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Steelers Daily Links: Pickett Fantasy Value, Diontae Route Tree



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett in a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Aug. 13, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Mike Clay of ESPN thinks Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is one of the biggest sleeper picks in Fantasy Football this season.

“Year 2 is the breakout age for QBs selected in the first round, with Carson Wentz (2017), Patrick Mahomes (2018), Lamar Jackson (2019), Kyler Murray (2020), Joe Burrow (2021) and Trevor Lawrence (2022) recent examples of the trend. Pickett was the only QB selected in the first round in 2022 and, while his rookie season production wasn’t impressive, that’s not uncommon for rookie QBs who eventually become stars (including the aforementioned players),” Clay wrote. “Adding to Pickett’s appeal is his rushing ability (he ranked seventh among QBs in rushing yards during his 10 full games last season), as well as an improved offensive line and a good group of targets led by Diontae Johnson, George Pickens (also in Year 2), Allen Robinson and Pat Freiermuth. Pickett is well worth a late-round flier in your draft.”

RELATED: Steelers DB Sees Some of Josh Allen in Kenny Pickett

🏈 CBS Sports: Jared Dublin ranked the top-10 NFL duos entering the 2023 season, and T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward came in at No. 9.

“This duo came in No. 5 on our list a year ago, but age (Heyward will play this season at 34 years old), injuries (Watt missed seven games last year) and the outrageous performances of a few other duos on the list knocked them down a peg,” Dublin wrote. “That’s no slight to Watt and Heyward, who have now combined for 132 sacks over the past six seasons — an average of 22 per year despite their having combined to miss 13 games during that time. Watt is annually a front-runner for the Defensive Player of the Year award, and Heyward was one of the league’s best interior rushers long before he started belatedly getting Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods. These guys are the foundation of Pittsburgh’s defense, which should again be one of the NFL’s best in 2023.”

🏈 Former Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham coaches girls hockey in the Penguins Elite program. Suisham, who hails from Wallaceburg, Ontario Canada, is passionate about growing girls hockey in Pittsburgh.

🏈 According to Warren Sharp of Sharp Football, Kenny Pickett was the 14th-best quarterback when passing from the pocket in 2022.

🏈 Pro Football Focus: From Week 9 onwards last year, only two quarterbacks had a Big Time Throw rate over 5.0% and a Turnover-Worthy Play rate under 2%: Joe Burrow – 5.9%, 1.6%, and Kenny Pickett – 6.3%, 1.5%.

🏈 Matt Harmon of Yahoo Sports posted Diontae Johnson’s route percentage and success by route numbers from 2022. Overall, Johnson was rather successful at getting open last year, even though he failed to score a single touchdown with 86 receptions on 147 targets.

🎂 Happy Birthday to former Steelers wide receiver Frank Lewis, born on July 4, 1947 in Houma, Louisiana. Lewis was selected by the Steelers at eighth overall out of Grambling State in the 1971 NFL Draft. Lewis was a part of the Steelers’ 1974 and 1975 Super Bowl-winning teams.

In August of 1978, the Steelers traded Lewis to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for tight end Paul Seymour. Seymour was returned by the Steelers when he failed to pass their physical. Lewis, however, remained with the Bills and the Steelers ended up receiving no compensation in the trade. Lewis made his lone Pro Bowl with the Bills in 1981. In his 13-year NFL career, seven seasons in Pittsburgh and six in Buffalo, Lewis caught 397 receptions for 6,724 yards (16.9 average) and 40 touchdowns. In 2019, Lewis was elected to the 10th class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame. As a star player at Grambling State in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, he helped the university win the conference championship in 1968. He scored 42 total touchdowns, both receiving and rushing, during his four years there before becoming a first-round draft pick.

🎥 The official NFL Twitter account asked if Diontae Johnson is one of the most underrated route runners in the game.

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