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Dynasty & Redraft: WR Diontae Johnson, Steelers


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58 minutes ago, Cobbler1 said:

He had another deeper td in his hands but it got knocked away. Should have caught that too. He was also open by several yards and Ben made a poor throw allowing the db to get back in the picture.

I can see why Tomlin was livid last night. Game should have been a blowout. If it went that way, maybe the starters are resting 4th QTR, and Bud Dupree is still playing.

WRs and TE playing like they got paid to put the ball on the ground yesterday.

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Exactly. Except Enron was a disaster for the whole country, Ebron just one in Detroit. 

And then what on 2nd and goal?

Near zero chance he plays this week. He's just not tough enough. 

11 minutes ago, Dizzy said:

I can see why Tomlin was livid last night. Game should have been a blowout. If it went that way, maybe the starters are resting 4th QTR, and Bud Dupree is still playing.

WRs and TE playing like they got paid to put the ball on the ground yesterday.

Yeah rightly so. They were really sloppy. Maybe the attitude presented by Tuitt was reflected in the focus of the team. And rather than padding stats in what he predicted would be an easy win, Dupree is lost for the year late in the 4th. Yup Tomlin should have been furious.

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1 hour ago, Cobbler1 said:

He had another deeper td in his hands but it got knocked away. Should have caught that too. He was also open by several yards and Ben made a poor throw allowing the db to get back in the picture.

The question is , is he really doing enough with all these targets he’s seeing. His efficiency seems bad, but I suppose that’s not all his fault and partially the routes being run. That being said he was brutally bad yesterday. As bad of a game as I can recall seeing a WR have..

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2 minutes ago, BigAl21 said:

The question is , is he really doing enough with all these targets he’s seeing. His efficiency seems bad, but I suppose that’s not all his fault and partially the routes being run. That being said he was brutally bad yesterday. As bad of a game as I can recall seeing a WR have..

Prior to last night, in the last 5 games that he played all of, he put up in my 0.5 PPR league: 19.2, 24.5, 11.1, 20.6 and 17.1. I don't have a points/target metric, but I'll take that production most weeks.

We've all gotten burned when he got knocked out of some games in the first quarter, but I'm not counting those against him in terms of target efficiency.

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1 hour ago, BigAl21 said:

The question is , is he really doing enough with all these targets he’s seeing. His efficiency seems bad, but I suppose that’s not all his fault and partially the routes being run. That being said he was brutally bad yesterday. As bad of a game as I can recall seeing a WR have..

It was a rough game, though that wasn't just Johnson. Claypool and Ebron also had some awful drops. Ben also had a few really bad throws too. I'm willing to throw that entire game out given the circumstances.

I don't see Johnson being this bad again, and I don't see those targets going away, so its likely just a blip. 

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Diontae Johnson caught 8-of-12 targets for 71 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' Week 13 loss to Washington.

Johnson was peppered with targets but his struggles with drops popped up again. He logged multiple drops again after being plagued by drops versus Baltimore last week. The most notable aspect of Johnson's game from a fantasy angle is still the volume. He has been targeted ten or more times six of his previous seven games. As long as the drops don't send him to the bench, they don't have any impact on his fantasy output other than wasting a target. He remains a high-end WR2 in a presumed shootout with Buffalo next week.

Dec 7, 2020, 8:39 PM ET

 

 

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27 minutes ago, humpback said:

So explosive, but what's with the drops? Don't think his target share will remain this high forever if he keeps dropping multiple balls per game.

Maybe it is on Ben? It seems all of his receivers are dropping balls left and right at the moment.

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I absolutely would not pin the drops on Roethlisberger but an inordinate amount of his passes to Diontae don't hit him in stride and force him to reach back the opposite direction he is going after he explodes out of his break and honestly Diontae does a great job getting his body turned and both hands on the ball but to often is not coming down with them.

Drops are not an official stat and some of these plays in particular you might see various websites not list as a drop, they fall more in the "he should have caught it" category. A lot of Diontae's drops fall in this category, not all for sure.

It would be impossible to pin Ebron's drops on anyone but him since he's done it everywhere he's been, just a part of his game and have to take the good with the bad.

 

 

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2 hours ago, humpback said:

So explosive, but what's with the drops? Don't think his target share will remain this high forever if he keeps dropping multiple balls per game.

