1 minute ago, KChusker said:

It will be spot on when Tomlin says Johnson is fighting for a roster spot and plays him in the 4th preseason game

That was such a unique and rare situation and from what I saw had more to do with Pettis’s work ethic/being soft than his actual talent level

I don't think you understand what's being compared.

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It should be noted Pettis was challenged by Shanahan hard due to Pettis not being "one of his" and a ton of competition in the SF WR chart. Pettis had a very poor early camp which greatly contributed to this notion and Shanahan never let him out of the doghouse. You can see my posts in that thread as Pettis backer and believer in his talent.

 

Again, unless Diontae has a terrible camp and Tomlin specially calls him out, it's not that same situation at all.

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3 minutes ago, Vandelay said:

I don't think you understand what's being compared.

Someone cited average separation yards and someone else showed how that stat was used to prop up Pettis.

I am saying Pettis might actually have been good at creating separation. He had a host of character/toughness/work ethic problems that prevented him from getting on the field to do so.

Because of that I think it is really unlikely that any second year WR has a Pettis like decline in value--too strange of a situation to be recreated often

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Where's that video Darryl Drake just gushing over Diontae Johnson. Went to his hometown and spent like a week with the kid or something. Not sure on how long but they love Diontae Johnson's character. He's not going anywhere. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, KChusker said:

Someone cited average separation yards and someone else showed how that stat was used to prop up Pettis.

I am saying Pettis might actually have been good at creating separation. He had a host of character/toughness/work ethic problems that prevented him from getting on the field to do so.

Because of that I think it is really unlikely that any second year WR has a Pettis like decline in value--too strange of a situation to be recreated often

To expand on this topic; Pettis won at the line with elite route running and shiftiness to create separation, basically he was a technician. When your work ethic is questioned/you're dropping balls/get injured/coach doesn't like you it's kinda hard to flash that ability. So far:

  • Johnson's work ethic doesn't seem to be in question
  • He doesn't have a drop issue
  • He doesn't seem injury prone
  • His coach doesn't dislike him

I understand what people are trying to say about the stat. The comp of Pettis is a terrible one to use to defend it or argue against it.

Edited by The Frankman

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20 hours ago, The Frankman said:

To expand on this topic; Pettis won at the line with elite route running and shiftiness to create separation, basically he was a technician. When your work ethic is questioned/you're dropping balls/get injured/coach doesn't like you it's kinda hard to flash that ability. So far:

  • Johnson's work ethic doesn't seem to be in question
  • He doesn't have a drop issue
  • He doesn't seem injury prone
  • His coach doesn't dislike him

I understand what people are trying to say about the stat. The comp of Pettis is a terrible one to use to defend it or argue against it.

The point is we didn't know Pettis' work ethic was in question this time last year.  He was just a young wr coming off a strong rookie year who looked poised to take a leap.

I like Diontae as much as the next guy and just traded for him on my most expensive team.  What happened to Pettis is a cautionary tale on what the range of outcomes actually are for any player who has yet to fully prove himself.  Its not like the guy wrote a dissertation about it either; he merely connected the two by saying target separation was a talking point for Pettis last year.

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Quote

Nate Christian @NateNFL

🚨This is happening🚨

Diontae Johnson vs James Washington

Will do my best to make this thread unbiased, get ready for some stats. Let's look at who's going to be playing next to Juju this year with a healthy Big Ben. #FantasyFootball

https://twitter.com/natenfl/status/1275156753043390468?s=21

 

Quote

Let's start with the Measurables:

DJ - 5' 10" 183 lbs, 4.53 40, 9.7 Catch Radius

JW - 5' 11" 213lbs, 4.54 40, 9.87 Catch Radius

Not much difference here outside of the weight, so a slight advantage to Washington for the BMI folks.

 

Quote

College:

DJ (Toledo) - 34% Dominator, 16.4 YPR, 25.3% Target Share, 20.8 Breakout Age

JW (Ok. St.) - 33.3% Dominator, 20.2 YPR, 28.1% Target Share, 18.4 Breakout Age

Draft Capital:

DJ - 3.02

JW - 2.28

College resume will lean towards Washington, but draft capital is equal

 

Quote

No need to compare Washington's less-than-stellar rookie season to Diontae's so let's compare Johnson's 1st year with Washington's 2nd year. This will give us equal footing for outside factors, i.e. no Antonio Brown, catching passes from Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges, etc.