If he keeps getting open at the rate he does, I think the drops are acceptable. He's pretty much open on every play. It kind of reminds me a little of Wes Welker, but as an outside WR instead of a slot.

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1 hour ago, menobrown said:

I absolutely would not pin the drops on Roethlisberger but an inordinate amount of his passes to Diontae don't hit him in stride and force him to reach back the opposite direction he is going after he explodes out of his break and honestly Diontae does a great job getting his body turned and both hands on the ball but to often is not coming down with them.

Drops are not an official stat and some of these plays in particular you might see various websites not list as a drop, they fall more in the "he should have caught it" category. A lot of Diontae's drops fall in this category, not all for sure.

It would be impossible to pin Ebron's drops on anyone but him since he's done it everywhere he's been, just a part of his game and have to take the good with the bad.

Agreed that drops is subjective, but I disagree with your take here- I've watched the last two weeks and he's dropped multiple routine catches in both.

1 hour ago, travdogg said:

If he keeps getting open at the rate he does, I think the drops are acceptable. He's pretty much open on every play. It kind of reminds me a little of Wes Welker, but as an outside WR instead of a slot.

Disagree as well, this number of drops is not acceptable IMO and I doubt the Steelers think it is. Again, hopefully this is just a blip (or maybe he has a minor hand injury or something), but if it continues I think it's going to have a negative impact on his targets at some point. Of course, that's assuming his teammates start catching better themselves lol.

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1 hour ago, menobrown said:

I absolutely would not pin the drops on Roethlisberger but an inordinate amount of his passes to Diontae don't hit him in stride and force him to reach back the opposite direction he is going after he explodes out of his break and honestly Diontae does a great job getting his body turned and both hands on the ball but to often is not coming down with them.

Drops are not an official stat and some of these plays in particular you might see various websites not list as a drop, they fall more in the "he should have caught it" category. A lot of Diontae's drops fall in this category, not all for sure.

It would be impossible to pin Ebron's drops on anyone but him since he's done it everywhere he's been, just a part of his game and have to take the good with the bad.

 

 

Yeah there were a couple of those for sure. There was one shallow crossing route in particular I remember he had to reach back and made a fairly impressive catch but because it wasn't in stride he got tackled immediately. The defender had a pretty good angle so even with a better ball I'm not sure Diontae turns the corner for more than another yard or two, but hitting a receiver in stride can make the difference between a short gainer and a house call. Especially with these athletes. 

He and Ebron both made some tough catches last night and dropped some easy ones. As you say take the good with the bad. 

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3 minutes ago, humpback said:

Agreed that drops is subjective, but I disagree with your take here- I've watched the last two weeks and he's dropped multiple routine catches in both.

 

I did not say otherwise, you are twisting my words around.

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5 minutes ago, humpback said:

Agreed that drops is subjective, but I disagree with your take here- I've watched the last two weeks and he's dropped multiple routine catches in both.

Disagree as well, this number of drops is not acceptable IMO and I doubt the Steelers think it is. Again, hopefully this is just a blip (or maybe he has a minor hand injury or something), but if it continues I think it's going to have a negative impact on his targets at some point. Of course, that's assuming his teammates start catching better themselves lol.

I don't think that's his take - his first sentence says they're not on Ben. He is just propping up Diontae for the good work he *has* done. I don't think he said he hasn't had drops. 

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2 hours ago, menobrown said:

I absolutely would not pin the drops on Roethlisberger but an inordinate amount of his passes to Diontae don't hit him in stride and force him to reach back the opposite direction he is going after he explodes out of his break and honestly Diontae does a great job getting his body turned and both hands on the ball but to often is not coming down with them.

Drops are not an official stat and some of these plays in particular you might see various websites not list as a drop, they fall more in the "he should have caught it" category. A lot of Diontae's drops fall in this category, not all for sure.

It would be impossible to pin Ebron's drops on anyone but him since he's done it everywhere he's been, just a part of his game and have to take the good with the bad.

 

9 minutes ago, menobrown said:

I did not say otherwise, you are twisting my words around.

Certainly not my intention so I apologize if you think I am doing so purposely, but I read it again and not sure I follow. You seem to be describing a lot of difficult passes that he gets his hands on but doesn't come down with, and then you say he has a lot of passes that fall into the "he should have caught it" category that may or not be counted as drops, no? All I'm saying is that I disagree- IMO most of his drops the last 2 weeks particularly have been egregious. I'm not talking about "tough catches" or "could have caught it but not really a drop", I'm talking about very good passes that he just flat out dropped.

8 minutes ago, barackdhouse said:

I don't think that's his take - his first sentence says they're not on Ben. He is just propping up Diontae for the good work he *has* done. I don't think he said he hasn't had drops. 

See above. I love Dionte, started by saying how explosive he is, so I'm certainly not bashing him and agree that the good outweighs the bad. I was just curious if anyone had any insight into the bad drops the last couple of weeks, I don't think he has a history of them but really not sure.

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On 12/8/2020 at 1:34 PM, travdogg said:

With how often the Steelers are passing, the scary thing is, if Johnson cleans up these drops, we might be looking at these past few weeks as his floor. There is a Davante Adams level upside if his hands improve. 

It reminds me a bit of tiki barber and his fumbling for a few years. He still played well over all, but once he got his fumbling more under control he became one of the best players in the league for a couple seasons.  DJ's problems seem fixable but they have to be driving Tomlin crazy.

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On 12/8/2020 at 11:34 AM, travdogg said:

With how often the Steelers are passing, the scary thing is, if Johnson cleans up these drops, we might be looking at these past few weeks as his floor. There is a Davante Adams level upside if his hands improve. 

Or they just could move him to DB if they don’t. :shrug: 

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24 minutes ago, humpback said:

Just brutal. Had to expect this was coming, you can't just keep throwing the ball over and over to someone who is dropping so many of them.

The second they benched him, the game was over. He's the most valuable player in that offense after Big Ben. 

 

57 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

It reminds me a bit of tiki barber and his fumbling for a few years. He still played well over all, but once he got his fumbling more under control he became one of the best players in the league for a couple seasons.  DJ's problems seem fixable but they have to be driving Tomlin crazy.

That's a pretty fair comparison. Coughlin let Barber work through it, and was rewarded with a few truly elite seasons.

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49 minutes ago, humpback said:

Just brutal. Had to expect this was coming, you can't just keep throwing the ball over and over to someone who is dropping so many of them.

The Tomlin quote said it all, “if we’re talking to someone who’s being paid to catch the ball about catching the ball, that’s not where we want to be.”

and

”They can catch the ball or they can get replaced by those that will catch it,” Tomlin said. “It’s just as simple as that. Like I’ve often said, I expect guys to make routine plays routinely. When there’s a pattern of that not happening, then we have to look at who we throw the ball to.”

I understand from a FF perspective that everyone wants Dionte to catch the ball better. From a football perspective, Tomlin would be better off keeping his workload lower while he works this stuff out and using more reliable targets.  That probably means more WRBC without a true #1. They’ll still use Johnson to take the top off of a defense, but short/intermediate + reliable moves the chains. 

Id expect DJ’s 49% to remain about the same unless he cleans this up in a hurry. Washington, Claypool, Ebron, Juju are all more reliable right now. 

I’m not familiar with DJ’s history of drops so I’m not sure if this is a dude with the yips or if he’s had issues in the past, but one thing’s for sure - he’s on the wrong team with the wrong coach to be unreliable. Tomlin’s leash is extremely short. 

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1 minute ago, travdogg said:

That's a pretty fair comparison. Coughlin let Barber work through it, and was rewarded with a few truly elite seasons.

Not sure that’s entirely accurate. Barber saw his role decreased significantly due to a ridiculous number of fumbles (2.7%) and then worked through his fumbling in the offseason. Came back the next year with the high and tight, 45° angle carry & used “both hands on the ball” cover up before contact for great effect. As that carry style made him a more powerful runner, it worked to his benefit. 

Where the similarly is really accurate is having a hard-nosed coach who wouldn’t tolerate failure. Barber fumbled 35x over 4 seasons & Coughlin was disgusted by it. Coughlin rode him like a bike. He (Barber) gave an interview after he retired and just totally trashed Coughlin as being too much of a taskmaster (and Barber really came off as the me-first selfish tool he is) but he related an anecdote that seemed to echo Tomlin in the DJ situation. Fix it or you’re not going to play no matter how good you are:

"The one thing he said to me, and I remember it, it was the first meeting that I ever had with him, was, 'I don't care how good you are, if you're a liability to my team, then you're not going to play,'" Barber said. "I knew was very capable of being a top player in the National Football League. And here was this guy coming and telling me he was going to be bench me if I didn't fix the mistakes that I was making. 'Don't be a liability.' And so I set out doing it."