 

Quote

2019 Stats:

Johnson - 92 Tgt, 59 Rec, 680 Yards, 11.5 YpC, 5 TDs

Washington - 80 Tgt, 44 Rec, 735 Yards, 16.7 YpC, 3 TDs

PPR Fantasy Points:

DJ - 157.1, 9.8 PPG

JW - 133.5, 8.9 PPG

Still pretty close.

 

Quote

Let's really start to dig in here, let's go beyond the box score.

These two players are used quite differently, Johnson is a crafty route runner who is used near the first down marker while Washington is used as a down field threat and field stretcher.

 

Quote

Johnson - 4.2 Air Yards per Target

Washington - 7 Air Yards per Target

Meanwhile...

Johnson - 5.2 Yards After Catch per Reception

Washington - 4.6 Yards After Catch per Reception

So similar in YaC numbers despite what you assume would be more room for Washington downfield.

 

Quote

This is due to the fact that despite Washington getting down the field he only averaged 1.2 Yards of Separation per Target. Johnson led the 2019 rookie class AND the league with 2.39 Yards of Separation per Target. That is higher than any player in the last three years.

 

Quote

Due to the nature of their route running and usage on the field, we see a correlation with TDs. Long downfield TDs are fun for the highlights but are less reliable.

Johnson had 7 RZ targets in 2019, while Washington only had 2.

Remember, Johnson (5 TDs) & Washington (3 TDs)

 

Quote

To continue that thought of consistency vs Boom/Bust, let's look at both players' median points per game. This helps eliminate outliers.

DJ - 8.55 PPR FP

JW - 7.9 PPR FP

Washington had two games of 0 FP (Week 4 & 17) while Johnson's lowest game was 1.5 FP in Week 9.

 

Quote

One thing that Washington does much better than Johnson is catch contested balls.

DJ - 1/6 16.7%

JW - 9/16 56.2%

This goes well with their style of play as Washington is more likely to have to fight for his catches when thrown down the field, especially by Mason Rudolph.

 

Quote

As we've already hit on multiple times, Washington does a lot of work down the field and that shows in his Yards per Reception. If we break it down further though that efficiency gets a lot closer.

DJ - 1.96 Yards per Route

JW - 2.1 Yards per Route

Much more similar numbers.

 

Quote

That's enough 2019 stats, though I will remind you that we compared Johnson's rookie year to Washington's sophomore year.

Let's start looking ahead to 2020, because that is what actually matters for us now.

Fun Fact: According to @gerrydulac, Pitt had 1st-rd grade on Johnson

 

Quote

In 2020, Juju will be more utilized in the slot. Chase Claypool was drafted to play outside. Where does that put Diontae and James? Let's look at where they lined up (I'm sorry I just said let's move on from 2019, but bear with me).

 

Quote

Stats:

DJ - 74.3% Outside, 23.9% Slot

JW - 46.1% Outside, 39.7% Slot

Efficiency?

DJ - Outside: 22.7 FP/100 snaps, Slot: 27.6 FP/110 snaps

JW - Outside: 21.8 FP/100 snaps, Slot: 27.1 FP/100 snaps

Pretty even here efficiency-wise, but obviously Johnson is used more outside.

 

Quote

If Juju is taking the majority of slot snaps in 2020, there will be opportunity on the outside. As of right now we can predict that the pecking order for that spot will be Johnson, Washington, Claypool.

In 4-WR sets, Juju and Washington are likely to be exclusive to the slot.

 

Quote

At the end of the day, it's a close one. But Johnson quietly had one of the most efficient rookie seasons we've ever seen. Moving forward I expect Johnson to take over the WR2 role on the Steelers and Washington to be fighting Claypool for the WR3 snaps.

 

Quote

Extra Credit: Crucify me for this one but look at this comparison.

 

Player A - Known for his route running

 

Measurables:

5' 10" 186 lbs.

4.56 40 Yard Dash

82.5 Speed Score

9.83 Catch Radius

 

2018 Stats:

7.7 YpT

12.5 YpR

10.9 aDoT

5.1 Air Yards/Target

17.9% Contested Catch Rate

 

Quote

Diontae Johnson - Also known for his route running

 

Measurables:

5' 10" 183 lbs.

4.53 40 Yard Dash

83.3 Speed Score

9.70 Catch Radius

 

2019 Stats:

7.4 YpT

11.5 YpR

9.1 aDoT

4.2 Air Yards/Target

16.7% Contested Catch Rate

 

Quote

Who is Player A?

 

✌️🏼

https://twitter.com/natenfl/status/1275156789286363136?s=21

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Diontae Johnson vs Washington isn't even a thing anymore. Washington will be busy just trying to stay on the field with Claypool. As the season progresses I see Claypool winning those snaps too. 

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On 6/26/2020 at 4:04 AM, KChusker said:

Pettis is a ridiculous comparison.

He flashed his rookie year but last offseason Shanahan said he was fighting for a roster spot and played him in the 4th preseason game while tearing into his effort/work ethic/etc.

 

If that happens with Diontae then yes there's reason to be concerned

Try to keep up.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, cloppbeast said:

Try to keep up.

Pettis was brought up because separation yards was cited as a metric to prop him up last year.

I am saying Pettis may actually have been good at getting separation—he just had a host of intangible issues that made him unable to get on the field and do so, and created a drop off really rare for any second year WR who flashed as a rookie (like Pettis did and Diontae did)

Edited by KChusker

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22 hours ago, Milkman said:

Diontae Johnson vs Washington isn't even a thing anymore. Washington will be busy just trying to stay on the field with Claypool. As the season progresses I see Claypool winning those snaps too. 

Is Claypool considered to be all that great?  Washington put up a very decent season last year in terrible circumstances.  So he's got some production, experience and doesn't have the albatross of a lost offseason of OTAs and minicamps that all the rookies have to cope with.

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1 minute ago, tangfoot said:

Is Claypool considered to be all that great?  Washington put up a very decent season last year in terrible circumstances.  So he's got some production, experience and doesn't have the albatross of a lost offseason of OTAs and minicamps that all the rookies have to cope with.

Big bodied WR with incredible athleticism and a high ceiling.

Late breakout though and bit of a project in the route running department--making him more likely to be a big slot than play outside

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2 hours ago, KChusker said:

Big bodied WR with incredible athleticism and a high ceiling.

Late breakout though and bit of a project in the route running department--making him more likely to be a big slot than play outside

I put zero emphasis on the Pajama Olympics.  I don't give two ####s that a player runs arbitrarily faster/slower by  0.01 seconds than someone else, or how many bench presses they can do. 

I do put a ton of emphasis on breakout age and route running ability, so these facts essentially strike him off my draft list altogether.

Again, Washington already has experience and limited success at the pro level.  Give him a top-quality veteran QB leader and great things can happen.

 

Sorry to sidetrack the Diontae Johnson discussion, I like him better than the other two Pittsburgh WRs by an order of magnitude.

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8 minutes ago, tangfoot said:

I put zero emphasis on the Pajama Olympics.  I don't give two ####s that a player runs arbitrarily faster/slower by  0.01 seconds than someone else, or how many bench presses they can do. 

I do put a ton of emphasis on breakout age and route running ability, so these facts essentially strike him off my draft list altogether.

Again, Washington already has experience and limited success at the pro level.  Give him a top-quality veteran QB leader and great things can happen.

 

Sorry to sidetrack the Diontae Johnson discussion, I like him better than the other two Pittsburgh WRs by an order of magnitude.

Combine drills are not particularly predictive, but stuff like size adjusted athleticism and speed scores (also size adjusted) are definitely data points to consider

I agree on Johnson though. He is better as a route runner and after the catch, and more versatile as well being able to play outside and in the slot

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2 hours ago, tangfoot said:

I put zero emphasis on the Pajama Olympics.  I don't give two ####s that a player runs arbitrarily faster/slower by  0.01 seconds than someone else, or how many bench presses they can do. 

I'm pretty much the opposite of this. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, KChusker said:

Pettis was brought up because separation yards was cited as a metric to prop him up last year.

I am saying Pettis may actually have been good at getting separation—he just had a host of intangible issues that made him unable to get on the field and do so, and created a drop off really rare for any second year WR who flashed as a rookie (like Pettis did and Diontae did)

There's also a graph posted showing that seperation/target does not predict success. Pettis was offered as a single anecdote in support of this for those who are into that sort of thing. Explaining away a single data point in Pettis doesn't explain the other however-many other wrs who's seperation/target didn't correlate to their fantasy points. 