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This was my concern earlier in this thread... Washington will be out there more if Johnson continues this pattern and for good reason. Three straight weeks with brutal drops. Not a drop a game, but multiple and consistent drops that stall drives and set up 3rd and longer than necessary. 
If you were the coach you’d probably do the same thing. Even if he figures this out in due time, Pittsburg has to become more balanced. It’s just a matter of time if they want to win the battle of time possession and win more games. They are throwing way too much of lately and consequently have dropped 2 in a row plus the defense bailed them out three weeks ago verse the Ravens B squad. Changes will be coming and that means the throwing volume in general will come down to Earth a bit, IMO. They have average 47 pass attempts a game over the past three games - all of which game script didn’t call for that kind of volume. They were never down big early in any of these games. 
Im just not as high on Johnson’s potential as everyone else here is... 

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22 minutes ago, travdogg said:

The second they benched him, the game was over. He's the most valuable player in that offense after Big Ben. 

That's a pretty fair comparison. Coughlin let Barber work through it, and was rewarded with a few truly elite seasons.

Meh, they didn't bench him last week and still lost to Washington, and his replacement did score a TD not long after his benching this week.

Tomlin has let him try to work through it as well, until finally sitting him for some of this game. I don't think he's going to bench him permanently or anything, but no coach is going to just put up with this many really bad drops without doing something about it.

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1 minute ago, BigAl21 said:

This was my concern earlier in this thread... Washington will be out there more if Johnson continues this pattern and for good reason. Three straight weeks with brutal drops. Not a drop a game, but multiple and consistent drops that stall drives and set up 3rd and longer than necessary. 
If you were the coach you’d probably do the same thing. Even if he figures this out in due time, Pittsburg has to become more balanced. It’s just a matter of time if they want to win the battle of time possession and win more games. They are throwing way too much of lately and consequently have dropped 2 in a row plus the defense bailed them out three weeks ago verse the Ravens B squad. Changes will be coming and that means the throwing volume in general will come down to Earth a bit, IMO. They have average 47 pass attempts a game over the past three games - all of which game script didn’t call for that kind of volume. They were never down big early in any of these games. 
Im just not as high on Johnson’s potential as everyone else here is... 

Agreed - partly that’s because they’ve been ineffective rushing the ball. Which is fine in September and October. and it might be ok if your defense is 100% and dominant.

But as the calendar turns, if a team can’t run the ball and especially if the team has taken some hits on defense, that pass-happy schtick is a recipe for disaster. Hard to play ball control when drops or incompletions are stopping the clock, and 3-and-outs have a way of tiring out your wounded but still elite defense to the point of being less effective. 

IMO Thats exactly what we saw last night. 

28 minutes ago, travdogg said:

The second they benched him, the game was over. He's the most valuable player in that offense after Big Ben. 

I dunno - they sure did complete a lot of passes on the JuJu TD drive. They looked like a better team without him out there dropping routine passes. 

I get what you’re saying in that the Steelers would be better if DJ were playing to his ability. But if he’s not, he’s a liability, which is what we saw last night. 

 

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I don't think he's going to bench him permanently or anything, but no coach is going to just put up with this many really bad drops without doing something about it.

Exactly. And they’d be nuts to continue to pepper DJ with targets if he’s unreliable. Something’s gotta give. 

Now we’ll see what DJ’s mental makeup is. These are growth opportunities for young players. He’ll either redouble his efforts or he’ll get dejected. Tomlin’s a great coach - I’d bet on the former. I wouldn’t give up on DJ in dynasty. I’d probably try to buy low if the owner is getting nervous about this. 

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Yes, there's an issue here at least in the short-term. But hopefully Tomlin noticed (not likely because he's so stubborn) that the offense was trash without Diontae in the game. Part of that is not establishing any running game, but the other part of it is that the offense needs Diontae to function because he's the one who reliably gets open. Of course, playing Claypool more than 50% of the snaps would help too, but let's not get too crazy with trying to put your best players on the field. 

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2 minutes ago, Buck Bradcanon said:

What do we do in week 15?  The MNF matchup @Cin is sublime.  The prospect of a sub 50% snap share is not.

I am leaning towards this being a get right game and starting him.

I think you probably start him. I'd be more worried though about this being a beat down and the Steelers using the opportunity to get the run game on track after going up big.

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1 hour ago, RushHour said:

Yes, there's an issue here at least in the short-term. But hopefully Tomlin noticed (not likely because he's so stubborn) that the offense was trash without Diontae in the game. Part of that is not establishing any running game, but the other part of it is that the offense needs Diontae to function because he's the one who reliably gets open. Of course, playing Claypool more than 50% of the snaps would help too, but let's not get too crazy with trying to put your best players on the field. 

This is a little chicken & eggy. 

Dionte gets open because the Steelers have so many pass catching threats. Can’t cover everyone.

As for the offense being trash with him off the field, they immediately drove down and scored with passes to Ebron, Washington & JuJu, so I’m not sure that’s accurate.

the biggest problem with the Steelers offense is that they can’t run for a crap, which is really not like any Steelers team in recent memory. Or historic memory for that matter. They’ve also seemingly abandoned play-action passing in favor of Big Ben’s much heralded “fastest release in football” style. 

Ben is taking a lot less punishment as a result, but it’s hamstringing the offense IMO. This team needs to figure out how to run the ball effectively or they’re gonna have a quick playoff exit.

As for how DJ fits into all of that and what effect he has, it’s pretty simple: catch the ball when it goes to you or they’ll throw to someone else. Because they can’t run well, they have a lot of 2nd and 8s, 2nd and 7s.  If they go to DJ and he drops and easy one, now it’s 3rd and long, and the rush is on. There’s just so much more pressure - those drops break the offensive scheme the Steelers have adopted this year.

IMO they need to fix the run to fix everything else. If it’s 2nd and 3-4 and DJ drops one, it’s not as big a deal.

But for sure he’s going to see fewer opportunities if he can’t figure this out.  

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32 minutes ago, Buck Bradcanon said:

What do we do in week 15?  The MNF matchup @Cin is sublime.  The prospect of a sub 50% snap share is not.

I am leaning towards this being a get right game and starting him.

If you’ve got him you have to start him. He’s more boom or bust than WR1, but hey, that’s FF, right? 

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1 hour ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

This is a little chicken & eggy. 

Dionte gets open because the Steelers have so many pass catching threats. Can’t cover everyone.

As for the offense being trash with him off the field, they immediately drove down and scored with passes to Ebron, Washington & JuJu, so I’m not sure that’s accurate.

the biggest problem with the Steelers offense is that they can’t run for a crap, which is really not like any Steelers team in recent memory. Or historic memory for that matter. They’ve also seemingly abandoned play-action passing in favor of Big Ben’s much heralded “fastest release in football” style. 

Ben is taking a lot less punishment as a result, but it’s hamstringing the offense IMO. This team needs to figure out how to run the ball effectively or they’re gonna have a quick playoff exit.

As for how DJ fits into all of that and what effect he has, it’s pretty simple: catch the ball when it goes to you or they’ll throw to someone else. Because they can’t run well, they have a lot of 2nd and 8s, 2nd and 7s.  If they go to DJ and he drops and easy one, now it’s 3rd and long, and the rush is on. There’s just so much more pressure - those drops break the offensive scheme the Steelers have adopted this year.

IMO they need to fix the run to fix everything else. If it’s 2nd and 3-4 and DJ drops one, it’s not as big a deal.

But for sure he’s going to see fewer opportunities if he can’t figure this out.  

I think he gets open because he's great at getting open - he's just one of those guys. Sure, it helps to have other weapons taking attention away, but Diontae is pretty dynamic. You're right they drove down and scored - I was thinking more in the second half before Diontae came back in (and I think they scored on the drive he did, when he had a couple of catches). Having said all that, the Bills defense is pretty good so maybe not a great game to judge the offense too much.

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Diontae Johnson played 49 percent of the Steelers' offensive snaps in Week 14 against the Bills. 

Johnson had a pair of ugly drops to start the game and was subsequently pulled for James Washington. He re-entered the game late in the first half but didn't even manage to play half the team's snaps. Johnson had played a nice 69 percent of the team's snaps headed into Sunday night's matchup with Buffalo. His stone hands have become a major liability for the Steelers and fantasy managers who drafted Johnson. 

RELATED: 

James Washington

SOURCE: Brian Batko on Twitter 

Dec 14, 2020, 8:32 AM ET

 

 

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