However, Faust has posted a lot of different metrics in support of Johnson since this seperation per target has been brought up. 

Edited by cloppbeast

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Weight up to 191 per his Insta. Unrelated- got him at 96 in a startup today.

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Just now, Cobbler1 said:

Weight up to 191 per his Insta. Unrelated- got him at 96 in a startup today.

I know I can look it up but what did he play at last year?

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3 minutes ago, barackdhouse said:

I know I can look it up but what did he play at last year?

183 at the combine.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/23/2020 at 7:46 PM, dipandglide said:

I am not buying. Last year was a throw away year for Pitt. No Ben, JuJu and Conner. Maybe he’s cheap enough (was) to return value. Way too much hype for anyone to get on board that wasn’t already there at this point. Gl

 

 

 

Edited by GordonGekko

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He can't be pressed. That's why he's so hard to cover. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2020 at 2:19 AM, GordonGekko said:

 

He's a pretty big risk for regression ( Whenever teams play again....)

There is a lot to like. Good value for special teams. Very technical ( impressive for his age, experience and draft pedigree)  Understands how to handle hard contact intuitively.  Does well in the open field, understands how to maximize angles and has innate situational awareness.

But he's a borderline athlete. His margin of error based on his athleticism will be slim. Attrition and injury ( DBs are going to target him/head hunt him for his physicality alone) means a better than average risk for a sharp fall in production at any time.

Unfair comparisons to Antonio Brown has raised hype. Fantasy publications trying to justify their worth to subscribers by digging potential sleepers has red balled some more unneeded hype.

Blue collar player showered with gold from a blue collar fan base  for a blue collar team. The lack of objectivity is understandable. The line between being showered with gold and a golden shower becomes quite thin though.

He separates well and is electric in the open field

Good enough to produce with the same QB play that made Juju a bum

Not AB but he is not regressing with more playing time (rookie to sophomore year and didn't even start for first 3 games last year), a better QB and a better offense

Though the blue collar player and fanbase angle is an interesting one. Conner similarly got a ton of hype early due to that factor

Edited by KChusker

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5 hours ago, Cobbler1 said:

https://twitter.com/farabaughfb/status/1284755046417281024?s=21
 

Some route running by Diontae including beating Patrick Peterson as part of bracket coverage and Tre White.

Awesome post! Peterson looks lost and helpless against Diontae. Like he's a magician. I really hope he stays healthy.......I don't want to get too excited but if Ben has anything left for a couple years I see #1 WR in FF ceiling here. 

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8 minutes ago, Milkman said:

Awesome post! Peterson looks lost and helpless against Diontae. Like he's a magician. I really hope he stays healthy.......I don't want to get too excited but if Ben has anything left for a couple years I see #1 WR in FF ceiling here. 

Let's not forget that Ben loves Ju-Ju.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, JohnnyU said:

Let's not forget that Ben loves Ju-Ju.

It's a very valid point. I agree he might not be the most targeted Pittsburg WR this year. I'm anticipating JuJu is gone next year and valuing Diontae as Pittsburgh's future #1 WR. I do understand I could be wrong but I feel there is value in situations like this where I see a player and situation lining up like this before the masses. It's JuJu and Ben's established connection though not JuJu's skill that gives me pause. I'm confident Diontae is better right now than JuJu. 

 

Having said that Diontae is open to much and Ben is to good. 110 targets this year seems like his floor if the Steelers are running their same offense through Ben. Sky is the limit on his ceiling. 

Edited by Milkman

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Diontae Johnson looks just like Antiono Brown out there. The flashes at least. I can hardly tell them apart. That was the initial read I had of him coming out of college last year. 

Brown's rookie year 19 targets 16-167-0

Diontae's rookie year (with crap QB play) 92 targets 59-680-5

Besides injury to Diontae or Big Ben there's zero reason to believe those number do anything but go up. 

2018 season

Brown 168 targets 104-1297-15 against #1 CB and double teams constantly. 

JuJu 166 targets 111-1426-7 against #2 CB and LB/S one on one constantly. 

 

I'm not going to sit here and say Diontae could be better than Brown (Brown is the the discussion for top 3-4 WR all time) at this early stage in his career and Brown's rookie year but those numbers sure do point in that direction. 

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